Wednesday, April 10, 2013

5 Reasons to Join Phi Theta Kappa

I just returned from San Jose, CA after attending the International Phi Theta Kappa* convention; it was epic. 

It also inspired me to share with you why PTK is so awesome, especially if you have never heard of it or have gotten your letter and are still trying to figure out if you should join. 

*PTK is the premier honor society for community college students. Students are invited via letter when they reach the eligibility requirements, which include a GPA standard.

I speak to colleges around the country and many students come up to me after my speech (in which I mention my amazing PTK experience) and tell me they'd been invited into the honor society but hadn't accepted because they weren't exactly sure what it was (e.g. you do have to pay a small one-time fee so it can be scary when you've never heard of it before).

I also recently wrote an article to help you better tell which honor societies are scams and which ones are well worth the investment. 

The good news is, they tell me after hearing my speech that they are definitely going to join. 

I really do think joining PTK is a tremendous opportunity for you and I wanted to share why for my readers who haven't heard me speak yet. 

I also hope that if you are a current PTK member you can send potential members to this blog post for more information. I'd also love for you to add the reasons why PTK has been beneficial to you in the comments section!

Here are five reasons why I think you should join Phi Theta Kappa the second you get your letter :)

1. "Money money money monnney"
When you join PTK you are able to apply for over 37 million dollars in scholarships that are only available to members. On top of that, they announced at the convention that the majority of Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship winners are Phi Theta Kappans (i.e. $30,000/year for your undergrad and $50,000 for graduate school). We could pretty much stop here because this alone makes membership worth it. (Note: I was a JKC scholarship winner and owe a lot of that to being a part of PTK).

2. Transfer universities will notice (and want you)

Yale recently signed up with (PTK's Gates Foundation granted program to connect community college transfer students with the right university and scholarship opportunities) to recruit PTK students. All PTK members have access to 

Being in PTK will make you stand out, and will up your chances for scholarships. Some universities even offer full tuition scholarships to PTK students. 

3. Rockstar conventions
Being a part of Phi Theta Kappa gives you and your chapter a chance to attend the annual international convention (next year it will be in my home state of Florida!!!). The annual convention is unlike anything you've probably ever seen before. The best description I've ever heard is "a mix between a rock concert and a political rally." It's energizing and amazing and, well, you just have to see for yourself. 

The conventions also bring superstar speakers to the stage. I'll never forget what it was like to be in the same room with Malcolm Gladwell.

4. Leadership opportunities
Accepting PTK membership is one thing, but to really get the full benefits, you should get involved. And wow are there some amazing ways to do that.

In addition to being an officer in your chapter (check your student life office or your college's website to find out when the next chapter meeting is and how you can attend), you can also apply to be a regional officer, and even an international officer (in my opinion one of the most prestigious things you can do in community college).

I can only imagine how many full ride scholarships international officers can get by being in such a prestigious position. This is where you want to be, and trust me, you can do it. (I was president of my PTK chapter but graduated before I would have had time to try to be an international officer - get involved as early as you can!)

5. Good friends
When I got involved in Phi Theta Kappa it was the first time I had worked with a solid group of positive people who wanted to make a difference and do something exciting and meaningful with their lives. 

Surrounding yourself with good people is vital if you want to be successful, and PTK offers you a way to connect with others who want to get good grades and succeed in college. It will rub off on you.

And by getting involved, you will rub off on them too. You'll also be amazed at what you can all accomplish together, how you can positively impact your campus, and how you can change the lives of the students around you. 

Never underestimate the power of surrounding yourself with good people. 

Learn more about joining PTK on their website.

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