NJ’s Community Colleges to Host Fourth Annual NJC4 Week to Promote College Completion

Follow #NJC4 on Social Media

Beginning Oct. 17, New Jersey’s 19 community colleges will hold the fourth annual New Jersey Community College Completion Challenge (NJC4), a statewide initiative to increase awareness about the importance of completing associate degrees and certificates.

NJC4 is a campaign 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. Partners for these events include the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), Kean University, Rutgers University-Newark, and the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ (NJCCC) Center for Student Success.

During the week of Oct. 17 to 21, each community college will hold a series of campus-based college completion activities with the goal of raising awareness and encouraging students to sign the completion pledge. Since NJC4 began in 2013, over 30,000 students have signed the pledge to complete their degrees and certificates.

Events will be both informational and social in nature with an emphasis on college completion and tools available to assist students in reaching their goals. Student leaders in Phi Theta Kappa, the international community college honor society, will organize these events at each of their respective community colleges.

“We are excited about NJC4 at New Jersey’s 19 community colleges,” said NJCCC President Dr. Lawrence A. Nespoli. “Partnering on NJC4 with the New Jersey Education Association, Kean University and Rutgers University-Newark helps our 19 community colleges’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapters inform students about the importance of staying in school to earn a college credential.”

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

“NJEA is happy to once again partner with New Jersey’s 19 community colleges to support the NJC4 initiative that encourages students to persevere, succeed and ultimately achieve the credentials necessary to be successful members of New Jersey’s workforce,” said NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer.

“As a Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Honor Roll school, Kean University is proud to support associate degree completion programs like NJC4 as an important step toward receiving a bachelor’s degree and ultimately student success,” said Kean University President Dr. Dawood Farahi.

“Rutgers University-Newark is excited to continue to strengthen its relationship with New Jersey’s community colleges, and NJC4 is a great opportunity to provide hardworking students with the tools, knowledge and encouragement to best achieve long-term academic success,” said Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs and Services at Rutgers University-Newark Dr. John Gunkel.

This year’s NJC4 will include guest speakers, giveaways, informational training workshops, and on-campus events and activities with the common goal of encouraging students to sign the pledge to complete their degrees or certificates and pledging to help fellow students complete degrees. Faculty and staff members are also asked by students to sign pledges to serve as Completion Champions to assist students in their completion efforts.

You can follow NJC4 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #NJC4.

In three years, New Jersey has become a national leader in student completion initiatives, with other states, including Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Washington, D.C. consulting with the New Jersey Center for Student Success to begin their own similar statewide campaigns.

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.

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.

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