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​Contact: Debra Dennis
214-378-1851; ddennis@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — Sept. 30, 2015

(DALLAS) — Students who graduate from college are happy, productive and more likely to vote and enter the workforce.

Mentors, tutors and faculty in the Dallas County Community College District are encouraging students to finish their degrees or certificates as part of a statewide effort called “Texas Completes.” All seven colleges as well as the DCCCD district office are participating in Commit to Complete Week, scheduled Oct. 12-16.

Students will sign pledges, talk to instructors and get help selecting classes. Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland colleges — plus the district’s downtown headquarters — also will offer advice to help students make it to the finish line.

Finishing school is a realistic goal that gives students a sense of satisfaction and sets the course for their financial and educational success, according to Anna Mays, associate vice chancellor for education policy at DCCCD.

A college degree is a marketable credential, and graduates may earn as much as $20,000 more annually than their nondegreed counterparts. “Our ultimate goal is for students to earn a living wage,” said Mays, who coordinates Texas Completes for DCCCD. “There is a skills gap, and we’re trying to make more students employable.”

In 2010, DCCCD joined other colleges in “Completion by Design,” an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that led to “Texas Completes.” Students are encouraged to sign nonbinding pledges that they will earn credit-hour milestones and meet graduation requirements that lead to certificates or associate degrees.

DCCCD has seen a 35 percent increase in certificate and degree completions from 2011 to 2014, Mays said. Professional development and financial assistance have gone a long way to help DCCCD students move forward through college. “The number one reason students have trouble completing college is finances,” Mays said. “That is a major barrier. Most of our students are part time. They work and have families to support. A lot of them drop out along the way, and that’s what we’re trying to prevent. ”

College graduates are more likely to contribute to society, run for office, vote, serve on boards and support charities. Completing college also improves chances for transfers to a four-year institution. These goals are tangible and give students a sense of achievement, Mays said. As educated, confident graduates, they are prepared not only to enter the competitive workforce but also remain employed.

College activities scheduled for DCCCD Commit to Complete Week 2015 are listed below by college and date:

Brookhaven College

Wednesday, Oct. 14 — Hosting a T-shirt event from 11:30 am. to 1:30 p.m. in the Commons Courtyard. Students are urged to pledge their commitment to finishing their degree or certificate.

Brookhaven is located at 3939 Valley View Lane in Farmers Branch/Dallas.

Cedar Valley College

Tuesday, Oct. 13 — The “I Commit Ceremony” is scheduled from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the courtyard.

Thursday, Oct. 15 — “Effective Job Search Strategies” presentation from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in B-111 (Building B).

Cedar Valley is located at 3010 N. Dallas Ave. in Lancaster.

Eastfield College

Tuesday, Oct. 13 — “Scholarships and Degree Planning” from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in room C-237A (C Building).

Thursday, Oct. 15 — Commitment Day is set from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in room C-135 (C Building).

Eastfield is located at 3737 Motley Drive in Mesquite.

El Centro College

Monday, Oct. 12 — Commit to Complete Kickoff takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Student Center with a Phi Theta Kappa membership drive. Other activities include recognition of faculty, advisors and staff members who have encouraged college completion.

Tuesday, Oct. 13 — “Student Success Workshop: Selecting a College Major,” 11 a.m to noon in B29 (B Building).

Friday, Oct. 16 – College Spirit T-shirt day.

El Centro is located at 801 Main St. in downtown Dallas.

Mountain View College

Wednesday, Oct. 14 — Guest speaker Emmanuel “Manny” Faz will address students in his presentation titled “Never Give Up!” The event will be held from 11:15 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. in the Treetop Lounge. Faz is a former department assistant and co-advisor for MVC’s Student Government Association.

Mountain View is located at 4849 W. Illinois Ave. in Dallas.

North Lake College

Tuesday, Oct. 13 — “Commit2Complete” takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at both the South Campus in Irving and North Campus in Coppell. Events will be held in the multi-purpose room at both locations.

North Lake’s main campus is located at 5001 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Irving; the South Campus is located at 1081 W. Shady Grove Road, also in Irving; and the North Campus’ address is 101 S. Royal Lane in Coppell.

Richland College

Monday, Oct. 12 — “Complete With Me Rally” from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in El Paso Hall.

Friday, Oct. 16 — Commit to Complete tables will be set up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the El Paso Lounge and Breezeway.

Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road in Dallas.

District Office

Wednesday, Oct. 14 — The District Office will hold a “Complete Rally” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Founders’ Foyer on the first floor of the district’s administration building, located at 1601 S. Lamar St. in south Dallas. The district honors students who are also employees.

Dallas Colleges Online

All week — Students may go online to DCCCD’s virtual campus and sign “Commit” forms. Students may also follow events on Facebook and Twitter.

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