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Phi Theta Kappa History

Phi Theta Kappa History

 

Phi Phi Theta Kappa traces its beginnings to a Society that originated with six charter members under the name of Kappa Phi Omicron at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, in 1910. The Society continued to grow and in the spring of 1918 was one of many honorary groups in Missouri. Later in 1918, it was decided to organize a new honorary society, chapters of which would have a common character, stand, and similarity of organization. The name Phi Theta Kappa was chosen, and the Society was incorporated in Missouri as a national organization.

           

For the first six years, Phi Theta Kappa confined its activity to women's junior colleges, but in 1924 through constitutional amendment, the field of activity was enlarged to cover all junior colleges. In 1926, Phi Theta Kappa expanded beyond the borders of Missouri and into coeducational institutions. The American Association of Community Colleges recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges in 1929.

           

In the early years, Phi Theta Kappa membership was conferred to students at time of graduation and few programs and services were offered. The explosive growth of community colleges in the 1960s led Phi Theta Kappa to expand its mission to reflect the nurturing philosophy of the institutions it served. Students were inducted as freshmen and study programs were offered.

           

Today Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1.5 million members and 1,200 chapters located in all 50 of the United States, US territories, Canada, and Germany.

           

Annually, approximately 100,000 students are inducted into Phi Theta Kappa. The average age of a new member is 29, ranging from 18 to 80. Part-time and full-time students are eligible for membership. The average Phi Theta Kappan is enrolled full-time with a 3.8 GPA.

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