For Immediate Release - Southwest Tennessee Community College

Date: January 24, 2012

Phi Theta Kappa Launches the "Pledge to Completion" Signing Campaign at Southwest

Statistics show the surest way for anyone to land a job in their chosen field is to finish college and earn a degree or certificate. And that's exactly what students at Southwest are promising to do -- signing a mass pledge to complete their degrees and certifications before leaving community college for transfer or to enter the job market. Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society is heading the Community College Completion Corps (C4), the national student-led education initiative to raise awareness of the importance of college completion.

Southwest's Chapter of PTK, in collaboration with the Office of Retention and Gradation, is asking students to complete eight survey-style questions. PTK Faculty Sponsor Dr. Joan McGrory indicated the goal of the college's campaign is to encourage students to (a) make an active decision to complete college, (b) measure success through incremental steps toward completion, and (c) set the expectation of length of the commitment.

“Phi Theta Kappa's national degree completion campaign sets the stage for transforming our college culture into one that not only takes pride in being the largest community college in Tennessee; it also desires to exemplify the kind of campus atmosphere that exudes of excitement at just the thought of graduating thousands of students who are ready to start a career or seek a bachelor's degree,” said Dr. Cynthia Calhoun, executive director of Office of Student Retention and Graduation.

During a 2010 White House Summit on Community Colleges, President Obama praised community colleges for serving almost half of the nation's college students and playing a pivotal role in educating the workforce. He has called for community colleges to award an additional five million degrees and certificates in the next 10 years as part of his goal to restore the United States as the world's leader in college graduates.

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Photo caption: PTK members Erin Mullinax (seated left) and Cumira Wicks (standing) solicit student signatures for the Community College Completion Corps pledge signing campaign.

For more information contact: Brenda J. Rayner, (901) 333-4247, bjrayner@southwest.tn.edu, Farris Bldg., Room 1002, 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, TN 38134