Phi Theta Kappa (PTK)
Cascadia College’s Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society is Beta Lambda Lambda and was established in 2003. The mission of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize academic achievement of college students and to provide opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders. We welcome approximately 100 new members each year from a variety of academic programs. Our Beta Lambda Lambda chapter provides opportunities for our members to connect to the greater campus community through a variety of projects.
Students are eligible for PTK membership once they have completed 12 credits at Cascadia College (defined as courses numbered 100 level and above) and earn a 3.5 GPA or higher. PTK membership is available to running start, career-tech, and international students. Invitations are sent quarterly to students from the Office of Student Life. These invitations include a unique password to join PTK through the PTK website and require a $75 lifetime membership fee.
PTK membership opens the door to many different scholarships, so answering that question will require you to do some research! You can find more details on Phi Theta Kappa’s website. The main point to understand is the two different kinds of scholarships available:
Scholarships offered through PTK and its sponsors:These are competitive scholarship awards that you can apply for at any stage in your education. You can use the money for your tuition and fees at Cascadia. Scholarships are offered for a variety of student populations, including dual-enrollment (Running Start) students, career-tech students, international students, and students pursuing particular fields of study. These scholarship applications are reviewed twice per year, with application deadlines in December and May.
Scholarships offered through 4-year universities for transfer students:If you are transferring from Cascadia to a 4-year school to complete a Bachelor’s degree, these scholarships would be part of the financial aid package the admissions office at your 4-year school may offer you. Because PTK membership indicates a student has strong academic ability, 4-year schools hoping to attract top-tier transfer students often offer these scholarships as an incentive for PTK members to apply to their university. Check with the universities you are considering to see if they offer a scholarship for PTK members.
- Q: Is this spam?
- A: No, this is not spam. Phi Theta Kappa was founded in 1918 and has nearly 3 million members worldwide.
- Q: Is Phi Theta Kappa a student club?
- A: No. Phi Theta Kappa is a membership organization that is only open to students by invitation, and which requires a one-time membership fee of $75 to join. The national PTK organization partners with 2-year colleges to support student scholarship and community service on campuses across the country. Through the partnership with the PTK organization, students are eligible to hold leadership positions here at Cascadia to provide these community service opportunities to their fellow PTK members.
- Student clubs, on the other hand, are open to all students, do not require a membership fee, and are initiated and run by Cascadia students. Phi Theta Kappa does not receive funding from Cascadia’s Services and Activities Fee.
- Q: Is Phi Theta Kappa a fraternity or sorority?
- A: No. It is an academic honor society. The Greek letters are just part of a tradition for collegiate membership organizations.
- Q: Can I join later? Is this a one-time offer?
- A: As long as you continue to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, you will remain eligible to join PTK. We send out invitations three times per year: Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters. Eligibility is based on your GPA at the end of the prior quarter in which you were enrolled. Once issued, the invitation is open for the duration of the current quarter in which you were invited.
- Q: What does Cascadia’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter do?
- A: That is up to you! Nothing is required on your part as a member. You do not have to attend meetings or participate in community service. However, PTK offers excellent opportunities to grow in leadership, academic research, and service through its various national programs like the Five-Star Chapter Plan, the Honors in Action Project competition, and both regional and national leadership conferences. If you want to get more involved, talk to Cascadia’s chapter advisor about how to do so.
- Q: What happens if your GPA drops after joining?
- A: Cascadia College requires a cumulative GPA of 3.5 to maintain active member status. If a PTK member’s GPA falls below this required GPA, they would have a one quarter probationary period to raise their GPA. If a PTK member is unable to raise their GPA after this probationary period, the member will be reduced to inactive status and be unable to participate in any PTK events or access any benefits until they are able to meet the required GPA requirements.
- Q: What happens when you join?
- A: Once a student joins PTK, they will receive a certificate, a PTK pin, and membership card. Members should consider becoming active in the chapter in order to gain the most from being a part of this prestigious international honor society. Membership in PTK is lifelong, meaning that once you graduate from Cascadia College, you will become an Alumni and can participate in Alumni activities.
- Q: Do PTK members wear anything special at graduation?
- A: Phi Theta Kappa offers a variety of graduation accessories for its members including tassels, stoles, and honor cords. You can purchase these accessories from the PTK virtual store. For more information about graduation, visit Cascadia’s graduation website.
Cascadia’s chapter advisor is Samantha Penjaraenwatana, Student Life Advisor from the department of Student Life. You can email Samantha with any questions you may have.
If you would like to learn more about Phi Theta Kappa, please explore the following pages for more information.