PTK offers return on investment

Phi Theta Kappa, known as PTK, is an international honors society for all the community colleges in the country.

The head advisor of the DMACC Ankeny chapter is Ronn Newby. To join PTK at DMACC, one must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and have 12 college credits.

Once this is reached, an invitation will be sent out asking to join PTK. The invitations come through the DMACC email each semester. Newby also explains that if one thinks they may be qualified, to check out Degree Works in the Web Info System.

Members of PTK have to pay a member fee of $80. Members can be as active in the organization as much or as little as they desire.

This organization also has many scholarships to four-year universities. Scholarships for PTK saves students $37 million in tuition and would be significantly less than those who are not part of PTK.

For example, PTK members who move onto ISU can receive a transfer scholarship. Every year, ISU gives 50 PTK students a $1,000 scholarship.

There are four pillars to PTK and they include leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and service. Many fellowship activities take place and can range from a movie night to a Buccaneers game, even bowling. The main point of these activities are to get everyone involved with the fellowship so everyone can feel accepted. Newby said, “They need to have some fun once in a while and not worry about homework.”

PTK also gives back to the community. In January and February, they raise money to go out and buy pajamas for women who have been victim of domestic violence and live in domestic abuse shelters. Newby spoke enthusiastically about going to all the Targets in the metro purchasing leftover pajamas from the holidays. Even staff, faculty, and students contributed on the Ankeny Campus. They ended up collecting 334 pairs of pajamas.

PTK also does a lot of fundraising for the national trips. They sell pizza on Mondays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the hallways of Building 2 as well as the occasionally sells mac and cheese from Z’mariks.

Right now, PTK is raising money to go to Washington, D.C. in the spring for the international PTK conference. International meetings, though, can take place anywhere in the country. Last year, the international conference took place in San Antonio.

Within the coming years the conference will take place in Nashville and Kansas City. Newby is trying to get all the information ready for the spring trip. He is not sure about the amount of money it will cost, but he is really excited to take his students to the capital. The conference will occur Thursday to Saturday but he is planning on making the trip about a week long so they can do the touristy thing.

The latest trip PTK took was a weekend to Minneapolis. There, they went to the Mall of America where a large scavenger hunt took place. Even though only nine students went, they bonded while having an excellent time. Newby explained that he likes to take these mini-trips or retreats so the students can have some fun and get a break from school life.

PTK is the largest and most active organization on campus. Newby stated, “We are not a club, we are an organization.”

He definitely loves what he does because of the passionate way he talks about PTK. Newby says, “It is like a family because everyone becomes close.”

Newby says being an advisor of PTK is a lot of work but he wouldn’t change a thing. One of the most rewarding things for Newby is seeing these students break out of their shells and to see their true disposition and what they have to offer, not just the studious person that is seen in class.

One student, Charity Heikes of Clive, majoring in psychology, has really appreciated being a part of this organization.

She explains her membership with PTK has only been for about a month and a half because she debated whether or not to actually join and spend the $80. She ultimately joined because she really likes the “awesome return on investments” and the fact that everyone is so close and accepting.

Heikes talks about how PTK has allowed her to get involved on campus. Heikes says, “PTK really shows that I’m serious about college and my future.”

Without being a part of PTK she would not be looking into a private college to transfer to after DMACC. She explained that she had already been to a private college and the tuition was horrendous. Since she is now a PTK member, she has started to look into Simpson because PTK “will knock a lot of the tuition off” just because of the membership. She also starts to talk about the Enhanced Membership Program where it helps one stay active in PTK.

“This [program] will look great on college transcripts,” Heikes explains.

The Enhanced Membership Program has five different levels of achievement that a member can go through and once the level is complete, he or she can receive a small gift. Upon completing the fifth level, one can graduate with a PTK graduation stole, $50 credit towards the international meeting, and a letter of recommendation from a PTK advisor.

Heikes’ favorite thing about PTK is that since she is older, 34, and lives off campus, she would have no motivation to do anything besides go to class, leave, and do homework.

She says, “It makes me be active in college life where I wouldn’t be otherwise.”  For that, she is very thankful for the PTK program and being a member of the organization.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask Ronn Newby at rrnewby@dmacc.edu. Slack-for-iOS-Upload-(3)

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