Phi Theta Kappa Advising 101

Advisor’s Role

Advise – Teach – Mentor


Phi Theta Kappa has three levels:

  • Local level – Campus Chapters
  • Regional level – 29 regions: Regional Coordinator, meetings, and awards
  • International level – nearly 1300 chapters world-wide

Membership Recruitment Campaign

  • Chapter recruits students to accept membership when they are invited to join. Recruit in the Fall and Spring semesters (summer if possible too).
  • Be visible on campus – posters, shirts, bulletin board
  • Promote Phi Theta Kappa, so students, faculty, administration are aware of the organization
  • Make the orientation exciting!
  • Make the Induction Ceremony impressive!

Officer Training

  • Determine your officer structure to fit your chapter/campus
  • Elect officers & advisor reports officers online so they receive valuable information.
  • New officer training/retreat
    • Leadership development and teambuilding activities
    • Set goals for: Five Star Chapter Plan/Hallmark Awards including Honors in Action Project and College Project
    • Develop yearlong calendar of activities including
      • Chapter Meetings, orientations, inductions, activities, events
      • Deadlines for Five Star Chapter Plan, Hallmark Awards, Scholarships
      • Your college’s academic calendar
      • Regional meetings
      • International Convention and Honors Institute

Dates and Deadlines (General)

  • Mid Jan – Hallmark Individual Awards due
  • End Jan – Hallmark Chapter Awards due
  • End Jan – Five Star Chapter Plan due
  • Feb – Chapter plans and conducts spring membership recruitment campaign including inviting eligible students and holding awareness week activities, orientations, and induction ceremony.
  • March – Spring Regional Meeting
  • March – Report newly elected officers
  • April – International Convention
  • End April – Nota Bene submissions due
  • June – International Honors Institute
  • September - Chapter plans and conducts fall membership recruitment campaign including inviting eligible students and holding awareness week activities, orientations, and induction ceremony.
  • November – Honors Case Study Challenge due
  • Nov 19 – PTK Founders Day
  • Oct – Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship Deadline
  • Dec – Fall Scholarship App due (All USA/Guistwhite)
  • Dec – Hallmark Awards for College Administrators/Presidents due


  • Leadership development activities and training for officers and members
  • Membership Recruitment
  • Honors in Action Project planning and implementation
  • College Project planning and implementation
  • Fundraising for travel to regional and international events (Annual Convention and Honors Institute)
  • Reporting Five Star Chapter Plan progress

Five Star Chapter Plan

  • Guidelines for specific activities to develop strong and successful chapters through membership recruitment and programs engagement
  • Chapter progresses from level 1 to 5 through chapter activities.
  • Level 1 = Chapter Foundations
    Level 2 = Organizing Chapter Leadership and Getting Started with Honors in Action
    Level 3 = Developing an Honors in Action Project and College Project
    Level 4 = Increased Presence on Campus and Increased Engagement in the Region
    Level 5 = Further Involvement in the Region and in International Activities or Events
  • Advisors or Chapter Officers can report progress online at

Honors in Action:

Honors in Action is Phi Theta Kappa’s Honors Program designed to engage students in informed action that fosters student success and helps fulfill the mission to provide college students opportunities to grow as scholars and leaders. Academic research into the themes related to the Honors Study Topic is what makes Phi Theta Kappa’s honors program unique and defines the difference between Honors in Action and simply action. Honors in Action is action informed by research, which makes a lasting impact and contributes to the betterment of society.

Honors in Action Project

  • Members have opportunities to apply learning and practice real-world problem-solving by developing an in-depth, action-oriented project related to research of an Honors Study Topic.
  • The Honors in Action Project, combines all of Phi Theta Kappa's Hallmarks — Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Fellowship — into one project.
    Step 1: Investigate and Analyze
    Step 2: Strategize and Lead
    Step 3: Assess and Reflect
    Step 4: Act and Serve
  • View the At A Glance page for a look at the steps involved in implementing an Honors in Action Project.
  • Use the Honors Program Guide found online to select one theme to research and from the research, plan activities. Sample projects are included.
  • Research should include academic sources such as journals, periodicals and field experts.
  • Keep Detailed Records
    Journal during and following each phase of planning, research, activities, impact and reflection.
    Use the Honors in Action Planning Model
  • Identify quantitative and qualitative outcomes
  • Debrief after each activity: what went well, what could have been improved, what impact it had on participants and members, etc.

College Project

The purpose of the College Project is to establish and/or strengthen a supportive relationship between the chapter and the college administration. The chapter should meet with the college president (or other appropriate administrator) to determine the College Project, which can be anything that supports the college’s mission.

  • Meet with college administration to brainstorm ideas and jointly decide on and set objectives for the College Project that fulfills the college’s mission
  • Establish leadership team and set project goals
  • Communicate and collaborate with the college administration before, during and after the project
  • Identify quantitative and qualitative outcomes
  • Reflect on what the chapter learned, how the chapter grew as scholar-servant-leaders, and what opportunities remain to improve the project or enhance the relationship with the college administration

Hallmark Awards

  • Phi Theta Kappa’s competitive awards program
  • Submissions at the International level also count towards submissions at the regional level
  • Recognition includes Chapter (Honors in Action Project and College Project) and Individual (Officers, Members, Advisors, College Presidents/Administrators) Awards
  • Must submit at least 3 entries including the Honors in Action Project, College Project, and one Individual Award to complete the Hallmark Awards requirement in Level Five of the Five Star Chapter Plan.
  • Review the deadlines, award categories, questions, and judging rubrics online at
  • Advisor’s Role: teach members about Honors in Action and the College Project, provide leadership development opportunities, suggest and guide research, oversee writing, check for accuracy, suggest edits, etc. Do not write/re-write the entry. Advisors should serve as the guide while the officers and members take the lead on the project planning and implementation.

  • Students complete profile to be matched with colleges that are a best fit
  • Transfer planning tool
  • Search for Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarships and other third-party scholarships offered by four-year institutions