The Centennial Coin Challenge

This year, as a part of Phi Theta Kappa’s 100th Birthday, we have planned a lot of “extras.” In the PTK Store, we have added limited-edition Centennial Graduation Regalia and other special limited-quantity items. PTK Catalyst in Kansas City is going to be much more than an annual convention — it is going to be the Party of the Century — with special events designed to make Phi Theta Kappa’s Centennial Celebration a memorable one.

As President and CEO, I wanted to find my own way to celebrate this milestone through the first part of Phi Theta Kappa’s mission — recognition — and was inspired by the idea of military challenge coins.

Challenge coins are small coins or tokens that are minted with an organization’s insignia or seal. Coins are often exchanged among members or given out as a note of gratitude or in recognition of a job well done.

As a part of Phi Theta Kappa’s Centennial Celebration, I have developed my own version of a challenge coin and will use it to recognize members and others demonstrating our hallmarks of leadership, service, scholarship, and fellowship at extraordinary levels during our centennial year. I will carry these coins as I travel to regions and chapters but will also leverage social media to identify members who are fulfilling our mission in exceptional ways. I look forward to recognizing many of you in this special way throughout this next year, and I challenge all of you to bring your best in leadership, service, scholarship, and fellowship during 2018.

This week I had an opportunity to give the first Centennial Coin to Kevin R. Braden, a former international officer, member of the Illinois Alumni Association, and donor. Kevin has such a heart for this organization, its activities, and members. He shows this every day through his active participation and support for all we do. Congratulations, Kevin!

Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner is president and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. If you would like to reach Lynn, please contact her liaison, Fredrica Tyes, at

Make Your PTK Catalyst To-Do List — and Check It Twice

April 19 may seem like a long time away, but deadlines for PTK Catalyst 2018 are quickly approaching, and you don’t want to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Reserve Your Space

After you register for PTK Catalyst, what’s next on your list? Reserve a room at one of our seven official convention hotels near the Kansas City Convention Center. The housing deadline is March 23, but rooms secured at our special rate are already 50 percent booked, so make your reservations soon.

Advisors should make hotel reservations for the chapter, and alumni/guests may register as individuals. Negotiated hotel rates are listed for budget purposes, but please don’t contact these properties directly. Click the Book Now button to secure your rooms through our personalized hotel reservation portal.

Submit Ed Forum Proposals by January 1

Do you have something to share with the PTK Catalyst attendees? If so, submit a proposal. We’re offering more ed forum tracks than ever in 2018; take a look and see where your topic fits. You can submit as many proposals as you like, as long as they are received by January 1, 2018.

Your 30-minute forum should include a presentation, a collaborative activity, and a group discussion. Tracks include Advisor Education, Leadership Development, Soft Skills, Transfer Readiness, and Workforce Readiness. Review proposal guidelines here, and remember, all presenters must be registered for PTK Catalyst. Submitting an Educational Forum proposal does not register you for the event.

Celebration Central

Be a part of of Phi Theta Kappa’s history as we celebrate 100 years of recognizing and encouraging student success! An occasion this big deserves two parties, so we’ve planned celebrations for both Friday and Saturday nights, and you won’t want to miss either one. If the weather cooperates, we’ll take the festivities outdoors.

Dress casual on Friday evening and join in the friendly competition with Phi Theta Kappa members from around the world. Brush up on your skills for a little human foosball, sumo wrestling, or corn hole, and be ready for some gravity-defying experiences too! Then we’ll dance the night away to music from Missouri’s best DJ.

On Saturday evening you’ll want to dress to impress for a posh party with aerial entertainment, a prestigious band, celebrations, and a surprise ending to it all.

Your PTK Catalyst 2018 registration includes more than ever before — two lunches AND two dinners! Lunch and dinner on both Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, are on us, as we connect you with university representatives at the College Transfer Fair and celebrate our centennial.

View our full schedule online, double-check your list, and join us for all the fun! Short on PTK Catalyst cash? Check out these fundraising tips.

For the latest news about PTK Catalyst 2018, follow PTK on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and subscribe to The Reach blog.

Transferring? Here’s Your Financial Aid Checklist

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Nancy Lee Sánchez, executive director of Kaplan Educational Foundation.

Getting the best financial aid package possible is vital for any student, but the documentation and verification processes can be hard to navigate. So, in order to help students interested in transfer get ahead of the game, we’ve created a comprehensive Financial Aid Checklist for Transfer Students!

At the Kaplan Educational Foundation, we work with community college students to help them transfer to the schools of their dreams. As all of the students we work with are low-income, we’ve developed a wealth of expertise in avoiding the pitfalls of financial aid and getting the most funding from schools that are actively looking for students like you.

Our Financial Aid Checklist for Transfer Students is a free resource that lists exactly what you’ll need to have on file. You’ll find everything you need to know about each of the important transfer financial aid documents, including what information you may need from the following categories about you (and your family members):

  • Federal forms and identification documents
  • Tax documents
  • Proof of citizenship or residency
  • Income documentation
  • Information about employment
  • Awards and financial aid letters
  • And much more!

As a Phi Theta Kappa student, you’ve already proven that you have what it takes to succeed at top colleges across the United State. And being a PTK member may also qualify you for additional financial aid at these elite colleges. Make sure to use the Checklist so you can easily work with schools interested in you!

If you’re looking at transfer schools, or even if you’re just curious about transfer, we encourage you to download this free resource so you can get the best financial aid packages when applying to your dream schools.

For a complete guide to choosing the right transfer school, getting in, and receiving the best financial aid package, check out our brand-new book: Your 2018 Guide to College Transfer.

The Guide contains 90 profiles of the top schools for transfer students in the U.S., and it highlights the best schools for veterans, students with DACA/undocumented status, and students raising families. Each school’s profile also lists scholarship requirements and benefits for PTK members.

And don’t forget: top schools are looking for you! They’ll be happy to work with outstanding students like you and your PTK colleagues during the financial aid process.