Executive Director Shares Completion Message with Kansas Region

Jackson, MS – Beginnings and completion are not often words heard together; but as this school year starts, Phi Theta Kappa chapters around the world are thinking about completion – already busily planning Community College Completion Corps (C4) events for their campuses.

Dr. Rod Risley visits with the Kansas Regional Officers.

Dr. Rod Risley visits with the Kansas Regional Officers.

In 2011 Phi Theta Kappa chapters hosted 175 C4 events in 28 regions and collected 40,000 signatures of students pledging to complete.

On August 12, 28 Phi Theta Kappa members, advisors and alumni from six Kansas Region chapters met at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kansas. After lunch and an icebreaker, the group was challenged by Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director Dr. Rod Risley to promote community college completion on their campuses. He discussed a variety of ways the students could engage their peers as well as faculty in focusing on the importance of earning an associate degree.

Dr. Risley asked the chapters to brainstorm ideas of how they could incorporate C4 on their campuses, speaking at length with each group and helping them develop plans to take back to their colleges. He also worked with the Regional Officers to develop a plan for the Kansas Region.

That evening, Dr. Risley visited with the chapter officers of the Tau Theta Chapter along with the Labette Community College Administration team at a dinner held at the home of the college president, Dr. George Knox.

On August 13, Dr. Risley served as the keynote speaker for the Labette Community College in-service convocation. He challenged faculty, staff and administrators to go beyond just teaching and begin engaging students so they will commit to complete their associate degree.

“Although 4 million of 8 million community college students aspire to earn a baccalaureate degree, only 25 percent actually complete the degree,” Dr. Risley told the audience. “Because a student enters college and makes it to the dean’s honor list or into Phi Theta Kappa the first semester, (it) doesn’t mean they are going to make it. High achievers face the same experiences and life issues that affect everyone else and need help.”

“After his visit, many faculty and staff visited with Dr. Risley individually about ideas as well as to thank him for his presentation,” said Kansas Regional Coordinator Tammy Fuentes. “The PowerPoint he presented was shared with all in attendance via email. From the email, many staff members provided the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Retention Committee with additional ideas to begin promoting college completion at Labette Community College.”

The Tau Theta Chapter at Labette Community College hosted the event, and representatives from Allen Community College, Butler Community College, Coffeyville Community College, Independence Community College, and Kansas City Kansas Community College attended.

Start planning your chapter or region’s C4 activities today. Visit the C4 website at http://www.cccompletioncorps.org/ to learn more, download completion materials, and make a gift to support completion through the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship Challenge.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,280 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.

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