Statistics show that the best way for anyone to land a job in their chosen field is to finish college and earn a degree or certificate. In fact, students who complete their associate degree or certificate can expect to earn about $400,000 more in a lifetime than a high school graduate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
With these statistics in mind, members of Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society are spearheading a campaign to encourage fellow classmates to commit to completing their studies at the college. The Honor Society members are serving as the student arm of The Community College Completion Corps, a national education initiative.
They will hold a signing campaign during this year’s “Petition to Graduate” events on Oct. 23 and 24. Kalamazoo Valley students who plan to graduate in December must complete the petition to graduate process by Oct. 31. On Oct. 23 and 24, staff will be stationed in the cafeteria at the Texas Township campus to help students declare the proper major and make sure that they’re on track for graduation. Phi Theta Kappa members will also be on hand to encourage their classmates to commit. As a part of this student-led initiative to encourage college completion, honor society members will distribute “I’m Committed” wristbands and buttons. They are also hosting a signing party, encouraging students to sign a large “I’m Committed” banner that will be displayed in the cafeteria throughout this school year. Mass C4 (Community College Completion Corps) signing events will be held at both campuses. The Texas Township Campus event will include in-house speakers and the chance to win a cap and gown in a drawing.
“Kalamazoo Valley’s Phi Theta Kappa members are excited about encouraging their fellow students to commit to completing because research really does show that an education makes a huge difference in earning potential,” said Diane Vandenberg, Assistant Director of Student Success and advisor to the honor society. Vandenberg serves as a co-advisor to the PTK Honor Society with Kalamazoo Valley faculty member Cynthia Schauer.
Phi Theta Kappa is headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi and is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,250 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States.
With three Kalamazoo, Michigan locations ― a main campus in Texas Township, the nearby Groves Campus, and Arcadia Commons Campus in downtown Kalamazoo ― Kalamazoo Valley Community College offers certificate programs in more than 20 areas of study and associate degrees in 25 others. These include business, healthcare, human and public service, and technical occupations, the latest of which is a pioneering effort in training wind-energy technicians. KVCC also provides student-placement services and works closely with other institutions to ensure the transfer of students' credits. A fully accredited institution, KVCC offers day and evening, online and weekend classes for its 12,500 students. For more information, go to www.kvcc.edu. Kalamazoo Valley students can go the Graduation Audit Menu on the college website at www.kvcc.edu/petition to begin the process.
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