September 26, 2013
Herkimer County Community College will hold Commit to Complete Day on Tuesday, October 1 as their way of participating in New York State Completion Week, an initiative of all 37 community colleges in New York state, which have a combined enrollment of 340,300.*
The 30 State University of New York (SUNY) and seven City University of New York (CUNY) community colleges have set aside the week of Sept. 30, to send a simple message: Students who complete an associate degree have better prospects for jobs, scholarships and transfer to four-year schools.
The state’s community colleges have adopted the slogan of “Commit. Complete. Compete.” to emphasize the importance of completing a degree to compete in today’s economy. The New York State Labor Department projects that middle-skill and high-skill jobs will continue to dominate the economy, accounting for 44 and 34 percent of the jobs in 2018, respectively.
Middle-skill jobs are those that require training after high school, from short-term job training up to a two year degree. High-skill jobs require a four-year degree or better. New York’s community colleges are positioned to both train students for middle-skill jobs and prepare them for transfer to a four-year institution. In fact, New York residents who transfer directly from a SUNY or CUNY two-year college after completing an associate degree are guaranteed entry to a four-year SUNY college. (Source: SUNY Transfer Guarantee Program Guidelines, Document Number: 3303)
New York’s public two-year schools have each planned multiple Completion Day events. These include campaigns asking students to sign a pledge to complete their degree or certificate program.
Since many community college students are the first-generation to attend college, campuses will hold resource fairs to provide information about academic, advisement and financial support services that can help students reach their goals.
Herkimer’s Commit to Complete Day will include a celebratory event from 12:30-1:20 p.m.in the Robert McLaughlin College Center. President Ann Marie Murray will talk with students about the satisfaction of completing a degree, specifically the benefits of completing an associate’s degree. Speakers will include Adam Lisser, a military veteran currently enrolled in Herkimer’s Criminal Justice: Cybersecurity program, and Katie Maneen, of Frankfort, a 2011 graduate of the Communication Arts: New Media program who continued her education at Utica College and now works in the advertising department at the Observer Dispatch. Dean of Students Matthew Hawes will discuss perseverance and motivation and Dean of Academic Affairs Michael Oriolo who will discuss academic support. Twelve alumni will participate in an Alumni Showcase, in which they explain how completing their degrees made a real difference in their lives and careers. A Commit to Complete banner signing for all students and faculty/staff who haven’t signed before will be held, as well as some fun activities including a photo booth where students can imagine themselves as a graduate and a special “Commit To Complete” cake. Events are open to the public free of charge.
* Fall 2012 enrollment data, SUNY (243,831) and CUNY (96,500) combined