Three Rivers Students Host “Commit to Completion” Pledge Drive
A group of students at Three Rivers College are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to improving degree completion rates among their fellow students, through a “Commit to Completion” drive hosted by the college’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society on March 23-24.
Members of Three Rivers’ PTK chapter spent two days gathering signatures from students for a pledge to complete their associate degree. The chapter also created a pledge for faculty, staff, and administrators, reaffirming their commitment to support students on their academic journey.
Students were asked to write down their reasons for completing their degree for posterity. “I want to be an example to my son and show him that he can achieve his dreams too,” wrote one student. “I want to better my life and secure my future,” wrote another.
“I’m very proud of these students and the effort they put into setting up and executing this event,” said Dr. Mairead Ryan-Anderson, Instructor of Chemistry at Three Rivers and the faculty advisor for the college’s PTK chapter. “Degree completion rates are one of the biggest challenges in two-year colleges, and it’s good to see students taking the initiative to improve their classmates’ chances for success.”
Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society dedicated to recognizing and encouraging academic excellence among students of two-year higher educational institutions. Membership in Phi Theta Kappa is through invitation only, and members must have at least 12 credit hours of completed college-level coursework with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Members have access to scholarship and academic advancement opportunities, as well as special recognition at graduation.
In April 2010 leaders of six national organizations representing the nation’s 1,200 community colleges signed The Call to Action, a pledge to increase student completion rates by 50 percent over the next decade. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society was the only student organization asked to participate. Phi Theta Kappa launched the Community College Completion Corps in response to this call.
The U.S. is now ranked 16th among industrialized countries in the percentage of citizens holding higher education credentials. Students who complete their associate degrees earn an average of about $6,000 per year more than their peers who did not earn an associate degree. In addition, individuals with college credentials have a current unemployment rate of 8% compared to a rate of about 11% among workers who did not earn a college degree.
Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit trcc.edu.