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Kahului, HI — March 19, 2014 — Today over a hundred students signed a pledge to complete their degree or certificate during an event hosted by UHMC’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society outside the campus’ Paʻina building. The drive was part of the national Phi Theta Kappa’s “Commit to Complete” initiative as well as the UHCC System’s “Agree to Degree” campaign to honor one of the most important commitments a student can make –finishing college.

The national “Commit to Complete” campaign states that in less than five years, 65 percent of all new jobs will require a postsecondary credential. And according to the Census Bureau, over an adult’s working life, high school graduates earn an average of $1.2 million; associate’s degree holders earn about $1.6 million, earning them $400,000 more than someone with just a high school diploma.

“Because degree completion is shown to drastically improve people’s lives, it is a high priority within the UHCC System and nationwide,” said Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Advisor, Emma White.

Members of the UHMC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa serve as the student arm of The Community College Completion Corps – a national education initiative. 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 over the next decade. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society was the only student organization asked to participate, and it launched the community College Completion Corps in response to this call.

The UHCC System launched their “Agree to Degree” campaign last fall to encourage students to: promise to attend their classes; get good grades; check their UH email at least once a day; talk to instructors when having difficulty; meet with counselors when having academic or personal issues; and commit to making education a priority in their lives.

For more information about the event held at UHMC, contact Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Advisors: Emma White (ehw@hawaii.edu) or Ellen Peterson (epeterso@hawaii.edu).