Kutztown University Establishes PTK Transfer Scholarship

We’re excited to highlight one of our newest transfer scholarship partners, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, in this new Q&A feature! Find even more transfer opportunities exclusively for Phi Theta Kappa members at CollegeFish.org.

Q: Tell us about your college’s new transfer scholarship for members of Phi Theta Kappa.

A: The Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship is awarded to eight incoming transfer students who exhibit promising academic performance and ability to participate in Kutztown University’s Honors program as evidenced by a 3.25 or higher transfer GPA at the time of application.

Selected students will receive a $1,000 scholarship for their first year of full-time undergraduate enrollment at Kutztown University ($500 will be awarded for the first year of part-time undergraduate enrollment). The award is non-renewable. This award is available only for fall and spring courses.

Interested students should complete the scholarship application online prior to May 1 (students applying after May 1 will be considered if funds are available). Minimum enrollment of six credits per semester required.

Q: Are there other transfer scholarships that could be stacked with your Phi Theta Kappa award? If so, please explain.

A: Transfer students from out of state receive a tuition discount of 40 percent, which is a savings of about $7,200 per year.

And, transfer students who have already received an associate degree prior to attendance at KU will receive a $500 one-time Book Award for the Campus Bookstore.

Q: What other opportunities are available for transfer students at your institution to assist them in successfully transitioning from community college?

A: Transfer students are provided with a Transfer Credit Evaluation shortly after they are admitted showing classes that transfer into KU.

We offer several transfer orientations throughout the year where students will meet with faculty for advisement and class registration.

We have a designated staff member in the Center for Academic Success and Achievement (CASA) to assist transfer students with their transition and to connect them with campus resources to support their academic success.

We offer a Reverse Transfer Program for students who begin their studies at a community college in Pennsylvania and then transfer to Kutztown University and earn at least 60 total credits. They may then apply for an associate degree from the community college where they started.

Q: In your opinion, what is one of the more impressive things about your college?

A: Our students have strong character and are willing to work hard to realize their potential. And through one-on-one attention, we are able to fuel that growth.

Q: Are there any special events or deadlines on your recruitment calendar that you would like to share?

A: Kutztown University has rolling admissions but has preferred application deadlines of June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. Apply online at kutztown.edu/apply and check out kutztown.edu/transfer for more information about criteria, tracking your application, credit evaluations, FAQs, and more.

We also offer transfer information sessions. Register for an event at kutztown.edu/visit.

Why Community College was a Perfect Fit for Me

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Faviolanny Rath, an alumna of the Beta Tau Alpha Chapter at Long Beach City College in California.

In high school, I barely gave any thought to what I would do immediately after I graduated. I knew that I wanted to go to college and be something big; however, the ambition just wasn’t there.

Since my parents didn’t go to college, the only goal I really had was to do better than them. And since they never attended college or knew anything about it, I didn’t have any guidance back at home.

If I didn’t have a reason for myself, then what would be the point of attending college? It wasn’t until I saw a flyer at my high school’s career center, which said upon attending Long Beach City College, my first semester’s tuition would be paid for. And even though the other students felt they had worked too hard to attend a community college, I felt it was the perfect decision for me.

Factors I Considered: Money, Proximity, and Community

Coming from a low-income family, the first thing I considered was money. I would save money by living at home, working over the summer, and taking public transportation. I did the math for all the schools that I received acceptances to and, of course, going to community college was ideal for me.

Long Beach City College was offering a tuition-free semester upon mutual acceptance. Since I was (and currently still am) a financial aid recipient, I received extra money that allowed me to quit my job if juggling work and academia became too difficult.

Proximity was also important to me. I wasn’t ready to leave my family, and they weren’t ready for me to leave either. I had to think about how I’d receive physical and emotional support from them. Unfortunately, they do not have the flexibility of calling off work to visit me or the spending money to purchase a plane ticket.

Finally, and, in my humble opinion, the most important thing I considered was community.

Many students are pressured to attend top colleges without learning about the communities those colleges encompass. At Long Beach City College, I knew there was going to be diversity in races, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, age—you name it. The classroom sizes were smaller, so every teacher knew my name and when I was absent.

I immediately bonded with people who were in the same clubs and programs as me. If my peers and I differed in our roots, we found unity in our goals; and if we differed in our goals, then our roots brought us back together.

Even now, I could always rely on the unconditional support from my peers, professors, and administration. Long Beach City College was and still is my family. They taught me how to fly, and I ended up landing in the university I attend today, the University of California, Berkeley.

Transitioning from Community to Competition

When I received my acceptance to the “number one public university in the world,” how could I say no? I knew things would be different, but I believed I could get through by using the same study habits and utilizing the abundance of resources the university had to offer.

I won’t lie; transitioning was tough. No one knew me or my story. But I soon found a (small) community and a pool of friends who I would find comfort in, even if it’s not as holistic as I’m accustomed to.

I am proud to be a part of this community that strives to change the world for the better. The university experience has been more competitive than I thought, but I credit the experiences I’ve had here because I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. I met fierce, zealous, and ridiculously smart individuals who have pushed, inspired, and empowered me to never settle for less.

What will you decide?

My advice to anyone who is making college decisions—visit the campuses, find an opportunity that will allow you to mingle with other prospective students, and look beyond the school’s reputation to ensure it’s a good fit.

Consider things like how the staff will support you. Ask questions: Is there a balance between meeting people who are like-minded and meeting people who will change your perspectives? Will you feel like you have a healthy relationship with your campus?

It doesn’t need to feel like home, per se, but it should make you feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. Having that sense of home at my community college is really what gets me feeling like I can do anything, and that’s what Long Beach City College did for me.

Faviolanny Rath is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in psychology. She blogs and shares tips on travel via social media.

Like what you read? Share, like, and comment. Follow Faviolanny on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or reach out to her at: faviolannyrath@berkeley.edu.

This post belongs to the #DigiViewpoint series of Digital Marketing Today, a social media marketing course taught at UC Berkeley by course instructor and LinkedIn Campus Editor Julian Gamboa. #StudentVoices #TheDecision

Finding Family through Scholarship & Mentorship

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Daniel Owusu, a 2016 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education Scholar and a member of the Alpha Iota Omicron Chapter at Westchester Community College in New York. It originally appeared on the Pearson Students blog and is reprinted here with their permission.

Thanks to the United States Diversity Visa lottery, I had the opportunity to travel for the first time outside my motherland, Ghana, after 23 years. From a family of four boys and a single parent, I was the only one that made the trip to the United States of America.

Back in Ghana, my friends and I had formed a volunteer group to help educate our village on how to get potable water from the river. We took them through a simple water purification process by boiling the river water, cooling it, and then filtering it.

We also initiated a youth communal labor group to promote good sanitation and health in the community. This experience motivated me to pursue a career in the health field so that I will not only educate people to live healthy lives, but also provide healthcare to those who are ill.

When I came to the United States in 2014, I had assistance for accommodation courtesy of a family friend. With this support, I was able to get employment at a retail store. My benefactor went through some challenging moments. As such, the accommodation support was terminated, and I had to find an apartment for myself.

This was very challenging because I was working part time and wasn’t making enough to provide for my accommodations and other basic needs, not to mention providing assistance to my family back home. I started working two jobs to meet my needs and that of the family back home.

When I traveled to the states, it was my dream to start college as a first-generation college student to motivate my siblings to aim for higher education. Due to my financial challenges, I had to wait for a year before I could attend a college.

In fall 2015, I applied and was admitted to Westchester Community College (WCC) in Valhalla, New York. It was my career goal to become a physician; but looking at my circumstances, I thought of pursuing a career that would take less duration and wouldn’t cost as much to pursue.

After taking my placement test and meeting with my academic counselor, Ellen Zendman, she challenged me not to look at the short-term impact of pursuing my ideal goal but to focus on the long-term effect it would have not just on my but my family and my country as a whole. After deliberating on her suggestion, I decided to go for the ultimate shot and pursue a degree in liberal arts and science with the sole aim of going to medical school.

I must admit taking this path has been very challenging in that I had to stop working two jobs and stick with one. To continue to support my family and myself, I had to be full time with both work and school. This adversely affected my academic performance.

I resolved to work fewer hours to have time for school, but this resulted in financial difficulties. Thanks to the WCC Foundation scholarship and the PTK Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education, some of my basic needs are met and now, with the few hours I work at my job, I am able to provide for some of my needs and that of my family back home.

My academic performance is improving, and I currently hold a GPA of 3.95. I know only the sky will be my limit as I persevere to achieve my career goal of becoming a physician.

I am grateful for the support I have received from my church, WCC faculty, and the fellow Ghanaians I have encountered because, without them, life here in the United States would have been very unbearable.

Receiving the Pearson Scholarship has been very instrumental in my academic performance in that it has helped me acquire my academic materials and assisted me with my tuition. Some of my academic needs are now met, so I can work fewer hours at my job and still meet my other needs.

With this scholarship, I now have adequate time to study and do my assignments, ultimately improving my grades. The scholarship also affords me ample time to get involved with extracurricular activities on campus, including tutoring and volunteer exercises.

The mentoring aspect of the Pearson scholarship has been a very useful instrument for my academic success. I feel privileged to be paired with Ramona Elmer, my mentor, who has been very encouraging and supportive all this while. Our weekly connections help us keep up with each other. Ramona is always there for me, ready to talk about everything from academics and personal life issues to reviewing my essays and suggesting solutions to problems I present to her.

To me, the mentorship is a great component of the scholarship. Knowing at the back of your mind that you have someone who is willing to ensure your success, not just in academics but other endeavors, is very relieving. My mentor makes me feel very special, and I must say this is more than just a mentorship; we are a family.

Apply for the Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education through Phi Theta Kappa’s Spring Scholarship Application. The deadline is May 2.

Join Us at NISOD for an Advisor Pre-Conference

Phi Theta Kappa is once again partnering with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) to host a pre-conference training opportunity for Phi Theta Kappa advisors. NISOD, an organization committed to promoting excellence in teaching, learning and leadership at community and technical colleges, hosts an annual conference every May in Austin, Texas.

This event will help advisors to be better-equipped for their Phi Theta Kappa leadership roles while also enjoying a discounted rate to participate in the full NISOD Conference, May 27–30 at the Hilton Austin.

There is no charge for the Advisor Pre-Conference, which will be held Sunday, May 28, from 10 am-4 pm. Advisors are not required to register for the full NISOD Conference in order to attend the Pre-Conference.

“This two-in-one professional development opportunity allows advisors to be better-prepared Phi Theta Kappa advisors while also furthering their educational skills at the NISOD Conference,” said Jennifer Stanford, Phi Theta Kappa’s Associate Vice President of Student Engagement. “While the Advisor Pre-Conference will especially benefit new advisors, any advisor may attend.”

Space is limited and advance registration is required no later than May 19, 2017.

If a waiting list is necessary for the Advisor Pre-Conference, preference will be given to advisors who have never attended an Advisor Institute/Pre-Conference.

The Advisor Pre-Conference will cover the following topics:

  • Promoting Pathways: Transfer and Career-Ready Through Phi Theta Kappa Membership
  • Honors in Action & College Projects: College & Community Collaborations
  • Online Chapter Management Tools for Advisors
  • Why Reach for REACH Rewards?
  • From Good to Great: Transformational Student Leadership

While attendance of the full NISOD Conference isn’t required to attend the Advisor Pre-Conference, advisors are sure to benefit from the special sessions focusing on the latest trends and challenges in the community college arena.

The NISOD Excellence Award recipients will also be honored during the conference. Twenty-three Phi Theta Kappa advisors will receive this award:

Paul Buchanan, Gamma Omicron Chapter, Kilgore College, TX

Ragan Chastain, Sigma Lambda Chapter, Calhoun Community College, AL

Alison Davis, Beta Nu Upsilon Chapter, Pitt Community College, NC

Sylvia de Hoyos, Alpha Pi Iota Chapter, Palo Alto College, TX

Amy de la Zerda, Alpha Zeta Epsilon Chapter, Pasco-Hernando State College, FL

Danielle “Dani” DuCharme, Phi Omicron Chapter, Waubonsee Community College, IL

Candace Eldridge, Alpha Zeta Eta Chapter, North Lake College, TX

Dr. Margaret Emblom-Callahan, Tau Nu Chapter, Northern Virginia Community College, VA

Dr. Nicole Grose, Alpha Mu Tau Chapter, Collin College, TX

Roxanne Hill, Omega Kappa Chapter, Vernon College, TX

Jeremy Hinck, Beta Epsilon Mu Chapter, South Texas College, TX

Stacie Kyhn, Alpha Theta Delta Chapter, Central Arizona College, AZ

Darrell Lagace, Alpha Alpha Alpha Chapter, Zane State College, OH

Ronald Layne, Alpha Upsilon Eta Chapter, Asheville–Buncombe Technical Community College, NC

Erika Lytle, Alpha Upsilon Eta Chapter, Asheville–Buncombe Technical Community College, NC

Amy MacPherson, Rho Pi Chapter, Phoenix College, AZ and Arizona Regional Coordinator

Stephanie Meadows, Alpha Eta Phi Chapter, Halifax Community College, NC

Lee Miller, Beta Phi Eta Chapter, Barton Community College, KS

Kara Neely, Lambda Iota Chapter, Olive-Harvey College, IL

Robert “Bob” Nottebart, Zeta Xi Chapter, Wharton County Junior College, TX

Laura Ramirez Cruz, Theta Theta Chapter, Laredo Community College, TX

Derk Riechers, Alpha Chi Pi Chapter, Florence–Darlington Technical College, SC

Jason Scheller, Omega Kappa Chapter, Vernon College, TX

“We are so proud of these outstanding advisors for being recognized for their hard work and dedication to their students and colleges,” Stanford said. “We hope that as many of our advisors as possible will take advantage of the professional development available through the NISOD Conference while they are in Austin for our Pre-Conference.”

PTK Catalyst is Over…So Now What?

PTK Catalyst is Over…So Now What?

If you are like me, you left PTK Catalyst 2017 energized and ready to take on the world; but after laundry and catching up on a few hundred emails, I am already beginning to ease back into daily life.

It’s easy to lose momentum, and I don’t want you to forget your commitments made for future chapter, regional or international officer candidacy; Hallmark Award domination; and strengthening the impact of PTK on your campus and in your community.

Over the course of my own 25-year career, I have attended conferences as both an attendee and as a presenter. Here are my suggestions for building on last week’s experience and carrying the impact of PTK Catalyst forward.

  1. Create a to-do list. Review the conference schedule to jog your memory and make a list of actions you plan to take following the conference. Set a complete-by date and hold yourself accountable.
  2. Schedule a team debrief. Almost 4,000 people attended PTK Catalyst—and each one had a totally unique experience. As soon as you can, sit down with your advisor and other members of your team, and discuss your individual key takeaways.
  3. Share the #PTKLove. Not every member of your chapter was able to attend PTK Catalyst. Present a conference summary with the other members of your chapter so they can benefit from your experience.
  4. Ask for Help. If you attended an educational forum that you think would benefit your chapter or campus, reach out to the presenter and ask for a copy of the presentation. If you don’t know how to contact the presenter, reach out to a PTK staff member for help.
  5. Take the Next Step. For many of you, the four-year college transfer fair may turn out to be a life-changing experience. If you met a college recruiter and had a conversation about transferring to their institution, follow up. Send an email or schedule a call to discuss the transfer scholarship opportunities available to you through Phi Theta Kappa.
  6. Get Social. Stay connected with the speakers you heard and members you met through Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter, Instragram, LinkedIn and other social media channels.
  7. Dollars for Scholars. If you received a scholarship or were recognized as a part of the Parade of Scholars, connect with PTK Scholarship Operations staff to find ways to connect with donors. Coca-Cola, the Oberndorf and Hites Families, Pearson, GEICO, Hurst and others would all love to hear about the impact of their gift on your life.
  8. Hug Your Advisor. Being a PTK advisor is rewarding work, but it isn’t always easy. Thank your advisor for getting you safely to and from PTK Catalyst and for their dedication to you and your chapter.
  9. Say Thank You. Getting to PTK Catalyst isn’t always easy. If you received financial support from your college president or from someone on your campus or community, send a thank you note or email. Include what you learned, how it impacted you, and how you plan to use it.
  10. Close the Loop by Giving Back. We believe in the power of being almost 100 years old, and we believe that our alumni are the key to another century of changing student lives. Stay involved with PTK even after you graduate. Find meaningful ways to stay connected to PTK by serving as a volunteer at the chapter, regional, or international level. Support scholarships and initiatives like the Golden Opportunity, which opens the door of membership to deserving students who cannot afford the cost to join. Volunteer with the PTK Foundation by participating in a donor phone drive or writing donor thank you notes. Serve as a career or college mentor to a member, as they transition to college or into the workforce.

Remember: PTK Catalyst was meant be a spark in your life and to propel you forward professionally, personally, socially, and academically. You are a Catalyst—so be that, and make the world better than you already do.

Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner is President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. To reach Lynn, please contact Cassie Mendrop at cassie.mendrop@ptk.org.