BY MELISSA DELLACATO
As a part of the statewide Community College Completion Challenge, County College of Morris’ Phi Theta Kappa, Alpha Kappa Kappa Chapter sponsored C4 week Oct. 14-17 to promote the completion of associate degrees among community college students.
“By getting an associate and a bachelor’s, you have two degrees and no one can take that away from you,” said Kelby Clark, vice president of leadership. “Job recruiters look at that and it makes you more valuable.”
Phi Theta Kappa hosted a variety of events throughout the week to encourage success and commitment.
The club held a TEDTalks Screening on Monday, Oct. 14 in the Davidson Rooms. It featured videos made by leaders in many different fields speaking about success, leadership, and scholarship.
The “Ask an Honor Student” Academic Success Panel took place Wednesday, Oct. 16 in Davidson Room A.
Aaron Delmundo, vice president of fellowship, and Carlos Herrera, secretary, were participants in the panel.
“We gave information about student success and how to become a good community college student, instead of just going in and out of class,” Delmundo said. “[Community college] changed my work ethic and I learned to work with other people and get more involved.”
“The goal was to raise awareness of academic excellence,” Herrera said. “We shared perspective on what made us successful.”
The panel members answered questions and gave advice, such as tips they wished they had known before starting at CCM.
“I didn’t get involved until my second semester and I wish I did earlier,” Herrera said. “It showcases leadership skills and you can meet people with the same goals and motivations as you.”
Oct. 15 and 17 were C4 Banner Signing Days. Students signed their names on the banner, making a personal commitment to completing their associate degree.
“We are letting people know the perks of completing your associate degree,” Delmundo said. “I could get my general education done and save a lot of money.”
Delmundo said that it is important not to transfer out of community college after only completing a few credits. It makes the process harder.
According to the Community College Completion Corps, better known as C4, there are many benefits to completing an individual’s associate degree, including better salaries, easier transfer to universities, and proving that one can accomplish one’s goals, among many others.
Clark said that she chose community college for financial reasons, but it was a tough decision for her. Originally, she wanted to go to a 4-year university. Now, she finds that CCM was a great choice.
“I love the decision I made,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience for the first two years.”
Clark said she has friends at 4-year schools who were “sucked into the party scene” and “don’t get a lot of attention” from their professors. CCM is like a 4-year school with the amount of clubs and amenities that are available, there are just smaller student-teacher ratios, so you can get more individual attention.
Herrera came for financial reasons as well and said he is very happy with his choice to go to community college first.
“I met people who came for the same reasons and the people I surrounded myself with had the same passions,” he said. “I don’t think I would’ve been as successful without the skills and lessons I’ve learned at CCM.”