Founders Medal Award

The Phi Theta Kappa Founders Medal Award recognizes a graduating PTK member who has written the finest essay reflecting on the value of a community college education each year. There will be a medal awarded at the winning student’s graduation ceremony and a $1,000 cash prize, sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors.

The Founders Medal Application is currently closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for the next Founders Medal Award?

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2025.

Who can submit an entry for the Founders Medal Award?

Only Phi Theta Kappa members participating in a commencement ceremony in Spring 2024 may submit manuscripts. Members may only submit manuscripts while enrolled in a two-year degree program or one-year certificate program.

PTK members and alumni currently seeking bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or those no longer attending college are ineligible.

What can be submitted?

No single entry may exceed 1,200 words.

Are there any formatting requirements?

No, students are free to use their preferred style of formatting.

How are the works selected for publication?

PTK staff review applications and will select the award recipient.

What is the selection timeline?

Final selections are typically made late mid spring.

Everyone will be notified about the status of their submission via email.

Can a member submit more than one entry?

No, only one submission is allowed per member.

Where can I find the scholarship application?

All Founders Medal Award entries must be submitted electronically through the Phi Theta Kappa scholarship website. Log in with your PTK credentials, and under the “Scholarships” tab, click on “Founders Medal Competition” and fill out the application.

Is an award given to the Founders Medal winner?

The author of the essay judged most outstanding will receive the Founders Medal and a cash prize of $1,000, sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors. The medal will be presented at the student’s graduation ceremony.

Plagiarism Policy

All work submitted for consideration must be the work of the author. If a work submitted is determined to be plagiarized from any source, the following steps will be taken:

  • The member who submitted the plagiarized work will be notified by letter of the incidence of plagiarism with proof supplied.
  • The plagiarized submission by that member will be disqualified from consideration for the Founders Medal Award.
  • The member’s chapter advisor and college president will be notified by letter of the incidence of plagiarism and proof will be supplied to each of them.


Email Founders Medal Support.

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