Phi Theta Kappa’s Student Engagement Team hosted a webinar on May 5 called “Honors in Action and College Project: What You Need to Know.” They were joined by
• Linda Gronberg-Quinn, Associate Regional Coordinator of the Middle States Region and advisor to the Beta Alpha Tau Chapter at the Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland
• Jane Honeycutt, advisor to the Alpha Iota Chi Chapter at Northeast State Community College in Tennessee
• Brittany Rowell, a student and PTK chapter officer at Northeast State Community College
The hour-long webinar takes a deep look at the Honors in Action and College Project processes and offers advice for how your chapter can become a Distinguished Chapter and even make it into the Top 10. Here are the highlights; you can view a recording of the webinar below.
Honors in Action Project
There are three components: academic investigation, service/action, and impact. Start with academic investigation, read up on the Honors Study Topic in your Honors Program Guide, and select a theme on which to focus.
Don’t lose the overall Honors Study Topic as you dig into your selected theme, and don’t think about the action part yet. Rather, find the question that will guide your research and identify your research objectives. Your action component will come from your research conclusions.
When moving to impact, think about what your research and action taught you about the Honors Study Topic. Also, what did you learn about lifelong learning and intentional service? What was your contribution to the issue you researched?
The purpose of the College Project is to strengthen your chapter’s relationship with your college administration. Your chapter should serve as a resource to the administrators; the project itself should be selected by your college president. It’s a real-world way your chapter can support your college’s mission.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare. Schedule a meeting with your college president, and then do your homework and be ready with a few project suggestions, in case he or she looks to you for guidance.
Pro Tips from the Presenters:
• For your Honors in Action Project, choose a theme that your team can love for months at a time.
• Research Edge is an invaluable resource, with an entire section devoted to understanding academic vs. non-academic sources.
• Keep track of your research citations along the way, and go ahead and put them into APA format.
• Look to Civic Scholar: Phi Theta Kappa Journal of Undergraduate Research for inspiration on Honors in Action Projects and to see what award-winning entries look like.
• Test the waters of your idea with the Honors Case Study Challenge. You or your chapter could win $500.
• Apply for a PTK-Mellon Foundation Honors in Action Grant by September 30 to help cover costs associated with your project.
• Journaling is important throughout the entire process. Start writing early, and write often.
• Use the rubrics for both the Honors in Action and College Projects. Read them well and refer to them often — they tell you exactly what to do.
• Attend info sessions, educational forums, and webinars to hear directly from PTK Headquarters representatives and get your questions answered.
• Find fresh eyes to review your Hallmark Award entries before submitting them. Alumni are a great resource for this.
• Step away from the work every once in a while and have fun with your chapter outside of the projects.
Watch the full webinar: