Wrapping Up the 2016 Honors Institute

The final day of the 2016 Honors Institute — held June 20-25 at Wake Forest University in North Carolina — gave participants more detailed forums focused on Honors in Action and left them dazzled by the science, wonder and magic in the world around us.

The day began with a presentation by Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, a science evangelist who spoke on the ways our lives are changed and impacted by technological advancements.

Closing out the week was David Kwong, an illusionist and puzzle creator whose entire presentation was one grand trick — he created a crossword puzzle from scratch live on stage using suggestions from the audience and encompassing tricks he’d performed throughout the session.

Honors Institute attendees were treated to an in-depth look at the International Honors Certificates (IHC) program as part of the Educational Forum series held during the week. They also explored Honors in Action further in breakout sessions, and Regional Officers participated in a special training track.

The topics covered during the week’s Educational Forums, special training tracks and breakout sessions will be explored more in depth in the coming weeks on The Reach blog; for now, here’s a glimpse at some of the info that was shared.

International Honors Certificates
Presenter: Monika Byrd

Phi Theta Kappa’s IHC program seeks to provide two-year college students access to international education through course offerings at top universities around the world. Highlights of the special forum included:

  • Only one-tenth of one percent of community college students studied abroad in 2013/2014.
  • The lack of world language programs, world area studies and the like at community colleges are leaving students behind.
  • Employers are concerned that today’s college graduates lack the ability to communicate and collaborate in multicultural groups and will pay an average of $7,000 more in annual salaries for employees with demonstrated global proficiencies.
  • Distance education is not new, but the opportunity to take a course from any number of worldwide institutions is.

A variety of barriers keep community college students in particular from participating in study abroad programs. These students often require their college credential as soon as possible, and study abroad programs are not in their degree plans or on their timeline.

The IHC program offers students a way to gain a global certificate without investing a lot of time or money. Courses are self-paced and independently completed, and they contain a capstone unit that prepares students to submit competitive scholarship applications for study abroad opportunities and matches them with opportunities based on their educational and career goals.

Four courses are currently offered through these top universities:

  • University of California Los Angeles — Global Entrepreneurship
  • Beijing Language and Culture University — Contemporary China and Chinese Culture
  • University of South Carolina — International Human Resources
  • University of Johannesburg — Organizational Leadership

Watch the info video.

SMALL Chapters’ Roadmap to Success for Honors in Action Projects
Presenters: Cindy Armijo and Dr. Twila Quintana

You don’t have to have a large chapter to execute a successful Honors in Action Project; you only have to remember to keep things SMALL.

Start with a well thought-out plan that considers your resources!
Make sure to assess and re-evaluate throughout your project to stay on course.
Adjust as needed. Flexibility helps overcome obstacles.
Laugh and have fun along the way, as your chapter becomes your extended family.
Lasting impact can be achieved by few.

And, when you think your chapter has taken on too big of a project, remember this simple quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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