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How to Enter

Community college “completion” has many definitions and interpretations. Ideally, entries will focus on degree or certificate completion, but may focus on any or all of the following: 

  • Completion of a community college degree
  • Completion of a community college certificate
  • Completion of a student’s own educational goals, even if those goals do not include a community college degree or certificate (for example, earning transfer credits, professional development, personal interest)

All entries must include the following:  

  1. the finished product or products
  2. a typed, 300-600 word description of how that finished product or products will be used
  3. a completed Official Entry Form (one form for each entry).  

The Finished Product
Many public service announcement contests have specific time lengths for video and audio entries (for example, exactly 30 or 60 seconds). For Motivate to Complete, video and audio entries must be at least 60 seconds in length. All other styles and formats do not have minimum requirements. Keep in mind that entries are judged on their potential to inspire college students to attain their educational goals. As you decide on style, length, and depth of your entry, make choices that help maximize that inspiration.    

Requirements and Suggestions for Entries
Video and Audio Entries: Finished video must be at least 60 seconds in length, but no more than five minutes in length. (A series of short videos must equal at least 60 seconds.) Finished video does not have to be of professional production quality, although production value will be considered by the judges.  

Text-based Entries: Consider creating a series of text-based messages versus just a single message. Again, entries will be judged on their potential to inspire and motivate. Assume that a series of original poems, short stories, text messages, “tweets,” “snaps” or catch phrases will probably be judged more favorably than just one. If you can write one inspirational Haiku, imagine how inspiring eight or ten might be!  

Photography: Photography can certainly influence our thoughts and actions in positive ways. If you choose original photography as your medium, consider embedding written messages of inspiration within your photography.

Graphic Design: Print advertisements, posters, websites, “branded” items, billboard designs, video games, etc. are all welcomed. As with photography, make sure that your designs balance the verbal and visual in ways that inspire college students to attain their goals.

Other Formats: Spring 2015 is the first edition of Motivate to Complete. You may have ideas for formats and styles that are not listed above. If you would like to discuss those ideas before you proceed, please contact Contest Coordinator Larry Modaff, Professor of Communications, at (630) 466-2390, or   

Written Description of How the Finished Product Will Be Used
The written description should articulate the strategy or strategies for using the finished product(s). This description must be in 12-point type, be 300—600  words in length and include the following information:

  • WHEN and HOW OFTEN during a semester the finished product would be used.  
  • HOW and WHERE the finished product would be “delivered” to students. In other words, what specific medium or media will be used (for example, through a specific social media venue, a hallway poster, text messages, a specific location on campus) 
  • Rationale on HOW and WHY your finished product and choice of media will work to inspire students to attain their educational goals. Entrants are encouraged (but not required) to use data to support their rationale. (Include informal citations of data sources that were used. Authors, name of publication or website, and date of information is sufficient. Citations are NOT included in the word count.) 
  • Names and X-numbers of all entrants at the top of the first page of the written description. (Identifying information is also not included in the word count.)
  • Other than the requirement to answer the questions listed above, the format and style of the written description is up to the entrant(s).  

The written descriptions will be used by judges to evaluate the potential inspiration that the finished products will create. Put some thought and creativity into your description, as it could be the deciding factor.