PTK enhances student leadership

PTK enhances student leadership

From Gillette College Insider Vol. III

Through their four hallmarks of fellowship, leadership, scholarship and service, Gillette College members of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) are helping students succeed — and complete. Alpha Nu Psi, the Gillette chapter of PTK, has always supported the national goal of having students commit to complete a certificate or degree, and as Dr. Mark Englert, Gillette College vice president and CEO, stated, “Each year they have been more intentional and proactive about it.”

What are Gillette’s Phi Theta Kappans doing to contribute to student success? This year, they began a peer tutoring service for any enrolled student at the college. PTK members volunteer up to 15 hours or more per semester and offer their services to students who would like assistance in particular content areas. Working with the Writing and Tutoring Center Coordinator, PTK students are available to others on campus Monday-Friday on a drop-in basis.

The PTK students volunteering their time are supporting the national hallmarks of fellowship, by engaging with their peers; service, by donating their time; scholarship, by promoting the academic mission of the college; and leadership, by providing an example of academic excellence to other students on the Gillette College campus. The response to the additional support offered to students has been beneficial, not only to students, but also to PTK tutors. With tutoring, “I can still make a difference leading by example,” PTK President Suly Aguilar said.

The benefits of a peer tutoring network do not stop at leading by example. Teaching others is one of the most effective ways students can learn material. Students who work with tutors are not only receiving support, they are learning material on a whole new level — and so are the tutors.

Tutoring is just one way PTK students are getting students to think about completion and academic success. Several times throughout the year, including at orientation, PTK students unroll their Phi Theta Kappa Commit to Completion banner and have signing events. By signing this banner, students make a commitment to themselves, their peers, and the institution to complete at Gillette College. In addition to signing their names, students receive a wristband and a pledge card to keep, reminding them of their commitment. These signing ceremonies have been popular at the college, and other parts of the college such as Adult Basic Education (ABE) are becoming involved in the signings.

Since its development on the Gillette campus, the Alpha Nu Psi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa has been a 5-star chapter, the highest honor a chapter can earn. Being recognized as a 5-star chapter means the chapter has participated in activities that benefit both the school and the community. By offering peer tutoring and hosting signing events, PTK students are able to fulfill their obligations to become a 5-star chapter and receive national recognition for their contributions to student success.

At both a local and national level, Phi Theta Kappa is devoted to excellence and student success. The members of the Gillette chapter certainly embody that spirit and spread it to other students. In the words of Alpha Nu Psi president Suly Aguilar: “I’ve realized that both positive and negative energies are contagious; I make the effort to spread positive energy.”

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