Jackson, Mississippi – The Louisiana Community Technical College System (LCTCS) and Louisiana State University (LSU) announced a groundbreaking new transfer agreement this week that will provide guaranteed admissions and scholarship funds for community college honor students.
The new agreement was revealed in a press conference on Thursday, May 26, at the state capitol. Heather Schmidt, Associate Director of Regional and Chapter Development for Division 4, represented Phi Theta Kappa at the event and is pictured at right with Dr. F. King Alexander, President of LSU, and Dr. Monty Sullivan, President of LCTCS, The two participated in the signing ceremony, which officially unveiled the LSU/LCTCS Honors Promise Transfer Scholarship.
“Today our state’s flagship university is making a public commitment to students from across Louisiana,” Sullivan said “If you attend one of Louisiana’s two-year colleges and perform academically, you are guaranteed both admission and a scholarship to attend LSU.”
Students, who must be active Phi Theta Kappa members pursuing an associate degree at a LCTCS institution, have to meet the Honors Promise transfer guidelines to receive the scholarship, which is renewable for up to one year. LSU will provide the scholarship on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the availability of funds.
“We are proud to partner with LCTCS by offering the Honors Promise Transfer Scholarship to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society graduates from Louisiana’s two-year colleges,” Alexander said. “In Louisiana, the demand for employees with postsecondary credentials will continue to increase in the coming years, with the need for those with bachelor’s degrees growing exponentially. These students now have a clear path toward continuing their education and completing a four-year degree from LSU.”
In 2016, LSU was one of 40 colleges and universities named a member of Phi Theta Kappa’s inaugural Excellence in Community College Transfer Honor Roll, which identifies the top four-year colleges and universities for creating dynamic pathways to support community college transfer. The institutions selected receive a designation on CollegeFish.org, Phi Theta Kappa’s online transfer platform.
“We applaud LSU for creating this groundbreaking new transfer agreement that has been two years in the making,” said Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “This will be an incredible benefit to our Phi Theta Kappa members in Louisiana, greatly increasing their odds of completing baccalaureate degrees by easing the transfer process and providing financial support.”
There are 12 Phi Theta Kappa chapters in Louisiana, 10 of which are located at LCTCS institutions. In 2015, 1,359 LCTCS students accepted membership to Phi Theta Kappa. Of those who accepted membership, 1,046 are expected to transfer to a four-year college or university.
“The LSU Honors Promise Transfer Scholarship is a huge leap in a positive direction, ensuring that hardworking Louisiana two-year college graduates continue their academic careers within the great State of Louisiana at the flagship university,” said Louisiana Phi Theta Kappa alumnus Stephen Martinez. “This agreement shows the great regard that the college and university systems have toward their students, guaranteeing that they receive top quality higher education in order to produce and propel more Louisiana graduates forward into a global economy.
“Many students’ dreams will now become realities thanks to this agreement.”
Phi Theta Kappa members in Louisiana have an 88 percent, six-year student success rate. Student success is defined as those students who have either earned some type of degree or successfully transferred and are still enrolled. A total of 71 percent of Phi Theta Kappa transfers complete a baccalaureate degree or are still enrolled at the university six years after they started at the community college (includes full-and part-time students).
Nationwide Phi Theta Kappa members have a 92 percent success rate, compared to an average community college completion rate of 40 percent.
“We’re grateful to LSU for their visionary leadership in recognizing the benefits of Phi Theta Kappa membership and the opportunities this agreement creates for so many students in the Mississippi-Louisiana Region of Phi Theta Kappa,” said Regional Coordinator Ryan Ruckel.
At Phi Theta Kappa’s 2016 annual convention in National Harbor, Maryland, the Mississippi-Louisiana Region was named one of the Society’s three Distinguished Regions.
Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest, largest and most prestigious honor society recognizing students pursuing two-year degrees. Phi Theta Kappa is made up of more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.