CCAC Program Aims to Turn Credits into Credentials

Mar 10, 2013

Monday marks the kick-off of a Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) initiative that highlights the benefits of earning college degree over college credits.  The Commit to Complete program is part of a larger challenge stemming from the White House and several national organizations including the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Mary Frances Archey, CCAC's Vice President for Student Success and Completion, said the Commit to Complete program targets students with a good amount of college credits, but who have not indicated which degree they want to earn.

"We do not automatically award credentials," Archey said.  "So this is an attempt to get our honors students involved in kind of informing the rest of the student body about the benefits of having a college degree."

Archey said when employers ask potential employees about their highest level of education, it's better to cite a degree over completed college courses.

"One of the advantages is to be able to document for potential employers or for any other reason that you have to need to show your educational level that you have been consistent in pursuing a program of study that is a consolidated curriculum."

But Archey said there's one subject that primarily deters students from earning a college degree.

"One word, mathematics," Archey said.  "Nationally, the single most pressing stumbling block for students is to complete their mathematics at a college level."