Ed Forum Proposals Due Nov. 4

The deadline to submit Educational Forum proposals for PTK Catalyst 2017 is 5 p.m. CT on Friday, November 4.

Educational Forums are a staple of Phi Theta Kappa conventions; this year, we’re changing things up a bit, and we want you to be a part of it.

The majority of our Educational Forums at PTK Catalyst 2017 will be in a TED Talk-style format that last 30 minutes. Each session should include a short presentation, a collaborative activity and a group discussion.

There are two tracks: one on PTK Programs, and one on personal and professional development.

Advisors, we invite you to submit proposals for presentations. Members may be included as co-presenters. An advisor-based Proposal Review Committee will review the presentations.

Once their initial review is completed, Phi Theta Kappa staff will review the highest-rated proposals to finalize the selections that will ensure a comprehensive and balanced PTK Catalyst 2017 program. All those submitting a proposal will be notified of their stats by mid-December.

Below are some potential topics we’ve thought of for each track that may inspire you:

PTK Programs Track

Increasing Membership Acceptance
Honors in Action Project
College Project
Competitive Edge
C4 (Community College Completion Corps)
Scholarship Success
Creative Funding for Chapters and Regions
Motivating Members
Getting Engaged in Your Region

Personal/Professional Development Track

Leadership Skills — especially those using the Society’s Leadership Development Studies curriculum
Managing Conflict
Emotional Intelligence
Career Advice
Transferring to a Four-Year College
Professional Etiquette
Public Speaking
Utilizing Social Media
Computer Coding
Personal Finances
Healthy You (Managing Time, Managing Stress, Exercise/Nutrition, etc.)

Of course, we’re open to new ideas, and we want to hear from you. Submit your proposal now!

PTK Catalyst will be April 6-8, 2017, in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more, and start planning your trip. Registration will be opening soon!

Members Win #FreeCommunityCollegeStory Competition

Aaron “Ron” Lacambra, an officer in the Omega Phi Chapter at Broward College’s North Campus in Florida, is the winner of Heads Up America’s #FreeCommunityCollegeStory video competition and the $2,000 grand prize.

Lacambra submitted a powerful video about his journey from the Philippines to Florida, where he’s already kicking off his engineering career. He also used the video to express why we need free community college. Watch it here.

Mark Lopez, a member of the Beta Tau Alpha Chapter at Long Beach City College (LBCC) in California, placed third in the competition and received a $100 Amazon gift card. His video detailed his experience benefitting from the Long Beach College Promise, which offers graduates of the Long Beach Unified School District a tuition-free semester at LBCC. Check out his video.

The Instagram-based competition was hosted by Heads Up America, the grass-roots movement to spread the word about the value of community college and to support America’s College Promise. Students were encouraged to share their community college story in a one-minute video, upload it to Instagram and tag @HeadsUpAmerica.

Nineteen videos were submitted. The public voted on their favorites October 3-9 — more than 6,000 votes were cast — and winners were announced October 17. The $500 second-place prize was awarded to Muhammad Hamideh.

Phi Theta Kappa has joined more than 100,000 people who have pledged their support for America’s College Promise through the Heads Up America campaign. Throughout the country, more than 9 million students stand to benefit from the success of the Heads Up movement.

Hallmark Awards to Expand Recognition in 2017

It’s almost that time of year again — for your chapter to enter the Hallmark Awards competition and receive recognition for all your hard work!

While there are no major changes to the Hallmark Awards program, minor adjustments have been made to allow more chapters and regions to be competitive in this process.

For the first time, in 2017 the number of College Project Awards will double, from 25 to 50, allowing twice as many chapters to be recognized.

Also Regional Coordinators can nominate up to two regional officers (previously this number was unlimited) for the Distinguished Regional Officer Award. Coordinators may still nominate the entire Regional Officer Team for the Regional Officer Team Award, in addition to submitting up to two officers for Distinguished Regional Officer Award.

Finally, to better balance the criteria for Distinguished Chapter rankings (averaging the scores of both Honors in Action and College Project), the number of total points assigned to the College Project Award will increase from 45 total points to 85. This is a testament to the increasing strength and impact of the College Projects, which encourages a positive, cohesive relationship between the college and the chapter.

Since Honors in Action remains a much more comprehensive project, it will continue to have a potential score of 115 total points.

The Hallmark Awards entry forms for Honors in Action Project Award, College Project Award and the four Administrator Award categories are now open online at my.ptk.org. The remaining Individual Award Categories for members, officers and advisors will be available soon.

The following are deadlines for the 2017 Hallmark Awards competition — all entries must be submitted online by 5 p.m. CT:

Administrator Awards – December 7, 2016
Individual Awards (Member, Officer, Advisor) – January 11, 2017
Chapter Awards (Honors in Action/College Project) – January 25, 2017

We encourage you to utilize the entry process to demonstrate what your chapter has accomplished and hone writing and presentation skills which will be helpful now, and in years to come.

Welder Finds Skills, Family in Phi Theta Kappa

Kegan Forrester was looking for a way to get more involved with fellow students at Linn-Benton Community College in Oregon. In Phi Theta Kappa, he found this and more, including leadership and travel opportunities and skills to help in his chosen career of welding.

After high school, Forrester went to work on a farm. He liked his job, but he knew a college education would bring him more success in life. He enrolled in college as a criminal justice major but became discouraged when college-level math challenged him. He dropped out and returned to the farm.

His bosses saw his potential and encouraged him to try again. This time, Forrester went the technical route. He’d enjoyed welding in high school, so the welding program at Linn-Benton seemed a good choice.

“Welding has it’s own core classes, including both math and writing for welders, which helped me to connect and understand it better,” he said in a story on Linn-Benton’s website.

Forrester is one of thousands of Phi Theta Kappa members in a workforce, career or technical field. They don’t often join the Society for the transfer scholarships; instead, they’re looking for benefits that can help them get and succeed at a job.

A 2015 report by Deloitte Development LLC and The Manufacturing Institute shows that over the next 10 years, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled. Knowing that employers value skills such as leadership, verbal communication and the ability to work in a team, Phi Theta Kappa offers free, online, self-paced programs like Competitive Edge for all members.

Gaining these preferred job skills can be as simple as serving on a committee within your chapter. Forrester served as chapter vice president, which led to him traveling to regional and international conferences, meeting people from around the world, speaking in front of his chapter and working with a team of officers.

“What I got out of being involved in PTK [was] mostly a great set of new skills — leadership, teamwork, speaking to groups and much, much more,” he said. “I also made new friends…not just friends, but a new sort of family I’d say.”

Forrester, a first-generation college student, earned his degree in welding with honors and landed a job in the aerospace industry. He’s also pursuing an associate degree in policing and law enforcement.

“I had no plan to go to a four-year school, but since I have been involved in PTK I know that I have a family to return to if I go back,” he said.

Photo by Lori Fluge-Brunker, Linn-Benton Community College

2017 Transfer Honor Roll to Highlight Best Colleges for Transfer Students

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Honor Roll. This designation recognizes the top four-year colleges and universities for community college transfer.

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. CT on December 16. This national recognition program is open to all regionally accredited baccalaureate degree-granting institutions.

“The Transfer Honor Roll identifies colleges and universities that understand the unique needs of community college transfer students,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO. “With this designation, we hope to connect community college students with institutions that value their unique transfer experience and prioritize their success.”

There are five areas of evaluation, as determined by the latest research regarding support for community college transfer students:

1. Institutional Partnerships and Community College Collaboration
2. Pre-Transfer Institutional Support: Outreach, Admissions and Access
3. Post-Transfer Student Engagement and Support
4. Community College Data Tracking and Institutional Priorities
5. Transfer Innovations

Winners will be notified the first week of February 2017. The top-scoring institutions will receive the following:

  • A Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Honor Roll Award Press Kit
  • National recognition through various media channels
  • Use of the official Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Honor Roll Seal for marketing and promotion
  • Inclusion and recognition in the 2017 Phi Theta Kappa Partners in Excellence publication, which is distributed to higher education leaders nationally
  • Phi Theta Kappa website, press release and social media acknowledgement
  • 8.5×11 certificate of recognition

Learn more and apply today. Email ptktransferhonors@ptk.org with questions.

View the 2016 honorees here.

Pearson Announces Student Advisory Board Members

Pearson Higher Ed has announced the 15 new members of its Student Advisory Board (PSAB) for 2016, and five of them are Phi Theta Kappa members.

Phi Theta Kappa members named as 2016 members of the PSAB include:

· Brendan Bennett – Lorain County Community College, Ohio
· Amanda Condon – Arkansas Tech University, Arkansas
· Ekeme Ekanem – Los Angeles Pierce College, California
· Juliet Mwirigi – University of Texas at Dallas, Texas
· Carmel Wright – University of California-Los Angeles, California

The application for the 2017 Pearson Student Advisory Board opens on November 11.

The PSAB is comprised of undergraduate students seeking to implement change and impact college classrooms across the country and world. Board members work directly with Pearson executives and product development teams to make real changes to products and services that in turn affect student success.

The application for the 2017 Pearson Student Advisory Board opens on November 11, learn more at their website, and read more about the newly-selected members here.

Phi Theta Kappa International Officers Present at ACCT Leadership Congress

Phi Theta Kappa International Officers Sara Hwang, Division I Vice President, and Alexa Greer, Division IV Vice President, joined Mia Ramos-Shirley, Division III Associate Director of Regional and Chapter Development, in a presentation during a special session of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Leadership Congress in New Orleans on October 6.

In their session on Phi Theta Kappa, “Creating Student Success,” the three discussed why Phi Theta Kappa members are much more likely to complete a degree than their peers, although both groups face the same social, academic and financial challenges.

ACCT represents more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. ACCT educates community and technical college trustees through annual conferences focused on leadership development and advocacy, such as the Leadership Congress.

Phi Theta Kappa also sponsored the ACCT Leadership Congress Membership Luncheon. During the luncheon program, Sara and Alexa recognized each Phi Theta Kappa Region for its unique identity and accomplishments. They also thanked the community college trustees and presidents and asked for continued support of the chapters at their colleges.