CCCC honor society chapter earns high-level distinction

Jun. 16, 2013 @ 09:47 AM

Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society has awarded Central Carolina Community College’s Beta Sigma Phi Chapter its highest level of honor for excellence in academics and service.

The chapter has earned the organization’s Five Star Level recognition — it’s top tier of Star recognition — through its various projects, activities and efforts. 

Phi Theta Kappa is the official honor society for two-year colleges and the largest honor society in American higher education. It has more than 2 million members and more than 1,250 chapters in the United States and internationally.

The college’s Beta Sigma Phi Chapter is less than three years old, but has been very active since its inception. It achieved First Star Level recognition within four months of being chartered in November 2010. In 2011, it earned the One-Star chapter designation, Best New Chapter Award, and Advisor Horizon Awards for advisors Mike Neal and Mark Hall. Lead humanities instructor Hall and student activities director Neal have been the advisors for the chapter since its beginning.

In 2012, the chapter received the Four Star chapter designation, Distinguished Honors in Action Project: History and the Future, Honorable Mention Distinguished Honors in Action Project, Honorable Mention Distinguished College Project, Honorable Mention Most Improved Chapter, and Advisor Horizon Awards for Neal and Hall.

So far in 2013, it has received the Five Star chapter designation, Honors Case Study Challenge Award, Distinguished Officer Award for Vice President Seth Tom, and Advisor Horizon Award for Hall. The chapter now has 225 members.

The Five Star recognition was presented at the March 22-24 Phi Theta Kappa Carolinas Regional Convention in Clemmons. The chapter was also recognized at the society’s April 3-7 annual convention in San Jose, Calif.

“While the chapter development awards recognize our achievements and activities, what is more important is that, as a chapter, we have helped those in our communities,” Hall said. “The projects that earned us this recognition, like other chapter activities, were conceived and directed by the student members of Phi Theta Kappa to serve our communities, and they signify the initiative that students take to help others.”

The Five Star recognition is part of Phi Theta Kappa’s Chapter Development Plan. It serves as a guide for chapters to enhance their strategies to recognize eligible students, provide significant personal and professional development opportunities for members and become active on their campuses and in their communities. Chapters do not compete against one another for this recognition; it is based on chapter excellence and the sequential attainment of goals at the One Star, Two Star, Three Star, Four Star, and Five Star levels.

Requirements for the Five Star Level include fulfilling all the requirements for the lower levels; participating in organization conventions; all chapter officers registering with collegefish.org, an online four-year college and university transfer and scholarship application site; hosting events; providing community service; and submitting chapter projects to the PTK Hallmark Awards program.

CCCC’s chapter completed requirements for the Five Star Level during 2012. To do so, the members participated in regional and chapter activities, such as co-hosting the PTK regional fall fellowship event with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, co-conducting a three-county food drive with other CCCC student organizations, and conducting other drives to help meet the needs of community organizations such as the Hillcrest Youth Shelter, HAVEN in Lee County, and food banks in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties.

To qualify for membership in CCCC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, students must have completed 12 semester hours of associate degree coursework with a grade point average of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale. The national organization requires only a 3.5 GPA to qualify for membership. Members of CCCC’s Beta Sigma Phi Chapter must maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 and must adhere to the Student Code of Conduct.

CCCC had its own honor society, Alpha Theta Tau, from 1986 to the chartering of a Phi Theta Kappa chapter in 2010. President Bud Marchant brought the idea for establishing a chapter to the college’s board of trustees for discussion and approval.

“I thought it was a good idea,” said trustee R.V. Hight, who was chair of the board’s Student and Academic Support Services Committee in 2010 when the idea of establishing a PTK chapter was discussed. “I am so proud we are doing this.”

Marchant said Hight was instrumental in promoting the idea of moving from a stand-alone society to a chapter of the international honor society.

“R.V. had a great deal to do with the starting of the college’s Beta Sigma Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa,” he said. “It stands as one his major contributions to the quality of education the college offers and its national recognition as an institution of excellence. We are grateful for his leadership in this.

“We are extremely proud of what these students have achieved in the short time the chapter has been in existence,” he added. “They are mature, highly motivated, goal-oriented and serve their college and communities with distinction. I congratulate them and their advisors for this well-deserved recognition.”

For more information about PTK’s Beta Sigma Phi Chapter, visit www.cccc.edu and click on the A-Z index for Phi Theta Kappa, or contact Mark Hall, mhall@cccc.edu or (919) 781-7422, or Mike Neal, mneal@cccc.edu or (919) 718-7337.