Phi Theta Kappa
Alpha Alpha Sigma is HCC's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges.
"The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa shall be to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa shall provide opportunity for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence."
Join Phi Theta Kappa
Phi Theta Kappa membership reflects your academic success!
To be invited to join Phi Theta Kappa, students must:
- complete a minimum of 12 college-level credits (100- and 200-level courses) at HCC
- obtain a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA in all college level courses completed
- be a currently enrolled student at Howard Community College
Credits completed at other 2-year and 4-year institutions and transferred to Howard Community College do not count towards meeting the criteria. Please note: HCC tabulates a student's cumulative grade point average using all course work completed at the college. For Phi Theta Kappa, the grades obtained and credits completed in developmental courses (below 100 level) are NOT used in tabulating a student's eligibility.
Are you a high achieving student who expects to be invited to join Phi Theta Kappa? If so, take advantage of provisional membership and get involved with the chapter today! Provisional membership is granted to students who expect to meet the eligibility requirements for membership in the upcoming semester. Provisional members can attend bi-monthly meetings and participate in chapter activities. Provisional members are not permitted to be a chapter officer or vote on official chapter business.
Invitations to join Phi Theta Kappa are issued to students who meet the eligibility criteria by the fifth week of the fall and spring semesters. Invitations are sent electronically to students' Howard Community College email addresses. If a student receives an invitation and does not choose to accept membership into the society, they will continue to receive invitations to join in future semesters as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
Accept Membership Into the Society
Students invited to join Phi Theta Kappa must accept membership into the society via the Phi Theta Kappa International website link and access code provided in their invitation email. In order to accept membership, students must pay a one-time membership fee of $80 and complete the online membership registration before the stated deadline in their invitation email.
Annual Induction Ceremony
Induction ceremonies are held annually in April to formally celebrate the accomplishments of new members. Participation in the annual induction ceremony is optional and does not impact one's membership status in the honor society.
Learn about HCC's Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa
Get involved with Phi Theta Kappa and make the most of your membership!
Phi Theta Kappa members meet every other week, times and days varying by semester. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for meeting times. Meetings begin the second week of the semester and run through the last week of classes. Most meetings focus on planning and executing a collaborative chapter project that aims to help the college or community. Other "value-added" meetings throughout the semester provide members with support and information on important topics like how to find one's ideal transfer institution or where to search for Phi Theta Kappa scholarships.
Phi Theta Kappa membership reflects four hallmarks: Scholarship, Leadership, Fellowship and Service. Throughout the year, members come together to collaboratively execute an Honors in Action project that positively impacts the community and a College Project that positively impacts HCC. In addition, members work together to serve the community through group volunteer opportunities, develop new skills through interactive leadership development workshops and get to know each other better through social activities.
Three to four student officers make up the chapter leadership team. Positions include chapter President, Vice President of Service, Vice President of Communication and Vice President of Records. Students interested in serving as a chapter officer for the next academic year (fall and spring) are invited to complete an application in March.
Phi Theta Kappa Canvas Site
Upon joining Phi Theta Kappa, members are added to the Phi Theta Kappa "course site" on HCC's learning management system, Canvas. Information regarding chapter activities, member opportunities and general chapter business is exclusively available on and facilitated through the Canvas site.
Meet the Chapter Advisors
Phi Theta Kappa advisers are here to support members in their pursuit of continued excellence.
HCC's current Phi Theta Kappa chapter adviser:
Prof. Frances Turner, Assistant Professor of Biology
443-518-3551 | SET 331
Discover Scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa Members
Phi Theta Kappa members are eligible to apply for exclusive scholarships provided by Phi Theta Kappa International and four-year transfer institutions.
Phi Theta Kappa International Scholarships
Through a fall and spring common application process, Phi Theta Kappa International awards thousands of dollars of scholarship funds annually to highly esteemed members of the honor society. Some scholarships provided by Phi Theta Kappa International are open to all members, while others have specific requirements or limit the number of students who can be nominated from each two-year college. HCC is proud to have had several students who have received the most elite Phi Theta Kappa International scholarships in recent years:
- 2009 - Coca-Cola New Century Scholar (top scoring student in the state of Maryland)
- 2013 - All USA Community College Academic Team (1 of 20 students selected nation-wide)
- 2013 - Coca-Cola New Century Scholar (top scoring student in the state of Maryland)
- 2013 - Guistwhite Scholarship Recipient (1 of 15 students selected nation-wide)
- 2014 - Coca-Cola New Century Scholar (top scoring student in the state of Maryland)
- 2014 - Hites Transfer Scholarship Recipient (1 of 10 students selected nation-wide)
Phi Theta Kappa Common Application Scholarship Time Frame
- Fall Common Application: early October through early December
- Spring Common Application: early March through mid-May
For specific information regarding the application, requirements and awards of Phi Theta Kappa International scholarships, please visit their webpage.
Four-Year College Transfer Scholarships and Incentives
The majority of funds available to Phi Theta Kappa members come directly from four-year colleges in the form of scholarships, application waivers, tuition reductions and other transfer incentives. Phi Theta Kappa members are known to be high achieving, hard-working and innately motivated students. Four-year colleges use various forms of transfer incentives to lure Phi Theta Kappa members to their institutions. Each four-year college is different in what they offer to Phi Theta Kappa members. Some colleges offer a significant reduction in tuition to all Phi Theta Kappa transfer students while others do not provide any exclusive incentive. Due to this wide range of variance, students are encouraged to contact the admissions and financial aid departments of transfer schools to discover what is available to Phi Theta Kappa members. Some examples of transfer incentives provided by local four-year colleges in recent years include:
- American University - $10,000 scholarship
- George Washington University - $7,500 scholarship (must have a 3.7 or higher GPA)
- Hood College - $2,000 scholarship
- McDaniel College - $18,000 - $20,000 scholarship
- Salisbury University - $2,000 scholarship, application fee waiver
- Stevenson University - $16,000 scholarship (approximately)
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County - $2,500 scholarship, application fee waiver
Graduate with Phi Theta Kappa Honors
Celebrate your Phi Theta Kappa membership at Commencement!
Graduate with Phi Theta Kappa Honors
To remain in the honor society, graduate with Phi Theta Kappa honors and receive the Phi Theta Kappa membership denotation on one's transcript, students must maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA in their college-level courses. In order to be listed as a Phi Theta Kappa member in the commencement program, students must be members in good standing at the time when they petition to graduate.
Members of Phi Theta Kappa are invited to wear special membership regalia at commencement. Members can choose to wear any combination of the following items: membership pin, honors cords, honors tassel, key honors stole and key medallion. Most students choose to wear their membership pin and honors cords. Membership pins are provided to all students when they accept membership, other regalia items are up to the student to select and purchase at their own expense from the Phi Theta Kappa online store.