A very special invitation will soon be making its way to the TJC e-mail inboxes of academically exceptional students across campus.
Receiving this invitation gives students the opportunity to make new friends, gain community service hours and have access to thousands of dollars in scholarships to four-year universities. These invitations are memberships to join the Alpha Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the official international honors organization of junior colleges. Phi
Theta Kappa is one of the largest organizations on TJC campus with a focus on maintaining good grades, promoting school spiriting and giving back to the community on a regular basis.
“Being involved with Phi Theta Kappa helps you get involved with unusual community service. Not just anybody would be able to go out and do the things that we do,” said Sophomore Samantha Richardson, Phi Theta Kappa president.
Invitations for prospective Phi Theta Kappa members are being sent during September to the TJC email accounts of eligible students. In order to be an official member, a student must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and be taking at least 12 college credit hours. Phi Theta Kappa also opens its doors to students who have not quite achieved the grade point average as “provisional members.”
“Full membership is by invitation only, but TJC’s chapter has a very active provisional membership program as well,” said Gaming and Simulations Professor and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Gigi Delk.
“Any student can be a provisional member. Provisional members commit to improving their GPA, attend meetings and participate in service projects and fellowship activities. It is good for these students to still play a big role in Phi Theta Kappa. Hanging out and studying with other students who are members will help them stay focused on obtaining the required GPA.”
Phi Theta Kappa provisional members can participate in every aspect of the organization with the exception of voting.
Prospective members must accept their invitation the same semester that they are invited.
“Every year, students wait, forget, or don’t join for some reason. Then their GPA drops below a 3.5 and they are not allowed to join,” said Delk.
After a member is inducted, her GPA can drop to as low as a 3.0 with no ramifications. If the member’s GPA then drops below the 3.0 mark, she has one semester to make it up and then receives a formal warning. If her G.P.A. remains below a 3.0 and she still has not graduated, she is then up for removal of membership.
The personal invitations contain a membership key code that is used to register and pay dues; these dues reflect international, regional and local dues and are paid only once. A list of prospective members will also be posted on the Phi Theta Kappa bulletin board on the third floor on Pirtle Technology.
Scholarships also add to the attraction that many students have to Phi Theta Kappa.
Scholarships are offered from four-year institutions to Phi Theta Kappa members from all over the country. The Texas STARs scholarship offers anywhere from $500 to $1,000 dollars to Phi Theta Kappa members returning to their community colleges for their sophomore year. Universities such as The University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech University and Texas A&M Commerce are just a few of the universities that give scholarships to the students of this organization. Vice- President Brittiny Case will be receiving an academic Phi Theta Kappa scholarship to attend Texas Christian University in the fall, and was also offered funds from Texas Tech, as well as Texas A&M.
“Phi Theta Kappans are open to millions of dollars in scholarships that no one else except for Phi Theta Kappans can get,” said Case.
that they are also referred to as PTK. The members encourage everyone to not refer to the organization as PTK, but just pronounce the mouthful, Phi Theta Kappa.
“Way back when, everyone called Phi Theta Kappa PTK, our international website is www.ptk.org. There were several reasons we were encouraged to not say PTK. First, if you are discussing a Greek organization, their Greek letters, Delta Delta Delta or ‘Tri Delt,’ not DDD, identifies them. While Phi Theta Kappa is a mouthful, it is our honor society’s real Greek name. PTK is just ‘slang,'” said Delk.
“It’s not a fraternity. It’s not a sorority. It’s an Honor Society,” added Case.
Phi Theta Kappa meetings are generally every Monday evening in the Rogers Student Center Apache Rooms. For more information on becoming a part of this organization contact President Samantha Richardson at email@example.com.