AVON PARK, Fla. – March 5, 2019 – South Florida State College’s (SFSC) Tau Epsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) was one of 578 PTK chapters nationwide to be recognized for their efforts to bring the life-changing benefits and opportunities of PTK membership to more students on their campuses.

Dubbed “Reach” Chapters, these chapters achieved or exceeded a 15 percent membership acceptance rate in 2018. The Reach Rewards program recognizes and rewards Phi Theta Kappa chapters that excel in the area of membership development.

Currently, SFSC’s Tau Epsilon chapter has 192 members. According to chapter co-advisor and director of the College’s Honors Program, Dr. Charlotte Pressler, the Tau Epsilon chapter increased membership, in part, when it opened up membership to four-year baccalaureate program students and dual enrollment students a few years ago.

“This Reach achievement is also due to the dedication of the officers and the students of PTK,” said Michelle Macbeth, Tau Epsilon chapter co-advisor. “Last year, the officers fostered and invigorated the chapter with a passion for academics and for learning. These officers also encouraged students to become active in PTK, where they felt their scholasticism was appreciated. Former advisors Kim Hemler and Dr. Sonji Nicolas had a real passion for PTK and encouraged officers to be active in the chapter.”

“We created the Reach Rewards program because we believe strongly in the mission of Phi Theta Kappa and want as many students as possible to receive the benefits of membership,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, PTK president and CEO. “Increased opportunities to apply for scholarships and engage with their peers and key faculty members lead to higher completion rates, and students get those opportunities through PTK.”

A full 91 percent of Phi Theta Kappa members will complete an associate degree or transfer to a four-year college, compared to just 38 percent of students nationally. Members have access to nearly $90 million in scholarships, can gain leadership experience, and can learn essential workplace skills employers seek.

In addition, more than 750 four-year colleges and universities have established more than $37 million in transfer scholarships exclusively for Phi Theta Kappa members. The average transfer scholarship a member could receive is $2,500 a year.

“The opportunities for learning, leadership development, community service, and fellowship among members are the true benefits of membership,” Tincher-Ladner said. “The real transformation happens when students get involved in campus programming and activities designed to help students explore leadership opportunities.”

The membership acceptance rate is determined by dividing the number of students that joined PTK in the 2018 calendar year by the number that were eligible. The rate is weighted based on each college’s demographics, such as overall enrollment.

“We love it when our students are on fire for excellence,” Dr. Pressler said. “An invitation to PTK recognizes their hard work and honors their achievements.”

PTK is an honor society that recognizes the academic achievements of community and state college students and helps them to grow as scholars and leaders. The society is made up of over 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations. PTK celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018. For more on PTK, visit ptk.org.

For more information about SFSC’s PTK chapter or Honors Program, contact Dr. Pressler at 863-784-7247.