By JOE GIDDENS
Pima Community College Communications Department will stir your spirits to graduate by hosting the inaugural “Day of Inspiration” April 3.
Staff that teach all of Pima’s writing courses, foreign language and English as a Second Language will be donning graduation caps and gowns to raise awareness of the importance of finishing your studies.
Additionally, pizza and popcorn will be served and games will be played at the Downtown Campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“For me, A Day of Inspiration is really a day to kind of celebrate the idea that we are all here for the purpose of helping everyone to succeed and move forward through all the supports that we have at Pima Community College,” said Ken Chavez, Pima’s dean of communications.
Now is the time for students to start applying for scholarships for the fall and summer semesters. The Communications Department also aims to help students find the financial resources to help them pay for their higher education by providing information about scholarships at the event.
Another goal is to provide a platform for students, faculty and alumni to encourage students in their educational success with time set aside for speakers.
“When students hear about other students’ experiences, it becomes more real,” Chavez said. “And I think that’s very, very important for them because again, everyone’s story is different. And this whole idea that we come from this perfect society that we can be here and taking all of these courses without any life interferences is kind of a facade.”
Phi Theta Kappa is a major partner in the event. Since 2010, the group has pledged to increase community college completion rate to 50 percent.
“A Day of Inspiration” is based on a similar initiative at State University of New York at Buffalo. Students there that pledged to graduate in four years saw marked improvement over those who didn’t. Further, the school’s “Finish in 4” completion program is cited as a major reason that school’s graduation rate increased 20 percent over a decade, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
“I think just the visuals that the student is going to experience and we’ve got our faculty in their full regalia and just showing them that they are here and that they care and that this a partnership with advisers and faculty and students,” said Susan Kuenzler, program adviser of communications
Chavez’s plans are for Day of Inspiration to be an annual event that will rotate among campuses and to get another division or the entire college to wear their caps and gowns.
For those students who need incentive to study, Kuenzler offers a financial reminder.
“A student who completes in a shorter amount of time will have a lower amount of overall debt and can enter the workforce quicker,” she said.