Statistics show the surest way for anyone to land a job in their chosen field is to finish college and earn a degree or certificate. That's exactly what students at Southwestern Community College (SWCC) will promise to do during the Community College Completion Challenge (C4) on Mon., November 18, 8-9 a.m. in the Instructional Center, or 5:15-8 p.m. in the Student Center (during women’s and men’s basketball games); Tues., November 19, 8-9 a.m. in the Instructional Center; and Thurs. and Fri., November 21 and 22 at the Osceola Center.

During C4, students will sign a mass pledge to complete their associate degrees or certificates before leaving community college for transfer or to enter the job market. Administrators, faculty, and staff have also been asked to sign the pledge, committing themselves to do whatever they can to facilitate completion of student credentials.

Students will gather to sign the completion pledge as part of a national community college movement. At SWCC, the signing event is part of SWCC Week, November 18-22, which provides students with activities to reinforce community on campus.

The event is being hosted by SWCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, Beta Eta Nu. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members are serving as the student arm of the Community College Completion Challenge, a national education initiative. During SWCC Week, Beta Eta Nu will also be sponsoring a non-perishable food drive and fundraiser activity to support community food pantries.

In April 2010, leaders of six national organizations representing the nation's 1,200 community colleges signed The Call to Action, a pledge to increase student completion rates by 50 percent during the next decade. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society was the only student organization asked to participate. Phi Theta Kappa launched the Community College Completion Corps in response to this call.

At the 2010 White House Summit for Community Colleges President Obama called for community colleges to produce an additional 5 million degrees and certificates in the next 10 years, part of a goal to restore the United States as the world's leader in college graduates. The U.S. is now ranked 16th among industrialized countries in the percentage of citizens holding higher education credentials.

Students who complete their degrees or certificates will earn an average of $500,000 more over the course of their careers than their peers who did not complete. In addition, individuals with credentials are less likely to become unemployed than their co-workers who did not earn credentials. Learn more at

Recently Dr. Rod Risley, executive director of Phi Theta Kappa International, spoke at the Iowa PTK Fall Leadership Conference in Mason City. Chapters across Iowa were asked to hold signing events and return their signed banners to be shared with state legislators at the All Iowa Academic Team Banquet, March 2014, in Des Moines.

Pearson is proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation to promote completion awareness through their sponsorship of the C4 Toolkit used by chapters to plan events on their campuses. Learn more about Pearson at

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, MS, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,280 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, 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 two million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually. Learn more about Phi Theta Kappa at