Posted on May 3rd in General

How You Can Impact PTK’s Next 100 Years

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Heather Yush, Phi Theta Kappa’s Associate Director of College and Transfer Relations.

As Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters staff, we often hear from members, advisors, alumni, and supporters who ask, “What more can I do for this organization?” A unified, consistent response to this common question will help us to effectively mobilize and move PTK’s mission forward.

In the same way that you first listen to a student’s needs before customizing a response as to why they should join PTK, it would be incredibly powerful and beneficial if everyone in the PTK community would consistently adopt this “assess then address” approach in daily interactions. This requires serving as a 24/7 ambassador of PTK.

The value of your membership or affiliation with PTK increases with each new person you attract to the inner circle. Adopting a mentality of everyone-and-anyone-as-prospect (i.e. member, partner, ally, or constituent) will not just launch but propel PTK into its second century of success.

So, what can you do? Help Phi Theta Kappa discover untapped potential and seize opportunity by providing your very best and most compelling customer service as you connect others (outsiders) to the appropriate contact within our organization (insiders). If that person has a positive experience and finds you impressive, then you’ve already broken ground on the future site of a PTK partnership.

Let’s run through a few practical examples.

EVERY time you’re in contact with a representative of a four-year institution, ask them about transfer scholarships and opportunities for PTK members on their campus. If they don’t intentionally recruit PTK members, or do not know about PTK, then let them know that the College and Transfer Relations team would be eager to hear from them at or 866.286.8453.

If more four-year colleges heard about Phi Theta Kappa through members or advisors, the number of new partnerships with these colleges could grow exponentially. Wouldn’t it be amazing if YOU are the reason a college or university creates a scholarship exclusively for PTK members? Or, if YOU are the reason a recruiter decides to use CollegeFish to invite more PTK members to enroll at their institution?

EVERY time you connect with a community college student, faculty/staff member, or administrator, ask about their PTK chapter’s level of engagement. If they don’t have a chapter or are inactive, direct them to contact Membership Services at or 1.800.946.9995. If they do have a chapter and they have an amazing story to tell, connect them with the writers of The Reach blog by emailing

EVERY time you are researching a four-year institution or visiting a campus, find out if they offer a PTK alumni association. Email the institution’s transfer admissions counselor or student life coordinator, or take a moment to visit with an enrolled student on campus to explain the benefits of forming one. PTK alumni associations provide a supportive (and familiar) community for inbound transfer students and create opportunities for PTK alumni to assist with recruitment, orientation, and retention of their fellow scholars.

Some forward-thinking institutions even ask about PTK membership on their transfer admissions application, making it easier to identify scholarship-eligible students early in the admissions process and to quickly locate students to invite to join their PTK alumni association.

EVERY time you interact with an employer, ask if their business or company hires PTK members or supports their local chapter. Providing objective data from our state and national Student Success Profile will illustrate that investing in PTK members yields high returns.

Connect representatives from the workforce with the advisor of their local PTK chapter. Perhaps the company is willing to invest time or share resources with the chapter by sending a staff member to participate in a career fair or host a workshop. An organization may be interested in hearing and considering a proposal to fund a membership scholarship, sponsor a chapter meeting, or pay the chartering fee to create a PTK chapter on a two-year campus or an alumni association on a four-year campus.

EVERY time YOU consider a philanthropic act or charitable giving, will you contribute to PTK? Small acts over time, such as putting aside a portion of your paycheck or collecting spare change, could snowball into paying for an eligible student’s membership fee. Support the PTK Foundation when you shop at AmazonSmile, and proudly wear items purchased from the PTK Store to benefit the next generation of scholar leaders.

When someone asks about your role or affiliation with PTK, follow up your response by asking if they know anyone who currently attends or may benefit from attending community college. As a call to action, share your contact information and the PTK website to connect more individuals to the mission of PTK.

It’s a powerful thing to connect with others and forge a mutually beneficial relationship. Being mindful enough to engage in any of these acts will simultaneously enrich your life and the lives of others. The sooner you recognize that you possess the special gift of insider influence, the sooner you can leverage this power to best position PTK for success. The art of determining need and customizing a solution is also an incredibly valuable, transferable life skill.

Phi Theta Kappa chapters can already be found in 50 states and 10 nations, but creating a global PTK presence starts with small actions over time for the next 100 years and beyond. Imagine a student in a city or country you’ve never visited, or possibly never heard of, discovering his or her potential in large part due to your efforts to bring PTK to their campus. A challenge of this magnitude can only be met by mission-minded servant leaders; thus, it is well within the reach of Team Phi Theta Kappa.

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