What about graduation regalia?
Graduation regalia is not mandatory. There are medallions, stoles, and cords available at the PTK store if you would like to display your academic accomplishments at graduation. You are more than welcome to buy them any time after becoming a member. We suggest getting your regalia at least three weeks in advance. Otherwise, you may have to select a more expensive option to receive your package in time for graduation day
Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is an international honors society for two-year community college students. Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) has a chapter of PTK, called Alpha Gamma Alpha (AGA). Established in 1918, PTK is recognized as the official honors society for two-year colleges since 1929. There’s a 3.25 GPA requirement to join AGA-PTK; there’s also an $80.00 fee for a lifetime membership. The qualifications are slightly different for CTE and transfer students:
CTE: a declared certificate program with 6 hours of coursework completed.
Transfer: a declared degree program with 12 credit hours toward an associate or bachelor’s degree.
We all know that money for college students is precious. There is a one-time fee for membership, which essentially helps develop programming and events within our region. Sixty dollars goes to PTK headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi. Five dollars is for a membership to the Colorado-Wyoming Region. The remaining fifteen dollars go to our AGA Chapter here at PPCC. For more on the benefit, see below.
Every semester, Institutional Research (IR) pull a report of eligible PPCC students. The advisors upload this IR report to PTK Headquarters, which then generates an email to your email of record, usually your student email. Within this form email, you will receive a passcode. Go to ptk.org; and in the upper, right-hand corner of the website, click on the gold “Join Now” link. You will then be prompted to either enter your email or passcode. Follow the prompts; have your payment ready.
If you are actively receiving Pell Grant funds in the current semester you’re invited, you are eligible to apply for the President’s Pell Grant Scholarship to cover membership dues.In this case, you do not join through the website or pay, but fill out an online PPCC form. The process takes a few weeks.
If you join through the website and pay for your membership, PPCC and PTK will not be able to reimburse you.
You are more than welcome to join any of our orientations if you are still unsure about membership. It is about an hour-long, and it goes through some of the history and what PTK is doing to enhance your college adventure.
There are $90 million in scholarships that you can apply to for being a member. You can have access to $46 million in transfer scholarships offered by 800 four-year colleges across the country. Transferring can seem like a scary process. Luckily, Phi Theta Kappa has developed an online course called Transfer Edge, making the process of transferring a breeze. A program offered called Competitive Edge teaches professional skills employers look for. Together with a program called Employment Edge, which is more in-depth training for the job market, you will be prepared for all the diverse possibilities when entering the workforce. Form Letters of Recommendation are readily available for all members when applying for jobs from PTK Headquarters. Personalized letters are dependent on your relationship and performance within Phi Theta Kappa from chapter advisors. As members, you too can get discounts through Dell, Bank of America, and GEICO, just to name a few.
You can invest as much or as little time as you would like in your experiences with Phi Theta Kappa. As one of our chapter advisors likes to put it, “It is like a gym membership.” It is the same concept; you can have the membership and do nothing with it, or you can invest in strengthening yourself in a community of people who seek building relationships with like-minded comrades in your college. Members can attend executive meetings to give input on how the chapter is progressing and striving to maintain a five-star status. There are officer positions available to those who would like to invest more in their experience, which has perks of its own. There are regional and international conferences that can be attended to meet other chapters and develop leadership skills. Active members are also able to go to these conferences. Each semester we have an Honors in Action Project and a College Project. These are team efforts to improve understanding of issues that we face, and how we can bring awareness and even solutions to such problems.
The Five Star Chapter Plan is PTK’s guide for building strong, engaged chapters. All chapters have a default goal of One Star Level, which is based on basic chapter activities like recruiting members and submitting an annual report to Headquarters. Chapters are encouraged to set goals at the beginning of each calendar year to reach a certain level based on the PTK activities and programs in which they participate. Building Honors in Action and College Projects, for levels three and up, require officers to develop some key leadership skills, including budgeting, scheduling, writing, and executing a plan of action.
Honors in Action was developed to support PTK’s mission to encourage opportunities for college students to grow as scholars and leaders. To have an impact on campus and within our community, we address challenges relates to an honors study topic. The program allows students to identify issues confronting humanity, to consider ideas from different perspectives, to have a real-world application of what they have learned, and to reflect on the outcomes of the project. There are many different themes that you can choose from that are provided in the guide and other helpful resources to guide chapters in their journey.
The College Project was designed to help develop a positive relationship between your chapter and the college administration. The college president will work with the chapter to create a project that benefits the campus community. The projects vary, depending on PPCC’s strategic plan. Designed to help students complete their degree, AGA PTK created the Passport to Completion to integrate students socially and academically by making them aware of the college services available.
Transfer Edge will prepare you to transfer successfully to a four-year college. Seeing as transferring can be a complicated process, Transfer Edge helps you to consider the variables, identify themes, and best practices that will give you your very best shot at being accepted to the institution of your dreams. This online course allows you to go at your own pace with videos, reading, resources, and quick quizzes to track your progression. Within the program, there’s a section that not only helps you to seek funding but also helps you to identify resources to obtain the education you want without breaking the bank. The application process can feel quite daunting, especially since it is an unfamiliar concept seeing as throughout most of our educational journeys, transferring schools is not traditional. Mock essays are also provided to practice the most likely topics to ensure the best outcome for success. Scholarships are also addressed in this program; the program helps you to create a scholarship resume.
Employment Edge is designed to gain a better understanding of how to perfect the application components that employers require. Just as Transfer Edge is a self-paced course, so is Employment Edge. This program helps identify employer’s goals, identifies career-specific and general employment skills, develops networking skills, identifies the steps of effective job searches, identifies steps to succeed in the interview process, and so much more. If any part of the employment process baffles you, this program will help you gain the confidence to rock that interview!
Competitive Edge has a slightly different purpose than Employment Edge. They are both beneficial to grow in professionalism that college and the workplace demands. There are three primary objectives for Competitive Edge:
- Strengthening soft skill.
- Creating an action plan for the career of your dream.
- To give you a competitive advantage in achieving your college and career goals.
For members, this program is included in the membership fee. There is no additional charge for using these resources. These programs are not requirements for being a member of Phi Theta Kappa, but the skills you earn through the accomplishment of completing the programs are well worth the time and effort.