Phi Theta Kappa's programs are based on the four hallmarks of scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. The programs' design gives members opportunities for personal growth in all four areas, encouraging the development of the balanced individual. As individual members develop their hallmark qualities, their chapters, colleges and communities as well as the international organization grow and benefit.
The scholarship hallmark is based on the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Program. For the Phi Theta Kappa member, the Honors Program means opportunities for independent study offering rewards of recognition and scholarship. Participation in the Honors Program is taken into consideration by four-year and senior-level institutions as they consider transfer applications and award scholarships.
The foundation of the Honors Program is the Honors study topic. All chapters examine the designated theme chosen to span two academic years. The topic must be timely, important, relevant to global education and culture, impactive, and interdisciplinary.
Member chapters participate in a variety of educational programs related to the Honors study topic throughout the year. Speakers with specialized knowledge of the topic provide programs at chapter meetings. Out-reach activities bring information concerning the topic to area elementary and secondary schools, and the community at large. Topical displays, essay contests and informational articles in the school and community newspapers further broaden public knowledge of the topic.
Many chapter members state that involvement with the Honors study topic allows them to pursue educational issues outside their major studies.
Each year, the Honors Institute provides students with a week of concentrated study of the honors topic. Institutes are held in different areas of the United States and Canada, generally on campuses of four-year colleges or universities. Participation is limited to the first 375 persons who apply.
Another facet of the Honors Program is individual college's colloquy. A number of chapters and their advisors have established Phi Theta Kappa Honors courses based on the current topic. These courses are open to any student meeting the academic requirements and offer college and transfer credits.
Often chapters in colleges without formal Honors courses organize programs of their own such as seminars or colloquies based on the Honors study topic. Headquarters makes available a number of materials including videos of Institute and Convention speakers. Through association with the International Collegiate Honors Council, the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Programs office works with any chapter or college wishing to establish an honors course, and can, in some cases, send representatives to campuses.
Regional Honors Institutes, an outgrowth of the Honors Institute, are now offered in 23 regions. Pioneered by the Mu Epsilon Chapter at Miami-Dade Community College North in Florida, this program offers members who could not attend the Institute a capsule summary of speakers and events.
Phi Theta Kappa offers a myriad of opportunities for the development of leadership. As a member of Phi Theta Kappa, you can become a leader as a chapter officer, as an officer in your region, or as an international officer. Whether you seek Society office at any level or not, the exposure you receive to persons in leadership roles will make you a more effective student and help you achieve your personal and career goals.
These opportunities begin at the chapter level with the chapter officers. All chapters are governed by a slate of officers, and all chapters welcome candidates for office.
Both the Regional Leadership Conference and the regional officer programs provide chances to increase leadership skills. The Leadership Conferences include speakers and workshops designed to educate participants in the fundamentals of Society programs. Each region has its own constitution outlining its regional officer structure and the duties of office. In addition to their duties at regional meetings, regional officers also conduct the meetings held by each region at the International Convention.
The five International Officers are elected at the annual International Convention following extensive campaigning. The opportunity to hold International Office is the summit of Phi Theta Kappa's leadership opportunities.
As a member of Phi Theta Kappa, you have diverse opportunities for service.
You can assist your chapter to become stronger and more active by participating in the programs of the Society. As a member of an active chapter, you can assist your college internally by sponsoring an Honors course, offering tutoring services, acting as ushers and supporting college-wide projects and events.
Externally, you and your chapter can serve the college by assisting with recruiting new students from area high schools and by offering scholarly programs open to the community at large. You can also serve your community through projects targeted to specific problem areas and participation in fund drives that turn over a portion of their proceeds to local organizations. Phi Theta Kappa encourages chapters to participate in the Society's International Service Project, which changes biennially. Guidelines and suggestions for implementation are sent to all chapter advisors and presidents whose names have been reported. Participation in the International Service Project is a vital part of the overall Chapter Development and Awards programs.
Finally, Phi Theta Kappa stands for fellowship. Camaraderie increases as you become acquainted with your fellow members in your region. Attending International Conventions and Honors Institutes allows even greater opportunities for fellowship and exchange of ideas with persons from all areas of the globe. When you receive your first Phi Theta Kappa hug, you will understand that members have a commitment to each other as well as to the Society overall.
Our members may not have much in common, but sharing commitment to the ideals of Phi Theta Kappa is the basis for the fellowship that exists among us.
Phi Theta Kappa does not limit its fellowship to members only. The Society provides a vehicle for its members to become acquainted with college faculty and administrators, political and civic leaders in the community, and persons of international reputation.