Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Leadership and Competitive Edge

by Peter Kim

Last week’s Phi Theta Kappa NY regional conference held in Corning, NY was quite an exceptional experience. Our chapter was recognized regionally for our work such as the HIA project, College Project, and other Hallmarks. I personally liked the workshop session which discussed leadership and Competitive Edge. What is Competitive Edge? It’s one of the PTK resources that help members engage in PTK activities even if they are not active within the chapter. The online programs develops members' leadership skills by having them complete various activities and online course work. For all PTK members, Competitive Edge recognizes one’s engagement in extracurricular activities, and how one learns and grows because of it. For example, it helps you to learn more about yourself, to strengthen leadership and professional skills, and to create an online portfolio (Mahara) to recognize members’ accomplishments to gain a competitive advantage. Mahara is an ePortfolio system which allows you to demonstrate your achievements and developments, link your resume or letters of recommendation to your Mahara account. Competitive Edge focuses on eight professional development plans: communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, flexibility/adaptability/creativity, planning/organizing, team work, leadership skills, and analytical/research skills.

So let’s take a look and how to login. First, members should login to “my.ptk.org” by using their PTK ID and password. You can familiarize yourself with the Competitive Edge website by searching menus like "components of level requirements", "online courseware (videos) electives", and "Mahara". Once you read descriptions and requirements, you will have clear understanding of how to achieve the requirements for each of the five levels and how to complete assessments and earn points to move up to the next level. Competitive Edge is not a test, but it will help you to develop an awareness of PTK and reflect on your growth. You can complete the Competitive Edge program at your own pace; you can complete and earn the five star level in less than a week or take months to work on achieving the five star level. If you do complete and achieve five star level then you can purchase five star competitive edge pin from PTK web store and ask for the special letter of recommendation only provided for the people who achieve this accomplishment from PTK. I have completed the program and achieved the five star level of Competitive Edge. I recommend all PTK members to work on it because it is worth spending your time in return for the resources gained. 

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