Friday, March 7, 2014

Importance of Hallmarks

by Christian Glatz

Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society is a community dedicated to help those students whom stride for higher academic achievement. PTK recognizes those students by inviting them to join and take advantage of all its benefits. One of the ways PTK contributes to the student’s personal growth is by instilling in them leadership, scholarship, fellowship and service.                                                                                                                                                    There is a system to recognize which chapters are more active than others, referred to as the Five Star Chapter Development Plan. As the name implies, five stars are the maximum amount of stars a chapter can obtain. In order to achieve the fifth star, the chapter is required to submit hallmarks. There are two main hallmarks that need to be completed which are the Honors in Action (HIA) and the College Project (CP). HIA, is a research project based on topics discussed in the Honors Study Topic booklet, and the CP is dictated by the needs of the college. The other is a hallmark for recognition of an officer, member or advisor of the chapter.
The goal of the HIA is for students to come up with an action plan in which an issue can be addressed and resolved. The results of the HIA can have an impact ranging from local up to a global community, it all depends on the topic selected and the depth of your research. The CP is developed through a meeting with the school administrators, who inform the chapter of multiple projects in which the school is currently working or plan to work on and in which the students can help with.
Working on hallmarks enable students to think critically and learn the process of project management, clear and concise communication, scholarly research, and leadership amongst other skills. This year Alpha Theta Phi submitted hallmarks for the Honors in Action, College Project, Paragon Award for New Advisor, Distinguished Officer, and Distinguished Team. The process to complete these hallmarks is not easy, and in order for future members to succeed in the future I have some recommendations.
·         Have meetings on a weekly basis.
·         Divide the work among the Hallmark team
·         Assign the most important work to those members who are dedicated to the chapter. The number of members volunteering fluctuate on a week by week basis, but you will always have a few that will be present most of the time.
·         Set a time line, set deadlines and stick to them, hold officers and members accountable for their work.
·         Start writing the hallmarks before the Fall I semester starts, there are other things in play that will consume your time, even though you think you have plenty of time… YOU DON’T.
·         Revise and edit, this is where you want to spend most of your time (Fall I Session), the information will be there but you only have so much space to write your findings.
As you can see, the hallmarks provide members with the ability to develop leadership, scholarship, fellowship and service. I hope this information gives you a base on which you can build a strong planning platform, and give you some insight on the importance of the hallmarks.

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