Monday, October 1, 2012

Completing College

Wednesday, October 3rd is College Completion Day, and our Phi Theta Kappa chapter is hosting a number of activities on both the Utica and Rome campuses.  From 9am-4pm there will be a tent on the Utica quad and a display in the Rome PC atrium including a signing wall along with other activities, both fun and informative.   Our chapter is also asking all faculty and staff to wear a shirt from their alma mater that day as a conversation starter with students about your own college completion story.

My completion story is one of good fortune with guides and mentors along the way. The journey began with my parents who set college graduation as an expectation and supported me the entire way. My high school golf coach encouraged me to go to the local community college and helped me secure a scholarship to play golf. The faculty at Mott community college encouraged me to believe in myself and my academic potential and the golf coach there pointed me to Oakland University where I was able to “walk-on” the golf team and secure a scholarship. My resident assistant  encouraged me to become a resident assistant my senior year, which led to an internship in the Dean of Students office. The Dean (who is now the VP for Student Affairs at Fredonia) spoke so highly of the rewards of educational administration as a career, I applied to graduate school at the University of Michigan where I met a professor who has guided me in my career for more than twenty years and counting.

We so often think completing college is about the individual student – of course internal motivation and ability are essential.  However, my completion story is a series of guides and mentors who played very important roles in helping me get there – it’s parents, family, friends, faculty, staff that help light the way.  Finding good mentors requires one to be a good mentee by asking questions, listening to others, and synthesizing all the advice you get along the way while never veering from the goal of completion.  I always say my Ph.D. stands for Persistence humility and Determination.

I didn’t sign a pledge to complete board when I was a student like hundreds of MVCC students will on October 3rd,  but pledging to yourself and letting others know you are committed to complete will help others know you are serious.  If you’d like to learn more about why completing college is an important issue for individuals as well our entire country, I’ve included a short video from the head of Phi Theta Kappa International, Rod Risley - http://www.cccompletioncorps.org/

If you have any comments or questions on this post, please contact me at presblog@mvcc.edu.