Commit to Completion Day

PTK Pushes for Students to Finish Their Degree

| By Kimberly Harbison |

As classes finish and students file into the corridors, Dorothy Helmken ushers those enticed by snacks, posters, and their own curiosity, over to a computer. She explains to them how to complete a pledge, and has them sign the 4×8 ft. banner hanging taut in the atrium, before sending them on their way with pamphlets and candy.

Helmken is the current president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and it is the student leaders from PTK that set up the food, movie ticket and school supply giveaways, faculty thank you cards, instant advising, and transfer magazines for Warren County students over a four day period.

This was only one of countless similar events happening around the state, as it marked the mid-way of New Jersey College Completion week.

The Community College Completion Corps, or C4 as they advertise themselves, work to encourage and inspire students to finish their programs of study. They find this need to be pressing, as only an abysmal 39% of all community college students will complete their degree within six years. They hope events like this will help students make a solemn commitment to their education, and in some cases this attempt has been fruitful.

Helmken herself recalls her first campus event to be a similar college completion pledge. This was how she was initially introduced to the PTK, of which she would soon become inducted as a member. Afterwards, she would rise the ranks to secretary, and then to her current position of president- and she cites PTK and C4 as significant motivators for keeping her on the path to completion of her degree.

Ultimately, she says, “Getting involved (even on a small campus) is the best chance to succeeding in ‘extracurricular’s’ well as academics, and […] getting involved in your college community- that’s key.”

If you’re interested in similar events hosted by Phi Theta Kappa, look out for their Spring Instant Decision Transfer Day, and their upcoming workshops for finding scholarships and beginning your college search. For more information, questions, or comments about PTK or these events, contact, or




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