More than 150 University of Hawaiʻi Maui College students recently pledged to complete their degrees or certifications as part of a national community college movement to promote college completion.
UH Maui College’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society led the Commit to Complete pledge signing ceremony and event as students gathered to sign the pledge banner now housed in the campus’ student lounge.
One student who signed the UH Maui College pledge banner remarked, “I already made this promise to myself, but it feels more real now that I signed the pledge.”
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. By signing the pledge, UH Maui College students promised to complete their degrees and certifications before leaving community college for transfer or to enter the job market.
About the Community College Completion Challenge
In April 2010, leaders of six national organizations representing the nation’s 1,200 community colleges, their governing boards, their faculty and their 11.8 million students pledged in a statement of commitment to increase student completion rates by 50 percent over the next decade. Leaders of the American Association of Community Colleges, Association of Community College Trustees, League for Innovation, Center for Community College Student Engagement, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, and Phi Theta Kappa signed the Democracy’s Colleges Call to Action statement to engage all stakeholders in supporting community college completion.
In October 2010, the first White House Summit on Community Colleges was hosted by Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden and a community college professor. President Barack Obama, philanthropist Melinda Gates and a host of speakers praised community colleges for serving almost half of the nation’s college students and playing a pivotal role in educating the workforce. President Obama has called for community colleges to produce an additional 5 million degrees and certificates in the next 10 years, part of his goal to restore the United States as the world’s leader in college graduates.
The Community College Completion Challenge website showcases the missions, action plans and strategies developed by each organization to involve their constituency in a joint venture to produce 5 million more associate degree and certificate holders by 2020.