“Commit to Completion” “Honors in Action” “5 Start Chapter”
These were just a few statements I heard last weekend in Seattle when I attended the Phi Theta Kappa International Conference. Let me tell ya, I was hooked! After 9 years in the student affairs field, this was my first time truly understanding what and how Phi Theta Kappa works. The organizers of this conference did an awesome job sending a wave of emotion through 4000 community college honors students from across the US empowering these student leaders to finish their A.A. or A.S., believe that they too can finish their Bachelors Degrees and to most important, bring their fellow college students along with them.
I realized in California Community College Student Affairs programs, majority of Phi Theta Kappa programs come out of the President’s Office and then directed to go under Instruction. Which might effect the connection that Student Life has with Phi Theta Kappa because majority of the time, Student Life is established under Student Services. Now, after attending the Phi Theta Kappa conference, I have a way better understanding, can see the similarities, and know now how we can best advocate for each other.
I encourage new and seasoned student affairs professionals that are advising Student Government and Student Activities programs to make a strong effort to attend a Phi Theta Kappa regional or international conference, or even ask to have coffee with the current Phi Theta Kappa advisors and ask them about how they are doing with their “5 Start Chapter Status attempt”. Take some time to learn about the 5 Star Chapter Status and how it all works. You will be surprised how you are both providing student engagement and could support each other to reach that 5 Start chapter status each year.