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Ready, Set, Goal!

No goal? No problem! Chapters can set and update their Five Star Chapter Goals at any time throughout the calendar year. Even this late in the game, your chapter can still set and reach a goal. So let's go!

The great thing about the Five Star Chapter Plan is that many of the activities in which a chapter regularly participates - like organizing a membership drive, holding twice-monthly meetings and reporting new chapter officers to Headquarters - count toward your progress. Even the act of setting a Five Star goal helps you fulfill part of the plan. It's that easy!

"In the same way that classroom instructors provide students with a syllabus at the beginning of each semester, Phi Theta Kappa provides chapters with the Five Star Chapter Plan, which serves as a blueprint for success," said Courtney Lange, Phi Theta Kappa Director of Regional and Chapter Development.

Lange explained that the Five Star Chapter Plan not only serves as a foundation for chapter success, but it also contributes directly to student success.

"It's common knowledge that students who are engaged and active on their campus are more likely to succeed and complete their course of study," she said.

In 2010 the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) outlined five Benchmarks for Effective Educational Practice proven to be powerful contributors to effective teaching, learning and student retention: active and collaborative learning, student effort, academic challenge, student-faculty interaction and support for learners. The Five Star Chapter Plan meets all five benchmarks, often in multiple ways.

  • The plan promotes involvement on campus and in the community through recruitment, the College Project and the Honors in Action Project, which includes writing and research. CCCSE Benchmarks: Active and Collaborative Learning, Academic Challenge, Student-Faculty Interaction and Student Effort
  • The plan encourages engagement with other chapters through attendance of Regional and International Conventions. CCCSE Benchmarks: Student-Faculty Interaction, Student Effort, Support for Learners
  • Participation in the plan encourages excellence, recognizes attained goals set by the chapter and enhances the chapter's working relationship with the college administration. CCCSE Benchmarks: Active and Collaborative Learning, Student-Faculty Interaction, Student Effort, Support for Learners

"The Five Star Plan does more than award chapters for involvement and engagement," Lange said. "It actually creates stronger members, which results in stronger chapters and more robust college campuses."

If Phi Theta Kappa considers your chapter to be active, then chances are good that you've already completed the One Star Level. There are only three requirements: organize a membership recruitment campaign, submit the Chapter Annual Report to Headquarters, and have your chapter's bylaws approved by and on file with Headquarters.

"We know our chapters are doing wonderful things. Now, we want to make sure they get credit for them," Lange said. "Set your chapter's Five Star goal, and tell us about the great things that are happening in the life of your local chapter."

You must fulfill all requirements in a level to consider it completed. Likewise, just as each level builds on the one before it, you must fulfill all requirements for the highest level reached and all levels before it to receive recognition.

However, you can work on multiple Five Star levels at the same time. Requirements for each level are detailed in the Chapter Leaders' Guide to Success and at ptk.org/fivestar/requirements.

The deadline to submit Five Star Chapter Plan updates for 2014 activities is January 28, 2015. Find a list of Five Star FAQ's here. And then the plan begins again.

"Every chapter begins anew every calendar year, allowing chapters to have a fresh start and a challenging goal year after year," said Jennifer Stanford, Phi Theta Kappa's Chief Student Engagement Officer. "Participation at every level of the Five Star Plan is critical to fulfilling our mission, which is why we encourage all chapters to participate at the level that fits them best each year."



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