COMMITTING TO COMPLETE
If an incoming community college student were asked right off the bat to pledge to complete a degree or credential, in a moment of truth, would that student think of his promise before transferring or dropping out? What if thousands of others signed the same pledge? What if faculty and the president had signed one promising to do all they could to help the student complete? There’s no telling yet, but if all those components come together the way pledge architects hope they do, completion rates will be on the upswing within a couple of years. By that time, the first cohort of students to sign such a pledge will be due to earn associate degrees. The pledges are part of the commitment that six national community college organizations made in April 2010 to boost student completion rates by 50 percent during the next decade. About a year after those groups signed their own “Call to Action,” three of them — the American Association of Community Colleges, the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society — drafted versions to take to presidents, faculty and staff, and students, respectively. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.