Phi Theta Kappa Frequently Asked Questions
- Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is the international honor society for community college students. PTK was established in 1918 and has inducted more than 3.5 million students since that time.
Heartland has a student organization for Phi Theta Kappa, a chapter called Alpha Omega Xi, on campus.
PTK is an honor society with no required membership obligations (other than the membership fee), whereas the Honors Program is an academic program that requires coursework. Students are invited to join PTK, whereas students must apply for and be accepted into the Honors Program.
The Honors Program at Heartland is guided by the principles of Phi Theta Kappa - scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service.
- If you have earned 12 credit hours with a 3.5 GPA, you are eligible to become a member.
- There is one-time membership fee of $85 to join Phi Theta Kappa. Once you pay the fee, you are a member for life.
- If you meet the eligibility criteria, you received an email and letter from Phi Thea Kappa with instructions on how to join.
- Scholarships - Phi Theta Kappa awards nearly $1 million of scholarships every year. Transfer institutions (if you plan to earn a bachelor's degree) often have a scholarship exclusively for PTK members. Learn more about scholarships in the tabs below.
- Recognition - Phi Theta Kappa members wear a special tassel and set of cords at Heartland’s commencement ceremony, participate in a Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony, receive membership notation on their Heartland transcript and diploma, and are named in a press release on HCC’s website and Facebook page!
- Leadership and Service - Students who get involved with Phi Theta Kappa on Heartland's campus will have experiences that boost their resume, making them competitive for scholarships and jobs in the future. Learn more about leadership and service in the tabs below.
- There are no membership obligations beyond paying the $85 membership fee.
However, Phi Theta Kappa membership is what you make of it. The more you put in, the more you get out of it. Your best experience will come from getting involved with Heartland's chapter of PTK.
- The best way to get involved is to attend meetings. PTK meetings occur every Thursday from 12:30-1:45. This is when the group discusses, plans, and implements the semester service project.
Officer positions offer PTK members the opportunity to take on a leadership role within our chapter. Officer positions include Chapter President, Vice President, Service Officer, Scholarship Officer, Fellowship Officer, Public Relations Officer, Treasurer, and Recording Secretary. Chapter officers are offered the opportunity to travel for free to the Phi Theta Kappa conference, held annually in April.
The service opportunities that the chapter conducts benefit both the college and the Bloomington/Normal community. There is one project in the fall semester and one project in the spring semester. Every semester the project is different; it's always what the students decide. In recent years, the chapter has done volunteerism with Midwest Food Bank and at a retirement community in BN.
You can learn more about scholarships here.
There is a fall scholarship application (September-December) and a spring scholarship application (February-May). The fall scholarship application is for students who will transfer to a university and pursue a bachelor's degree in the following fall semester. The spring scholarship application is for students who will continue at their community college in the coming fall/spring semesters.
- The pool of eligible applicants is different every year, so it's difficult to know the likelihood of an individual student being awarded a scholarship. However, it seems like Heartland has had a student be awarded a PTK scholarship (from the PTK organization; not a transfer scholarship) every other year or so. Usually, it is a $500 or $1000 scholarship. Keep in mind that we aren't always notified if a student gets a scholarship!
- You can find information on applying for the PTK scholarships on the PTK website here.
- Congratulations! As a PTK member, you'll get to wear a special gold tassel and set of cords. You can pick up your PTK regalia at the same time and location that you are picking up your cap and gown. Just let the staff know that you're a PTK member.
- These organizations are honor societies that are not affiliated with Heartland. You may have gotten an invitation to join their organization because they request student contact information which, by law, Heartland must provide. Please research the organizations to see what they offer.