CCCC's Phi Theta Kappa allows students to try on new leadership roles
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Mark Hall (left), Central Carolina Community College Chatham County Provost, was the speaker for the ... (more)
By Susan Welch, CCCC Correspondent
SANFORD -- The Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society boasts a long list of accomplishments, but the greatest of these is the opportunity for students to try on new leadership roles.
The official honor society for community colleges and the largest honor society in American higher education, Phi Theta Kappa has more than two million members and 1,200 chapters in the United States and internationally. It offers members over $87 million in scholarship opportunities.
"These are students who are really conscientious about their work and who enjoy competing," said PTK Advisor Mark Hall, CCCC's Chatham County Campus Provost. "But one of the greatest advantages PTK offers is a caring, compassionate environment. It is a really great place to push yourself, to be able to fail and for it be okay. It's a safe place to try things out and to learn from your mistakes."
The college's Beta Sigma Phi chapter is less than five years old, but has already won widespread recognition for its successful community service initiatives and leadership development.
The chapter 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. Chatham County Provost 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.
In 2013, it 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.
There were numerous other projects and activities during the 2013-2014 academic years that increased the chapter's visibility and performance at both regional and international levels, among them are co-hosting the regional fall conference with James Sprunt Community College in 2013 and holding the Honors in Action Summit in 2014.
Hall, who will turn over his role as advisor to Chemistry Instructor Rodney Powell in the fall, said that being a PTK advisor has been very gratifying. "It's been a really great opportunity to watch students develop in ways they don't develop in the classroom, to watch them grow in leadership and organizational abilities," he said.
Described as focused and competitive, CCCC PTK member must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale. The national organization requires only a 3.5 GPA to qualify for membership. Each candidate must have also completed 12 semester hours of associate degree coursework. 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.
All of the projects undertaken by the honor society have been self-initiated, Hall said. "All we do as advisors is to guide them and to help them find the answers they need to do what they want to do. For the college, PTK is an excellent opportunity for our students intellectually, emotionally, and financially."
Incoming Advisor Rodney Powell congratulated the job done by his predecessors Hall and Neal and added that he would like to see an even greater percentage of students accept the invitation to join and become active in CCCC's PTK chapter.
"By growing the number of active members, we will be able to conduct more service projects for the college and community," Powell said. "We've already discussed a few ideas we want to implement to increase our numbers in the coming semesters. Our members have already shown that they are highly skilled at accomplishing tasks, now it is time to incorporate more members, finish more projects, and produce more leaders for the college."
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