Union County College participating in statewide Phi Theta Kappa Community College Completion Challenge this week

CRANFORD — Union County College is one of 19 community colleges across the state hosting a series of campus-based activities for the first-ever statewide NJ C4 kickoff week from Monday, Oct. 14, to Saturday, Oct. 19.

Sponsored by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ Center for Student Success and the New Jersey Education Association, the NJ C4 initiative is an effort to increase the number of community college students completing their associate degrees and certificates so that 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.

“We are excited that the students of Iota Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at our College are leading this effort,” said Margaret M. McMenamin, president, Union County College. “NJ C4 is a terrific program where our Phi Theta Kappa honor students will be working directly with other students to encourage college completion.”

Included in the NJ C4 Initiative will be a host of speakers, events and campus activities. The events for the week will be held on all three campuses at the times stated. The week will kick off with a banner signing event from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Students will pledge to complete their associates degree when they sign the banner.

On Tues., Oct. 15, a “Slam Your Exam” event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Wed., Oct. 16, the College will host “All Honor Societies Day” beginning at 11 a.m. This will provide students with the opportunity to learn about the honor societies, and their criteria.

Also on Wednesday, the College will celebrate its 80th anniversary and Founders Day. On Thursday, Oct. 17, information on graduation requirements and academic advising will be held. The week will wrap up on Friday, Oct. 18, from noon to 2 p.m. with the C4 Final Ceremony. Members of the College community will gather on each campus and the signed banners from the week will be hung at each campus.

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.

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.

Union County College is a public comprehensive community college. The College operates major campuses in Cranford, Elizabeth, Plainfield and Scotch Plains. The college enrolls almost 30,000 credit, non-credit, and continuing education students and is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Union has had the largest non-credit enrollment among the nineteen New Jersey County Colleges.