Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society that rewards and assists academic achievement of students. PTK facilitates access to scholarships, transfer resources and rewards recognition for 3.5 GPA or above.
Katherine Oleson, faculty adviser of the local Bellevue College chapter of PTK explained how the society recognizes and awards hard working students and academic success. The society branches into three fields: scholarships, leadership skills and community service and involvement.
Member Amber Lindstrom found her involvement at PTK encouraged her to strive to her fullest potential.
“I stepped into it not really knowing what it was or how big of a deal it was. I had taken honors classes since I was in elementary school, so I assumed it would be similar. I really only became a member because my adviser said it would be a good idea. I have since realized it is a high achievement and one that not all students are given the opportunity to participate in. I hope to take from it the confidence of my academic ability and the acknowledgement from my school knowing that I have attained something that I have worked so hard for.”
Lindstrom is not the only student who has benefited from this society. The society aims to both celebrate and encourage achievement and success.
“I entered into BC with no confidence in my ability to learn or do much of anything. I was a single mom of two, on [welfare], homeless, going to court because of a custody battle with my ex whom I left because of domestic violence,” said Trisha Allerdice.
Quarter after quarter she scored well, which surprised her, and PTK contacted her via email each time. She finally joined with only two quarters left for her AA in Business Technology.
“I got in a car accident towards the end of the spring 2012 quarter,” said Allerdice. “Between being a single mom, physical therapy, full time classes and volunteering, I was struggling. A fellow PTK member helped me with my homework more than I would have thought anyone would … The support was amazing.”
PTK stands to remind members of the gift of knowledge and community spirit. The society has adopted a park which members go to once a month to plant trees, weed and care for, while getting to know locals in the area.
There is a great-announced pride of achievement that members of the society speak of and elaborately convey, mentioning how on graduation day members of PTK wear honor cords with their gowns as recognition.
Oleson sees an increase of student interest with the rise of tuition. “There are more students thinking practically about their life and options.” It is a new attitude with which students approach PTK now than they did in 2005.
Oleson commented on how the society opens doors of opportunity for students, direction and finally celebration. Students of this society encouraged others to join with an appreciation of PTK.