PEARL – Being part of something greater than yourself is a common theme in school and is especially true for members of the Alpha Omicron Omega chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus.
“It gets me involved both with the community and other students,” said Eric Kinan, of Florence, a third semester student and PTK member studying Veterinary Technology. It has helped me develop my leadership skills. It made me see the importance of community service.”
The Alpha Omicron Omega chapter was chartered in 1989 and is part of the 1,200-chapter international honor society for community and junior college students. Students who have earned a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA on 12 hours or more are eligible for PTK.
Rankin Honors was established on the campus in 2015. Generally, incoming freshman students may enter the program with a 3.5 high school GPA, composite ACT score of 25 or instructor recommendation. Honors at Hinds affords high-achieving students a chance at challenging coursework and community service opportunities.
One of those opportunities is an International Studies trip to Costa Rica where students engage in service learning projects while earning Hinds college course credits. Students have helped re-forest along biological corridors there, cleared trails in cloud forests, and dug trenches to prevent flooding along trails on a volcanic mountain.
“I’m looking forward to going to Costa Rica with Honors here,” said Gabbi Walters, of Pelahatchie, studying Veterinary Technology. “It’ll give me a broader view of the world than just what’s here and learn about different cultures. Overall, it’ll make me a better, well-rounded person.”
On campus, being in PTK and Honors offers the chance at forming some of the first working relationships in someone’s academic career.
“For me, the best part has been meeting a bunch of great, new people just like me,” Ashlyn Rader, of Puckett, who is studying nursing. “We meet on Tuesdays with people taking classes similar to ours, and find out if they need help. PTK is also a great resume-builder for college. When other colleges see that in your portfolio, they know you care a lot about your grades.”