Honor Society Participates In Statewide Effort To Encourage Students To Complete College

Raritan Valley Community College’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society has joined with its fellow chapters at community colleges throughout the state, along with New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), Kean University, Rutgers University-Newark, and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ (NJCCC) Center for Student Success, to participate in the fourth annual New Jersey Community College Completion Challenge (NJC4).

NJC4 is a statewide initiative to increase awareness about the importance of completing associate degrees and certificates. The campaign was created to increase the number of students at community colleges completing their associate degrees and certificates so that they can successfully transfer to four-year colleges and universities to earn their bachelor’s degrees, and enter careers that provide family-sustaining wages.

As part of this effort, from October 17-21 RVCC’s Phi Theta Kappa members and officers are pairing with representatives from various offices on campus, including Advising & Counseling, Transfer & Career Services, Financial Aid, the RVCC Foundation, Veterans Benefits, the Academic Support Center, Student Life and others to highlight all of the resources available to help students stay in school and complete their degree and certificate programs. Students are signing a banner pledging to complete their studies and engaging in mini carnival games to educate them about the wide variety of services available for students. In addition, RVCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter is sponsoring “An Evening of Laughter, Magic and Ventriloquism,” Wednesday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m., in the Nash Theatre at the College’s Branchburg campus. All of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to several local charities, including a college scholarship fund for residents of the Bridgewater-based Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children (https://somersethome.org).

NJEA, Kean University and Rutgers University-Newark have provided grants to each Phi Theta Kappa chapter at the state’s 19 community colleges to help offset the cost of NJC4 events and activities.

The national Community College Completion Initiative began in April 2010 when leaders from the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, 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.

Since NJC4 began in 2013, more than 30,000 students have signed the pledge to complete their degrees and certificates.

Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community college students, recognizes and encourages academic achievement of two-year college students and provides them with opportunities for individual growth and development through service, leadership, honors, and fellowship programs.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is the state association representing New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. As an independent, trustee-headed organization that joins the leadership of trustees and presidents, the Council is the voice of the community college sector before the state legislature and other branches of government.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium.

RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses, and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.