Atlantic Cape Community College is one of 19 community colleges across the state hosting a series of campus-based activities during the statewide NJ Community College Completion Challenge (NJC4) this week.
Sponsored by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ Center for Student Success, Kean University and the New Jersey Education Association, the NJC4 initiative is an effort to increase the number of community college students completing their associate degrees and certificates so they have the credentials they need to successfully transfer to four-year colleges and universities to earn their bachelor’s degrees and enter careers that provide family-sustaining wages.
Atlantic Cape hosted a kick-off rally Oct. 19, with the theme “Accomplishing Your Dreams.” At the rally, students were encouraged to sign a banner marking their commitment to complete college, and college staff answered questions about choosing a major, financial aid and the transfer process. The Atlantic City Campus will hold a similar rally Oct. 20, and the Cape May County Campus has one planned Oct. 21. A closing rally including remarks from Dr. Peter L. Mora, president, and college alumni will be held 12:30-1:30 p.m., Oct. 22, at the Mays Landing Campus.
“We are excited that the students of Alpha Delta Mu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at our college are leading this effort,” Dr. Mora said. “NJC4 is a terrific program where our Phi Theta Kappa honor students will work directly with other students to encourage college completion.”
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. The Community College Completion Challenge website, www.cccompletionchallenge.org, showcases the missions, action plans and strategies developed by each organization to involve their constituents to produce 5 million more associate degree and certificate holders by 2020.
In two years, New Jersey has become a national leader in student completion initiatives. This past spring, Phi Theta Kappa recognized the New Jersey Center for Student Success for its efforts with the 2015 Outstanding Innovations Award for the NJC4 program and overall leadership in community college completion and transfer. Last year more than 15,000 students signed pledges statewide. Other states, including Pennsylvania and Oklahoma, are consulting with the New Jersey Center for Student Success to begin their own statewide community college completion initiatives.
Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for community college students. Its mission is to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide them with opportunities for individual growth and development through service, leadership, honors, and fellowship programs.
Atlantic Cape is a comprehensive two-year community college serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. The college offers 50 career and transfer programs to nearly 7,000 students at its campuses in Mays Landing, Atlantic City and Cape May Court House.