College Completion Helps Students Find Path to Achieving the Dream

Phi Theta Kappa’s students, staff and C4 initiative shared in the spotlight recently at the annual Achieving the Dream conference held in Dallas, Texas.

Phi Theta Kappa members Jeong Lee and Hanh Nguyen of North Lake College, TX.

Members Jeong Lee and Hanh Nguyen of the North Lake College Phi Theta Kappa Chapter, Irving, Texas

Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director Dr. Rod Risley and Dean of Service Learning Jennifer Stanford were joined by three of the Society’s Texas chapters in sharing strategies for making college completion a top priority for community college students at a pre-conference event sponsored by Achieving the Dream.

Phi Theta Kappa presenters included Jeong Lee and Hanh Nguyen of North Lake College in Irving, Texas; Michael Navarro of Brookhaven College in Farmers Branch, Texas; and alumnus Candace Eldridge of Tarrant County College-Trinity River, who now serves as a chapter advisor.

Phi Theta Kappa member Michael Navarro of Brookhaven College, Farmers Branch,TX.

C4 Presenter Michael Navarro, Brookhaven College Chapter

Stanford provided background on Phi Theta Kappa’s partnership with other community college organizations and its prominent role in establishing the Community College Completion Corps website and resource materials to help the Society’s 1,280 chapters spread the word on the importance of college completion. She also discussed one of Phi Theta Kappa’s student development resources, the Five Star Competitive Edge professional development plan, which helps members strengthen their marketable skills to be more competitive for scholarships, transferring, and job placement.

Dr. Risley addressed Phi Theta Kappa’s transfer planning and scholarship search website that recently received a nearly $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to boost college completion and transfer rates.

MiVada Burris, a member of Phi Theta Kappa at Oakland Community College in Michigan, served as the keynote speaker during Tuesday’s Plenary Session. View her speech online at

Mia Ramos, who served as 2005-2006 Division I International Vice President for Phi Theta Kappa, was recently named Assistant Director of Programs for New Colleges for Achieving the Dream, Inc. Achieving the Dream is a national reform network dedicated to community college student success and completion, focused primarily on helping low-income students and students of color complete their education and obtain market-valued credentials.

“The student voice is such an important part of our efforts at Achieving the Dream; they are the reason we do what we do,” Ramos said. “It was truly inspiring to hear of the amazing work of Phi Theta Kappa students engaged in the C4 College Completion Initiative and of theircommitmentto not only their individual success, but the success of all students on their campuses.”

Report your completion events at and be featured on the Community College Completion Corps website.

Downloadable C4 toolkit materials to plan your event are available online at

Recommended Posts