Center for Excellence Hosts 35 for CollegeFish.org Training

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Jackson, MS – Transfer advisors and Phi Theta Kappa chapter officers from 19 community colleges in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington attended a training session for Collegefish.org on June 11 at the Society’s Center for Excellence in Jackson, Mississippi.

35 participants attended the June 11 CollegeFish.org training conference at Phi Theta Kappa's Center for Excellence.

Collegefish.org, developed by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, is a highly interactive website aimed at facilitating credential completion and transfer. The extensive database offers profiles on more than 2,000 colleges and over $37 million in transfer scholarships and is designed to enhance transfer advising, connecting students to resources that allow them to plan for completion of their two-year degree and successful transfer to a senior college or university. The site also provides the sequence of tasks to be completed for transfer, as well as a personal automatic calendar noting deadlines. It also allows students to narrow their top transfer choices and communicate directly with admissions representatives at those institutions.

In 2012 the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation received support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to further enhance CollegeFish.org by institutionalizing use of the transfer tool in five states, with a total of 125 community colleges and 50 senior colleges.

Conferences have been held for community colleges and senior colleges selected to participate in the grant-funded project. Phi Theta Kappa CollegeFish training members serve as trainers during these conferences to help project colleges plan for the use of CollegeFish.org campus-wide and provide follow-up technical support.

According to Jennifer Blalock, Phi Theta Kappa’s Chief Student Support Officer, the purpose of the June 11 conference was to join new and returning two-year CollegeFish.org partners to share best practices and features of CollegeFish.org in a shared dialogue workshop.

Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director/CEO Dr. Rod Risley welcomed the group and shared the mission and vision for the program. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the various features of CollegeFish.org, including the Fishbowl, Online Toolkit, College Comparison, Course Planner, College Search, Scholarship 101, and much more.

"We plan to begin our awareness campaign for CollegeFish.org and upload our students this fall," said Kim Hemler, a counselor at South Florida State College. "I got some really good ideas at the conference."

Best practices for campus integration were shared by representatives of Bishop State, Lurleen B. Wallace, and Somerset Community Colleges. Senior College representatives from Eastern Kentucky University and Valparaiso University shared their approach to transfer recruitment with attendees.

The following colleges were represented by the 35 participants attending the training conference:

Bishop State Community College, Alabama

Calhoun Community College, Alabama

Gadsden State Community College, Alabama

Lurleen B. Wallace State Community College, Alabama

Miami Dade College, Florida

Tallahassee Community College, Florida

South Florida State College, Florida

Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana

Somerset Community College, Kentucky

College of Southern Nevada -West Charleston Campus, Nevada

Mohawk Valley Community College, New York

Westchester Community College, New York

Columbia Gorge Community College, Oregon

Tarrant County College, Texas

Whatcom Community College, Washington

“CollegeFish.org was designed to help community college students complete a credential and plan for successful transfer to senior colleges,” Dr. Risley said. “At the same time, it aids community colleges in reaching their goals of increasing student persistence, graduation and transfer rates to senior colleges; and assists senior colleges to effectively identify, advise and recruit community college transfer students.”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.