The Price of Excellence

Phi Theta Kappa scholars and their campus mission


Madison Ling, Campus Life Editor

Established in 1966, Phi Theta Kappa was created to honor high achieving students enrolled in a 2-year college. Since its birth, the organization has grown into a team of service-oriented leaders that have a goal of improving themselves and the world that they live in.
Today, it’s no surprise that Schoolcraft’s very own chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), Omicron Iota, has currently over 200 members. That isn’t the only amazing feat that this chapter has accomplished. Omicron Iota is also considered to be the most active branch in the entire country through its community involvement in volunteering and research.

Requirements and benefits of membership

The only stipulations to become a member are that students are required to maintain a 3.5 GPA and must pay the $110 membership fee. PTK certainly makes the investment worth it with a variety of transfer scholarships through an exclusive database called ‘PTK Connect,’ which provides students with more than $37 million for over 750 colleges and universities. The organization also provides incoming members with a membership certificate, identification card and a special PTK designation on students’ diplomas and transcripts as proof of membership.
According to Matthew Fular, President of Phi Theta Kappa Omicron Iota, the benefits of becoming a Phi Theta Kappa member are limitless.
“It shows commitment to your education and to making a difference in your community and requires very little in return. Besides your GPA, there are no other requirements.”
As members, students are expected to uphold the Hallmarks of Phi Theta Kappa which are Service, Leadership, Fellowship and Scholarship. Thus, Fular encourages students to become actively engaged on campus and throughout the community.
“PTK also participates in two projects, Honors in Action (HIA) and College Project (CP) which work with Schoolcraft’s marketing executives and Dr. Jeffress to improve the college. We’re also conducting researching on the Opioid Crisis and its effects on the economy to see how we can help our community,” commented Fular.

Types of membership

For students that are interested in joining the organization, they should know that there two membership opportunities available: general membership and ‘Par Excellence’ membership both of which require the student to pay a one-time fee of $110. The difference between the two is that ‘Par Excellence’ allows for members to earn back a refund of $35 following the completion of a 6-STAR program.
“Our Par Excellence membership is how our members can earn a $35 refund to what they paid to join and the process by which they can earn their honors regalia for graduation. The benefit of this membership is that it shows consistent involvement in our chapter and dedication to service-learning,” states Fular.
STARS can be earned from any combination of volunteering, fundraising and assisting at campus events. The typical number of stars earned can vary, but students will typically earn ¼ star for each hour of service and all six of them can be earned from fundraising a total of $300.
When asked how becoming a member of the Omicron Iota chapter has benefitted her, former officer Carrie Ross replied “PTK gave me several opportunities to volunteer in the community and to meet new people. It’s because of PTK that I met my two best friends and was able to grow as a student leader.”

Professional and personal growth opportunities

Phi Theta Kappa also provides students with professional development to enhance the skills necessary for success in the workplace.
“These programs ease any anxiety that young adults face about their careers because many are nervous when it comes to the unknown. ‘Employment Edge’ provides a realistic demonstration of what students can expect in their career, regardless of what field they enter,” Fular commented.
For any student with a 3.5 GPA, a desire to grow and a passion for service-learning, consider joining this organization.
For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, contact Matthew Fular at [email protected].

Photo courtesy of Matthew Fular, Phi Theta Kappa President