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C4: Motivating Students to Get That Degree

A student-led, student-run effort to encourage Middlesex County College students to complete their education started this fall. It is being led by the MCC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges.

"Statistics show the surest way to land a job in the field you want is to finish college and earn a degree or certificate," said Ron Rubanick, co-president of PTK. We hope this effort will motivate students to graduate from Middlesex and then, if they choose, transfer as a junior and complete a bachelor's degree."

Those who sign the completion pledge and then graduate from MCC will be honored with the Community College Completion Challenge logo next to their name in the Commencement program.

In addition, administrators, faculty and staff have also been asked to sign the pledge, committing themselves to do whatever they can to facilitate completion of student credentials.

Learn more at www.cccompletioncorps.org.

At a White House Summit, President Obama called for community colleges to produce an additional five million degrees and certificates in the next 10 years, part of a goal to restore the United States as the world's leader in college graduates. The U.S. is now ranked 16th among industrialized countries in the percentage of citizens holding higher education credentials.

Students who complete their degrees or certificates will earn an average of $500,000 more over the course of their careers than their peers who did not. In addition, individuals with credentials are less likely to become unemployed than their co-workers who did not earn credentials.

"We're trying to motivate students to graduate," said Yana Burlachka, PTK co-president. "Don't drop out. Don't leave early. Get that degree."