Online Membership Leads to 500 Percent Increase

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With Phi Theta Kappa member recruitment in full swing, your chapter has the opportunity to greatly increase its membership numbers. Trying new things is one of the best ways to gain big numbers, as advisor Jennifer Kattman found a few years ago when she introduced online member acceptance to her chapter. That one step led to big results: in just one year, induction numbers increased more than 500 percent.

Advisor Jennifer Kattman takes a pie in the face to raise funds for charity

Advisor Jennifer Kattman takes a pie in the face to raise funds for charity

The Beta Mu Zeta Chapter at Sierra College in California grew from 68 members in 2009 to 423 in 2010, earning five Pinnacle Scholarships and becoming one of the most engaged organizations on campus. The increased membership led to increased engagement as well, as the chapter began participating in regional and international meetings and programs.

The chapter added the online acceptance option as part of a recruiting program managed by Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters. The chapter leaders also worked with Headquarters to implement other recruitment strategies, displaying posters and distributing brochures multiple times during the year.

"What a wonderful opportunity," Kattman said.  "We did not allow online acceptance before that time. That has definitely caused a great increase in membership acceptance and serious reduction in my workload. I was processing all paper applications by hand every weekend!"

The increase in membership also boosted student success for Sierra students, Kattman said, including one member who was named a 2011 Hites Transfer Scholar and another who served as the Nevada/California Regional President. More members sought leadership roles, and the chapter began hosting Competitive Edge and CollegeFish.org workshops for new members. The increased membership also led to an increased visibility on campus.

"Membership in Phi Theta Kappa contributes to success in many areas," Kattman said. "First and foremost, membership makes them take pride in their academic achievements, which is a great motivator to continue to do well.

“Second, I see many of them making lifelong friends that they never would have met outside of Phi Theta Kappa. We have a very diverse group that most people would never think would have anything in common, yet they have a great deal in common and truly enjoy working and having fun together.

“Finally, after a student becomes a member and becomes active in our chapter, I've witnessed immense growth in leadership skills."

The chapter also became more social. Participation in the annual college fundraiser for the Diabetes Association drew in prospective members — and earned Kattman a pie in the face for charity.

"This shows students that honor society members have a lot of fun," she said.

Advisors, you can learn more about online acceptance and Headquarters recruiting opportunities from your designated Phi Theta Kappa contact, based on the division in which your chapter is located:

Associate Director of Regional and Chapter Development, Division I: Luke Davis

Key Services Consultant, Division I: Kim Wooten

Dean and Director of Regional and Chapter Development, Division II: Jeff Edwards

Key Services Consultant, Division II: Melissa Price

Associate Director of Regional and Chapter Development, Division III: Mia Ramos

Key Services Consultant, Divsion III: Paige Still

Associate Director of Regional and Chapter Development, Division IV: Dawneen Banks

Key Services Consultant, Division IV: Fredrica Packnett

Headquarters contacts are also found on the “HQ Contact” tab on the advisor dashboards at ptk.org.