The success of C4 has caught the attention of college presidents and community college state directors, and many states are coordinating statewide C4 activities to increase visibility of the importance of college completion and to showcase on a statewide level what community colleges are doing to increase student success.
College presidents and state directors working with their Phi Theta Kappa Regional Coordinator and chapters designate one entire week when all campuses will hold C4 events that promote and facilitate college completion. The statewide coordination of C4 activities culminates in the spring with C4 Press Conferences held in conjunction with the All-State Community College Academic Team ceremonies at their respective state capitols.
The following is a guideline for launching a statewide C4 initiative based on the success of initial programs. Each statewide initiative should be adapted to build upon existing student success initiatives and resources.
Form a C4 statewide steering committee. The C4 initiative should be lead primarily by the state director of the community college system/association working closely with the college presidents. Suggested committee members include the Phi Theta Kappa Regional Coordinator and representatives from the following associations/divisions: community college system/association; state’s community college presidents; academic/instructional; student development/services; public relations; career and technical education programs; developmental education; and online learning.
Responsibilities of the C4 statewide steering committee include:
- Setting goals and timeline for the program and communicating these to all colleges within the state.
- Developing and implementing strategy for engaging all students – day, evening, dually enrolled, and online.
- Developing and implementing strategy for engaging faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees as “Completion Champions.”
- Designating one week when all colleges will conduct C4 activities.
- Encouraging engagement of all college divisions – academic and career and technical education.
- Providing templates and deadlines for colleges to report goals and C4 activities.
- Implementing local and statewide public relations plan.
- Coordinating C4 press conference with the All-State Academic Team program at the state capitol.
PLAN LOCAL EVENTS
Utilize the COLLEGE PLANNING GUIDE.
Collect the main contacts from each community college in your state. Get the names and contact information of the Phi Theta Kappa chapter officers and advisors who are primarily responsible for coordinating C4 efforts. Obtain the schedule of C4 activities that each college will hold during the designated week. This will serve you well in coordinating site visits and promoting C4 to the media.
Identify friends and potential funders. Resources go a long way in making your effort successful, and partners add credibility to your cause. Are there organizations, legislators, businesses, senior colleges or others in your state that you can approach to get involved and support C4?
Seek regional support. Phi Theta Kappa Regional Coordinators can offer promotion via social media, the website, and e-mails to students, advisors, alumni and administrators. They can also hold events such as Honors in Action Conferences or Regional Conventions, aligned with your C4 events to highlight progress, offer panel discussions and hold college completion symposiums. In addition, Regional Coordinators can provide support to chapter advisors as well as recognition of outstanding C4 programs.
Engage the community college public relations and marketing professionals. Host a series of conference calls with the colleges’ public relations and marketing directors to seek their help in promoting the statewide initiative.
Invite VIPs to visit during your C4 events. Members of the state community college system/association, higher education policymakers, legislators, local elected officials, trustees, funders and partners may appreciate being invited to see what the students are doing to help improve completion rates at the college.
Plan a STATEWIDE Press Conference
Show your commitment to the college completion initiative. Plan a press conference to be held in conjunction with the All State Academic Team Ceremony at the state capitol. Chapters display their signed banners. Invite state educational leaders to speak to attendees and state legislators on the importance of college completion.