The Student News Site of Eastfield - Dallas College

The Et Cetera

The Et Cetera

The Et Cetera

Honor society reaches 5-star rank

Carmen Guzman
Members of Phi Theta Kappa pose in celebration of their five-star rank.

Phi Theta Kappa’s Eastfield chapter is now a five-star chapter, the highest rank in the national honor society, and the highest among Dallas College chapters.

Chapters keep their stars for an allotted time period, and the previous instance of a five-star chapter was before 2021. Stars are earned by being active in the campus community. The final stars are earned by going on the national stage with other PTK chapter. 

“We’ve become one of the most recognizable chapters now,” said Veronica Romero, Phi Theta Club President. “Everybody knows us.”

The group is going to the Phi Theta Kappa 2024 Texas Regional Convention in March, where they’re in the running for awards.

In order to improve rank, each chapter of the organization must work through a checklist to earn stars, which can be earned through community impact, campus engagement, etc. 

Eastfield’s current chapter earned its fifth and final star by submitting and receiving top marks on an academic outline for teaching students with mental disabilities.  

The outline itself recommends a Montessori approach to play, a style of teaching with “real pretend” and initiative, to better engage with students.

“It’s needed for some students nowadays,” said Christopher Shelly, a chemical dependency counseling major. “So many students are dealing with ADHD or whatever it may be.”

Shelley said the chapter worked five days a week over the summer, revising for perfection down to the sentence. He would often write sentences on a whiteboard and the chapter would discuss changes.

“That was a long process. … I didn’t even take summer classes, but I was always here,” Shelly said.  

Members came the morning and often left around sundown. Since the organization lacks a dedicated space, they often rotated between the library, offices and classrooms – whatever was available at the time.

Although members like Shelly thought of giving up several times, the chapter stuck together to see their labor through. By then, the honor society began to feel like a family.

 “We all know each other. We’d even finish each other’s sentences,” he said. “There’s this closeness, this camaraderie.”

Phi Theta Kappa hit the ground running to rebuild the organization. Since the fall semester, they worked with facilities to discuss logistics for promoting an eco-friendly campus.

More trash bins and cleaner water fountains are items being added. Ideas for creating biodiversity include more greenery such as flowers and other natural decorations.

“There’s a lot of things that are missing to make the campus friendlier,” Romero said.

There were initially plans to add more trees on campus and create natural canopies for shade, but the logistics weren’t possible due to funding.

They’ve since moved on to their latest objective of creating a dedicated space for PTK, not settling for what meeting room happens to be empty.

“We’ve built something from the ground up,” Shelly said. “At first, we had nothing, but we feel at the end of the day we did something incredible.”

The national stage puts Eastfield’s chapter against the likes of Ivy League schools, but to the members of the current chapter, that’s simply another hurdle to leap.

“We’re getting rid of the stigma behind [community colleges],” Romero said. “If you want to be an overachiever, a lot of people think you need to go to a four-year university, but we’re getting rid of that because we are overachievers.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Carmen Guzman
Carmen Guzman, Editor in Chief

Comments (0)

All The Et Cetera Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *