Category Archives: Phi Theta Kappa

Honors Update: First Term of the New Honors Program

Starting in September 2018, we brought back the Honors Program and have made a lot of progress creating opportunities for students! 

Honors Classes

This year, we are offering the following honors classes:

  • ANTH 102_H: World Archaeology
  • ART 115_H: Basic Design
  • BI 101_H: General Biology
  • COMM 111_H: Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  • COOP 280_H: Co-op Ed: Service Learning
  • ENG 105_H: Introduction to Literature: Drama
  • ENG 106_H: Introduction to Literature: Poetry
  • WR 121_H: Introduction to Academic Writing
  • WR 122_H: Composition: Argument, Style and Research
  • WR 227_H: Technical Writing
  • WR 242_H: Introduction to Imaginative Writing: Poetry

Partnering with Phi Theta Kappa

The Director of the Writing Center, Casey Reid, and I are now the advisors for Lane’s Sigma Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. We will be bringing the chapter back in winter of 2019! Honors students can hold leadership positions in PTK to fulfill their experiential learning requirement. Also, we will hold workshops for both Honors and PTK to help students build and maintain ePortfolios, create research posters, and develop their resumes. 

Transfer Agreements

We reinstated our agreement with Portland State University’s Honors College. Students completing our program can transfer directly into their college as juniors.

We are in the process of reinstating our agreement with Southern Oregon University’s Honors College.

We are also in conversation with the University of Oregon’s Clark Honors College, which is interested in developing a transfer agreement with us.

Watch for more details on these last two agreements and other developments in 2019!

HONORS IS BACK!

On Wednesday, I met with Executive Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Jennifer Frei and Executive Dean of Student Affairs Kerry Levett to discuss the Honors Program. The meeting was at Jennifer’s invitation, and both she and Kerry wanted to figure out how to maintain a scaled back version of the Honors Program and an active Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter. We decided to bring the issue up in a meeting that Stacey Kiser and I had scheduled with the President,  Interim Vice President, and Jennifer on Thursday morning to discuss expanding undergraduate research at Lane.

When Jennifer, Stacey, and I met with President Marge Hamilton and Interim Vice President Jane Harmon on Thursday, we began by discussing undergraduate research at Lane. Both Marge and Jane were very supportive of expanding this high impact practice for Lane’s students and directed us to move forward with the work.

Before we could bring up the Honors Program, however, Marge brought it up. She made it absolutely clear that she wanted an Honors Program and a PTK chapter at the college and would support bringing both of these honors opportunities back for students.

I’ll post more information in a few weeks after attending the initial planning meeting scheduled for early April. For now, it’s time to celebrate!

HONORS IS BACK!

Honors and Phi Theta Kappa

The Sigma Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) has been shut down this past year after some challenges with particular students. Having served briefly as the advisor for PTK, I remember that depending on the students involved, there can certainly be challenges. In fact, last fall at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference, I asked other honors directors who were also their campus’s PTK advisor about the drama that often seemed to be part of the chapter’s history. One advisor said, “There is always drama with PTK.” The others just nodded.

One reason for the drama, I believe, is that PTK gathers together very bright, very creative students who may or may not have experience with leadership, organizing events, managing funds, and running a chapter. That’s part of the purpose of PTK – building those skills. Some students definitely do show up with one or more of those skills and can help a chapter succeed, or they may be up against a larger group that doesn’t want to follow their lead.

I respect the decision of Kristina Holton, the chapter advisor, to close down the chapter to let things settle out. I especially respect her decision not to push recruitment when there weren’t any activities or opportunities for new members to participate in.

Regardless of the challenges that can beset a chapter, the benefits in terms of scholarship, leadership, and service make PTK an excellent learning opportunity for students. PTK also provides a competitive edge for scholarships (and offers some scholarships available only to its members), college applications, and job applications.

The Lane Honors Program offers these opportunities, too, so what is the ideal relationship between an honors program and PTK?

Kristina and I have been working on the answer to this question specifically as it relates to Lane Community College. For now, we see the two honors groups supporting each other and are encouraging students to join both. In fact, we are now rebuilding the chapter with students from the Honors Program as the active members and leaders.

This week, we held an information session to learn what students wanted from the chapter. Ten students attended the meeting, asking questions and offering suggestions.

We will meet again during Final Exam Week to plan the next steps for spring. Having met with nine of these ten students when they first joined the Honors Program, I can attest to the intelligence, character, and enthusiasm of this group and I’m optimistic that Lane may soon have a vibrant Sigma Zeta Chapter that works hand-in-hand with our honors program.