Executive Director Speaks on Completion to College Faculty

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Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director Dr. Rod Risley provided the Keynote Address on "Why College Completion Matters" at Cuyahoga Community College's recent College-Wide Conference Day for faculty.

Dr. Risley, Bassem Al-Kaimari, advisor at the Eastern Campus Alpha Epsilon Eta Chapter, and Dr. Paul Gasparro, campus president

Dr. Risley spoke of the need for an educated workforce and an engaged citizenry, and reported on C4, the Community College Completion Corps, the student-led initiative created by Phi Theta Kappa to increase the number of community college credential holders by 5 million by 2020.

Dr. Risley, third from left, with advisor Marcia Romoser, officer Keitha Cole, former advisor Dorothy Salem and advisor Veronica Czekaj of the Alpha Zeta Delta Chapter, Metropolitan Campus

While visiting the Ohio community college, Dr. Risley met with college administrators and faculty and student leaders from the campus chapters of Phi Theta Kappa, and with administrators and advisors of a new chapter to be chartered at a future date.

Chi Omega Chapter leaders from the Western Campus greeting Dr. Risley, third from right, were from left, Lauren Pierce, Maribeth Rosario Flowers, Kelly Zippay, Evelina Petrovets and Mike Wolfe.

"What an honor to have Dr. Rod Risley speak at our convocation to faculty, and even better to have chapter leaders hear him speak and later interact with him," said advisor Mary Hovanec. "His presentation was very informative, genuine and his message was heard!"

Dr. Risley and Chi Omega advisors Dr. Patricia Rowell, left, and Mary N. Hovanec

Students, faculty and administrators at all Cuyahoga campuses signed Commit to Complete banners earlier, and the banners were brought to the main campus for display during Dr. Risley's visit. Some 2,500 signatures were collected.

The Community College Completion Corps was created in 2010 after Dr. Risley joined leaders of other key community college associations in signing Democracy's Colleges Call to Action to boost credentialing rates.

In 2011, the first full year of the C4 initiative, 176 signing events were reported by chapters in 28 regions, resulting in at least 40,000 commitment makers.

A major milestone regarding completion was the announcement of the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship for students facing barriers to continuing college. Benefactors Lou and Rosemary Oberndorf will match funds raised one-to-one up to $125,000. Phi Theta Kappa's International Officer Team, who proposed a completion scholarship, are leading efforts to raise funds and meet the match by the Annual Convention. Find giving options here.