Following induction, a new member receives a gold embossed membership certificate, membership identification card, membership key pin, diploma seal, transcript notation of membership, issue of 3.5 PLUS annual journal, and Scholarship Directory. Each member is automatically nominated for inclusion in the prestigious National Dean’s List biographical publication and is enrolled in the Society’s Transfer Database, linking senior institutions offering scholarships to Phi Theta Kappa members. Members are accorded the privilege of wearing the Society’s Gold Stole and Tassel at graduation. Browse the Phi Theta Kappa Recognitions Items.
More than 550 senior institutions in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada, provide approximately $33 million in scholarships exclusively to Phi Theta Kappa members. Explore these scholarships in the Scholarship Directory. Also, Phi Theta Kappa awards each year over $150,000 in scholarships to members and chapter advisors. Find out more about Phi Theta Kappa scholarship opportunities, including the Guistwhite Scholarship program which awards to members ten $5,000 and ten $1,000 stipends for completion of baccalaureate studies. The Society also provides $60,000 in scholarships for members and faculty advisors to attend the Honors Institute. Chapter advisors compete for Mosal Scholar and Leader Awards, ten $2,000 stipends. International officers receive $2,000 upon completion of their terms of office and thirty students receive $250 each from the National Deans List. Finally, Phi Theta Kappa presents students one $1,000 and four $500 awards for winning writings appearing in the Society's honors anthology, Nota Bene.
Annually, Phi Theta Kappa’s Honors Committee unveils the Society’s Honors Study Program, an interdisciplinary study of a timely topic which is used by chapters and colleges as the basis for honors study in colloquies, courses, and seminars. Phi Theta Kappa publishes the Honors Study Topic Program Guide which serves as a resource guide for exploring the Honors Study Topic. The cornerstone of the study program is the highly acclaimed Honors Institute and Faculty Development Conference.
The Honors Institute is a week-long summer conference held for studying in depth the year’s Honors Study Topic. The Institute is generally held on a senior institution campus and attendance is limited to 350 participants. Following daily lectures, students meet in small group seminars led by a faculty member to discuss presentations and issues raised. Off-site cultural experiences constitute a major component of the program. Prior to the Institute, a Faculty Development Conference is held where 25 faculty members convene with noted scholars from diverse fields of study to examine the Honors Study Topic. These faculty members serve as seminar leaders for the Institute and are selected by application. Major funding for the Faculty Development Conference was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Find further information and resources on Honors Programs, the Honors Study Topic Program Guide and the Honors Institute.
Leadership Development Programs
In 1992, Phi Theta Kappa received nearly $2 million from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to launch a leadership development program for two-year colleges. Over 1000 faculty members, administrators, and college presidents from more than 400 colleges have been certified to teach the humanities-based three hour Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Development Studies course. The course, participatory in nature, utilizes readings and films from the classics to unleash the leadership potential of emerging community leaders and students. Find information for faculty and students interested in Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Development Studies.
International Service Program
The Society encourages members to explore the Hallmark of Service through the Phi Theta Kappa International Service Program. Every two years, Phi Theta Kappa asks for input from regional coordinators, advisors and members concerning topics to be considered for the Society's International Service Program. Information from a variety of sources is taken into consideration before a Program is selected. The Program is announced and launched at the International Convention. See a list of past International Service Programs.
Phi Theta Kappa publications include the Visionary, annual journal; the Golden Key News Briefs, a weekly electronic newsletter; the Journey, a newsletter published six times during the academic term for chapter advisors and officers; the Phi Theta Kappa Leader, a newsletter for Certified Faculty of Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Development Studies; the Honors Study Topic Program Guide, annual guide for implementing Honors Study Program; the Society Almanac, an annual reference and planning guide; the Hallmark Guide and the Five Star Guide, reference guides for awards competitions; the Scholarship Directory, listing of senior institutions providing scholarships to members; and Nota Bene, an honors anthology publishing student writings which is circulated to all two-year colleges. Browse on-line versions of selected issues and read more about Society publications.
Each year, generally during the month of April, Phi Theta Kappa holds an International Convention attended by 4,000 chapter members, advisors, alumni, and college presidents. During the Convention, speakers of international renown address the year’s Honors Study Topic and bi-annual service program. Education forums are held on topics related to chapter programming, preparing members for transfer, and member motivation. Hallmark Awards are presented to individuals and chapters for distinguished accomplishment in Society programs. Immediately prior to the Convention, pre-conferences are held for chapter advisors and regional and chapter officers.
Find out more about the International Convention.
To qualify to establish a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, an institution must award Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Applied Science degrees. In the United States, the qualifying institution must be fully accredited by one of the following regional accrediting agencies: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges,Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Phi Theta Kappa has 29 regional organizations, many being state organizations, which hold conventions and leadership conferences, offer awards and scholarship programs, and conduct Regional Honors Institutes. Regional organizations are headed by a Regional Coordinator (Phi Theta Kappa Advisor) and elected student regional officers. Find out more about Regional Programs.
All-USA Academic Teams
Phi Theta Kappa sponsors with the national newspaper USA Today and the American Association of Community Colleges the All-USA Academic Team for Community and Junior Colleges. Two-year college presidents may nominate up to two students per campus for recognition. Students are selected based upon academic achievement, community service involvement, and leadership accomplishment. Twenty students are named to a first team, second team, and third team. First team students are featured in an April issue of USA Today and receive $2,500 stipends. Second and third team members are listed in the newspaper and receive medallions.
All-State Academic Teams
Phi Theta Kappa, two-year college presidents, and community college state associations co-sponsor All-State Academic Team recognition programs in 35 states. Students nominated to the All-USA Academic Team are automatically named to the All-State Academic Team. Ranking on the All-State team is often determined by the student score in the national competition. All-State recognition programs are held in the state capital with legislators, education leaders, and corporate leaders attending. All-State Team members receive special recognition including medallions and often times stipends and scholarships.
Distinguished alumni include Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Ambassador; Fred Haise, Apollo XIII Astronaut; Sela Ward, actress; Dr. William Roper, director, Centers for Disease Control; H. Ross Perot, businessman;and Rudy Gatlin, entertainer.
Governance and Staff
Phi Theta Kappa is governed by a Board of Directors, comprised of seven members, with representatives elected from various Society constituencies. Annually, five students are elected to serve as International Officers during the Society's International Convention. One International Officer is elected to a one-year term to the Board of Directors. The Headquarters staff of 40 is led by an executive director, appointed by the Board.
Phi Theta Kappa has received numerous grants from foundations and agencies including the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, National Mental Health Association, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Phil M. Hardin Foundation, Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, and Mississippi Humanities Council to fund various Society programs and initiatives.
The Center for Excellence
In 1996, The State of Mississippi, in an unprecedented move, conveyed to Phi Theta Kappa 5.5 acres of land located on the grounds of Mississippi’s Education and Research Center in Jackson, Mississippi, for construction of the Center for Excellence, Phi Theta Kappa’s Headquarters facility. The Headquarters building is of Jeffersonian design and occupies 25,000 square feet. Construction costs were $3.3 million. The two-story facility houses office suites, conference rooms, library, reception room, board room and kitchen. A focal point of the facility is the octagonal rotunda, reflecting the rotunda design found at Jefferson’s Virginia home, Monticello. A brick courtyard flanks the building. Phase II of construction will include a stand-alone conference facility, approximately 6,000 square feet, which will contain state of the art interactive video conferencing technology, a 150 seat lecture hall, and breakout rooms. The tele-conferencing capabilities will allow the Society to broadcast programming to two-year colleges world wide.
Phi Theta Kappa Foundation
To ensure that Phi Theta Kappa will have the necessary resources to continue to provide quality programs and innovative services and keep membership costs as low as possible, the Board of Directors established the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. Governed by the Board, the Foundation provides members, alumni and friends the opportunity to invest in the Society.
Find out more about the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation.