Phi Theta Kappa Receives ACPA Student Development Technology Award

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Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has received the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Commission for Student Development Award for “Outstanding Use of Technology” for the organization’s combined completion initiatives – including CollegeFish.org, C4 (Community College Completion Corps) and Competitive Edge.

Jennifer Stanford, Patty Munsch, Directorate Chair, and Luke Davis

Jennifer Stanford, Patty Munsch, Directorate Chair, and Luke Davis

Staff members Jennifer Stanford, Dean of Service Learning, and Luke Davis, Chapter Relations Manager, accepted the award on behalf of Phi Theta Kappa during ACPA’s Annual Convention held at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville March 24-28.

Phi Theta Kappa recently received a grant of nearly $3 million to expand the online platform CollegeFish.org – a tool that can significantly increase both community college completion and senior college transfer rates. This highly interactive website aimed at facilitating credential completion and transfer, is being launched in five pilot states this year. The extensive database, which will offer profiles on more than 2,000 colleges and scholarships from a multitude of sources, is designed to be used in conjunction with traditional transfer advising to educate students, allow them to plan and make good transfer decisions. The site will also provide the sequence of tasks to be completed for transfer, a personal automatic calendar noting deadlines, and allow students to narrow their top transfer choices and communicate directly with admissions representatives at those institutions.

The Society developed the Community College Completion Corps, or C4, following the Call to Action in which the Phi Theta Kappa joined with six major higher education organizations serving community colleges for the common purpose of increasing degree and credential completion. This “army of scholars” has committed to educating community college students on the merits of completing a credential/degree, hosting pledge signing events, and serving as mentors to students at risk of dropping out.

The Competitive Edge online professional development plan, a benefit for Phi Theta Kappa members, includes access to instructional videos by experts on topics such as scholarship application, professional etiquette, and overcoming speech anxiety. The program also includes activities to strengthen "soft skills" such as communications and critical thinking, step -by-step instructions for creating a professional resume, and creation of an online portfolio that serves as a central location for posting leadership and service experience and the opportunity to share the portfolio with those writing letters of recommendation, potential employers, scholarship providers, college admissions officials and others.

The theme of this year’s ACPA Convention was “Create Possibilities.” See a list of all 2012 ACPA award winners online http://www2.myacpa.org/membership/acpa-awards/current-winners.

Davis was recently named a member of the Directorate for ACPA’s Commission for Student Development in the Two-Year College. Prior to joining the Phi Theta Kappa staff he worked in student affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Webster University in St. Louis. Davis attended Western Kentucky University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in social and behavioral sciences. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Education in adult and higher education with an emphasis in community college leadership at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Stanford recently earned a Master of Science in higher education with an emphasis on college teaching and learning from Kaplan University. Prior to her accepting her current position as Dean of Service Learning, she served as director of the chapter and regional programs departments of Phi Theta Kappa. Stanford earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi, and an Associate of Liberal Arts degree from Holmes Community College in Ridgeland, Mississippi, where she was inducted into the Alpha Lambda Sigma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

ACPA is headquartered in Washington, D.C. at the National Center for Higher Education, has nearly 7,500 members representing 1,200 private and public institutions from across the U.S. and around the world. ACPA members include graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in student affairs/higher education administration programs, faculty, and student affairs educators, from entry level to senior student affairs officers, and organizations and companies that are engaged in the campus marketplace.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,280 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, Peru, the Republic of Palau, 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.