Posted on August 2nd in PTK News

Phi Theta Kappa Receives Mellon Foundation Grant to Support Undergraduate Research at Community Colleges

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) has received a $750,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue its support of undergraduate research opportunities for community college students through its custom honors program, Honors in Action™.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Logo

Approximately one-third of community colleges in the United States have an official honors college. In the other two-thirds of colleges, Phi Theta Kappa is the honors program, giving students the opportunity to apply learning and practice real-world problem-solving skills by developing an in-depth, action-oriented project addressing a need in their community.

For students looking to get the most out of their community college experience, Honors in Action serves as a research primer by providing experience for coursework requiring deeper investigations that comes in their junior and senior years. It also enables students to develop and practice many skills needed by today’s employers — critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, communications, and the ability to work effectively with others.

“Preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs requires a breadth of knowledge strongly rooted in the liberal arts,” PTK’s President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner said. “Without it, students will not be able to adapt to the changing requirements of today’s jobs or transition into new careers.

“This is particularly important during the first two-years of college, as these ‘thinking’ skills are so vital to community college students taking their next steps, whether that is going directly to work or transferring into a more specialized degree field at a four-year college or university.”

PTK previously received a $350,000 grant from The Mellon Foundation to make its honors programming available and more accessible to all colleges — not just those with budgets for honors programs. New Honors in Action curriculum was developed to meet the needs of both transfer- and workforce-bound students.

“This generous grant will let us continue to bring a successful and high-quality honors program experience to all community college students, particularly those in underserved areas,” said Susan Edwards, PTK’s Associate Vice President of Honors Programming and Undergraduate Research. “We are so grateful to the Mellon Foundation for this opportunity.”

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through its grants, the Foundation seeks to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at

About Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 nations, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges.

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