Essex County College is joining the state’s other 18 community colleges the week of October 17 in the 4th annual New Jersey Community College Completion Challenge (NJC4), an initiative to increase awareness on the importance of completing associate degree and certificate programs.
The College’s effort is spearheaded by Essex’s Alpha Theta Theta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, assisted by the Academic Advisement Center.
“Our Phi Theta Kappa chapter is performing a valuable service to our students,” said Marva Mack, Associate Dean for Retention and Academic Advisement. “Any time you have your peers advising and providing resources, you will see positive results.”
Monday through Wednesday, the students will be able to sign the Completion Challenge pledge as well as receive information on how to successfully plan and prepare for community college completion, and transfer to four year schools. The information will be provided through collegefish.org, a resource which will be outlined by participating Essex students to their classmates.
On Monday, October 17, the program will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Essex campus (West Caldwell). On Tuesday, October 18, the location shifts to the Newark campus from 2:30 to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, October 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both of the Newark programs will be held in The Learning Center, 2nd floor.
On Thursday, October 20, the program concludes with the Pathway to Graduation project starting at 2:30 p.m., in Smith Hall. This will be the opportunity for students to receive answers to questions they submitted during the week and from the floor. Associate Dean Mack said College staff will be available to answer the questions.
Although this is the fourth year of the NJC4, Essex has been doing the Completion Project since 2011, when the College’s Phi Theta Kappa students held their first rally on campus.
State-wide since 2013, more than 30,000 students have signed the completion pledge.
“We are excited about NJC4 at New Jersey’s 19 community colleges,” said New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) President Dr. Lawrence A. Nespoli. He added the effort helps community colleges’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapters inform students about the importance of staying in school to earn a college credential.
Project partners include the New Jersey Education Associate, Kean University, Rutgers University-Newark and the NJCCC’s Center for Student Success.
The national Community College Completion Initiative began in April 2010 when leaders from the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, along with the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of Community College Trustees, the League for Innovation in the Community College, and the Center for Community College Student Engagement signed Democracy’s Colleges: A Call to Action. Each of these organizations developed action plans and strategies to involve their constituents to produce 5 million more associate degree and certificate holders by 2020.