Photo of PTK advisor Kate Martin by Cassie LeBel
By Leonard Blanc
Across the Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) campus, papers and brochures can be found advertising a group called Phi Theta Kappa (PTK). The question most students then ask is ‘what is this group and what do they do?’ As it turns out, knowing the answer to that question could actually save students money as well as help further their academic careers.
PTK is an international honor society for two-year colleges and programs with over 1,200 chapters and three million members worldwide. Luckily enough for local students, the 4Cs chapter is amongst the top across the entire organization, giving its members an edge even among their fellow honor students.
Becoming a member of PTK is easier than you might think. All a student needs to qualify for a membership is a GPA of 3.5 or above. After you meet this requirement, you only need to hold a minimum GPA of 3.2 and not break the schools code of conduct in order to retain your status as a member.
One of the biggest draws for students towards a group like PTK is the potential for academic scholarships. According to their website, ptk.org, Phi Theta Kappa is partnered with nearly 750 four-year universities that give away over 37 million dollars annually to its members.
“If you go to Northeastern, they’ll take 2,000 off the top of your tuition just if you’re a member of Phi Theta Kappa,” said 4Cs PTK advisor Kate Martin.
Martin named Boston University as one of the schools that gives out scholarships to multiple students as part of the honors society. Though she explained that these scholarship opportunities are competitive, she encourages anyone who joins PTK to then “be more involved in a leadership position” in order to stand out.
Like most electives, PTK is an organization where students get out what they put in. Maintaining their GPA and following the schools code of conduct is all that’s explicitly required of members, but for those who put forth the effort and take on a more involved role will, more paths and opportunities for success will open up.
“PTK members can be as involved as they want to be with our college’s chapter,” said Noah Lamperti, a second-semester PTK member. “Scholarships are available for all students, especially exceptionally involved students.”
Lamperti explained that the 4Cs chapter takes part in a local college project and an international ‘Honors in Action’ project, both of which aim to teach participants leadership skills through projects that aim to benefit the community.
PTK is an organization with an extensive list of benefits for the students who join; from the scholarships to simply the social experiences gained from becoming a more active member of the school’s ecosystem.
“During my first semester here at 4Cs, I felt as though I wasn’t engaged in a ‘real’ college experience . . . I did not feel as though I was a part of higher education,” said Lamperti. “Once I joined PTK in my second semester here, my outlook completely changed. Suddenly, I found myself able to interact with other honors students, people who were engaged in their studies and who had a passion for academic success. This, in turn, helped motivate me to take a great deal of pride in my academic experience here at Cape Cod Community College.”
Any student that gets the opportunity to join PTK will have to seriously consider all the possible benefits to their academic futures.