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ECTC students make pledge to earn degrees

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By Kelly Cantrall

An honor society at the local community college is asking students to keep a promise, but the main beneficiaries are the students themselves.

The Phi Theta Kappa honor society at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is sponsoring a Pledge to Completion project, which asks students to make the commitment to themselves to complete their degree, diploma or certificate.

The pledge is part of an international push to increase the graduation rates for community colleges that’s sponsored by the society and several other organizations.

ECTC students began signing the pledge, in the form of a large banner, Monday, along with attending workshops dealing with campus rules and clubs available to students.

Upcoming workshops today and Thursday deal with health, the Blackboard program, registration, choosing a major, volunteerism, financial aid, campus security and tutoring. The workshops are between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. both days and are in Room 112 of the Administration Building.

Colleton Miller, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, said he thought the workshops would “help better connect the students to the college.” Club members feel that’s a big obstacle in students not completing a degree. They don’t know where to go if they have an issue, member Betty Richter said.

Only 29 percent of community college students earn a two-year degree within three years, and 57 percent of university students complete a bachelor’s degree in six years, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education.

President Barack Obama has challenged colleges and students to earn 5 million more degrees and certificates in the next 10 years.

“That’s what we’re all here for, is to make sure these numbers go up,” said Kevin Parrett with Phi Theta Kappa.

The society members plan to keep the banner up and around campus during different events, and hope to have it eventually covered with signatures.

“It’s a pledge to themselves that ‘I will complete my degree,’” Miller said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.