A Jefferson State chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society was recently published in the society’s academic research journal.
Jefferson State’s Beta Lambda Delta Chapter, which is based at the Shelby-Hoover Campus, was among 16 such groups included in the 2020 issue of Civic Scholar: Phi Theta Kappa Journal of Undergraduate Research.
The full journal is available here and is made possible by support from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.
Civic Scholar features research projects by PTK chapters across the country on a wide range of topics, including “Exploring Disparities in Healthcare Based on Identities” and “Transforming Negative Community College Stigma into Positive Action.” There were 495 submissions for the third edition of Civic Scholar. For the first time, articles about the projects include photos and graphic evidence of the chapter’s research to help bring the work to life.
“We all know the key to success in college is driven by student engagement,” PTK President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner said. “These 16 projects are the very best examples of how students apply innovative research and take meaningful action on the issues they care about most on their campuses and in their communities.
“We are proud to showcase their good and important work, and we are grateful to the Cooke Foundation for helping us share this work with others.”
Research was conducted as part of Phi Theta Kappa’s honors program, Honors in Action, and based on the topic, Transformations: Acknowledging, Assessing, and Achieving Change. The works published in Civic Scholar include both substantive research and community engagement — chapters ultimately turned their research into action by using their findings to meet specific community needs.
Beta Lambda Delta’s project—Safe-Zone Alabama—”focused on transforming the cultural climates of the 23 colleges in the Alabama Community College System to make them safer, more inclusive places for LGBTQ community members.”
After a survey revealed many respondents did not feel physically or emotionally safe, students researched the impact safe-zone training for faculty and staff members could make a difference. Training was held at Jefferson and was open to every ACCS college, with 57 educators from 21 educational institutions from across Alabama participating—resulting in a trained safe-zone faculty or staff member being available to 157,539 students who previously did not have an identifiable ally at their campus or institution.
“In publishing this journal, we hope to demonstrate something we have always known to be true: community college students are innovative scholars,” said Dr. Blake Ellis, PTK’s Vice President of Student Engagement. “They are conducting research that matters, drawing conclusions that reshape our understanding of the world, and taking action that leaves a lasting impact.”
The Phi Theta Kappa chapters featured in the 2020 issue of Civic Scholar are:
Beta Lambda Delta, Jefferson State Community College, Shelby-Hoover Campus, Alabama
Omicron Beta, Mesa Community College, Arizona
Beta Mu Alpha, Orange Coast College, California
Alpha Lambda Zeta, Asnuntuck Community College, Connecticut
Beta Sigma Pi, College of Western Idaho, Nampa Campus, Idaho
Alpha Lambda Phi, Joliet Junior College, Illinois
Beta Zeta Mu, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Iowa
Beta Alpha Tau, Community College of Baltimore County, Dundalk Campus, Maryland
Zeta Eta, Riverland Community College, Minnesota
Beta Tau Gamma, Pearl River Community College, Forrest County Center, Mississippi
Alpha Psi Tau, Ozarks Technical Community College, Missouri
Alpha Sigma Zeta, Onondaga Community College, New York
Alpha Xi Tau, Surry Community College, North Carolina
Alpha Sigma Rho, Reading Area Community College, Pennsylvania
Alpha Iota Chi, Northeast State Community College, Tennessee
Omicron Psi, Grayson College, Texas
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations. Learn more here.