Asnuntuck Community College’s Alpha Lambda Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa has been recognized as a Top 15 REACH Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. The recognition is part of PTK’s REACH Rewards program, which celebrates and rewards Phi Theta Kappa chapters excelling in membership development. More than 112,500 students across the world became PTK members in 2020.
Asnuntuck Community College CEO Dr. Michelle Coach said, “We are extremely proud of our Phi Theta Kappa chapter’s achievement. The faculty and staff are extremely supportive of our students and encourage them to accept membership.” She explained, “Pre-pandemic, faculty members would present students with their membership invitation within the classroom, and employees publicly congratulate the potential inductees on their accomplishment. Now, they provide virtual congratulations and continue to encourage acceptance of membership.” She continued, “The employees and students have witnessed the benefits of PTK membership through the scholarships that they are provided and the international and regional awards that achieve. The students become leaders on our campus and within the community.”
Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa has a presence on almost 1,300 community college campuses in 11 nations. Asnuntuck’s chapter had the highest acceptance rate in New England and placed 13 out of 1,081 chapters in membership development internationally, in 2020.
North-West Region President for Connecticut Community Colleges Dr. James Lombella applauded the efforts of the students, advisors, staff and faculty who are involved with the local chapter. “I am proud of our students. Phi Theta Kappa continues to provide Asnuntuck students with leadership and scholarship opportunities while they are at the college and beyond.”
“Being a REACH chapter is more important this year than ever before as Phi Theta Kappa worked to support community college students in completely unfamiliar circumstances,” PTK President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner said. “Racial and political unrest and a global pandemic made 2020 the most challenging year in recent history — one that our students, chapters, and partner colleges worked exceptionally hard to overcome. Although this is a chapter award, it demonstrates that students are more focused on their futures than ever before, and their colleges are providing the opportunities to get them there — even amid a global pandemic.”
This designation is just one of many recognitions that the local chapter has received over the years. The chapter’s officers and advisors have earned high designations in the past and the chapter has been recognized at past international conferences, including At this year’s national convention, Asnuntuck’s chapter received several national awards. Alpha Lambda Zeta received Distinguished Chapter, Distinguished Theme Award Honors in Action, and one for a Distinguished Honors in Action Project. ACC’s Alpha Lambda Zeta is one of PTK’s top 35 Chapters.
Thayre Trzepacz, an Asnuntuck Community College Academic Laboratory Associate, Advisor, Alpha Lambda Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and Associate Regional Coordinator, New England Region stated, “Each year Asnuntuck’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter has strived to be amongst the very top in the nation.” She continued, “Each year we induct more and more students. This has allowed our chapter to reach not only our chapter goals but to also be recognized nationally. Being an advisor of a REACH chapter is an honor. As an advisor I will continue to do my very best to help our chapter grow and REACH to the stars.”
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 $48 million in scholarships — $1 million in competitive scholarships through the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and more than $46 million in transfer scholarships to over 850 four-year colleges.
“When students get engaged in campus programming, explore leadership opportunities, and utilize personal development resources developed by PTK, real transformation happens,” said Christin Grissom, PTK’s Vice President of Scholarship and Membership. “We couldn’t be prouder of our REACH Chapters for their efforts to encourage PTK membership acceptance despite challenges presented by the pandemic and unlock limitless opportunities that PTK membership provides for deserving students.”
The 2021 REACH Chapters will be rewarded with free graduation stoles for their members. Asnuntuck will be receiving 43 stoles, as part of this selection. Nearly 5,600 stoles will be awarded internationally.