On a typical day, the PTK Honor Society at QCC office is bustling with students. The door is always open to current, former and prospective members; there is always someone there to hear you out and guide you in the right direction. But as the pandemic hit, the advisors and officers of Phi Theta Kappa had to re-think all the ways students are supported in our local chapter and they didn’t miss a beat. Before you knew it there were a series of remote engagement activities and new ways to connect with students in order to provide a sense of normalcy, involvement, leadership, scholarship support, and fellowship- everything our chapter and QCC strives for on a daily basis, pandemic or not.
We immediately switched from in person to virtual meetings. Students look forward to staying connected and finding new ways to get involved in our college community. Students can participate and share ideas more freely on a video call or chat. We also started Facebook live “office hours” for students to stop in and ask their questions and weekly YouTube videos with updates and chapter information.
Scholarship workshops, webinars, and appointments also switched to zoom which means students can attend from anywhere. If students have general scholarship questions, they can attend an online workshop to explore what’s currently available through PTK. If they have more specific questions or need more personalized help, they set up zoom appointments to help them navigate scholarships that are right for them. If they aren’t comfortable with virtual meetings or can’t find time during the day, they can check out our YouTube series and learn on their own time. They now have access to all the same information no matter their work schedule or other personal commitments.
Many students join our chapter to get involved and participate in community service, which we have had to rethink. Our first socially distant project was a video thanking essential workers. Students submitted pictures with homemade signs showing support and appreciation, and made over 100 earsavers and face masks to donate to essential workers. Those who don’t know how to sew collected trash and created hygiene kits for the QCC Food Pantry for classmates in need. It was an opportunity to be creative and rally together to make a difference during a difficult time.
One of the best things about PTK is the fellowship opportunities. Typically, you can find the QCC chapter hiking, dragon boat racing, geocaching, apple picking, ice skating, at a botanical garden, or anything else that interests our members. We strive to create a community that fosters friendship and fun and worked hard to continue that virtually. PTK alumni, Abel Delgado, hosted a series of incredibly successful game nights on Zoom including Family Feud, general trivia, Disney Jeopardy, and Friends Jeopardy. Members vote on themes students can join in on the fun no matter where they are.
Operating remotely has opened our eyes to new ways of supporting students. Nothing compares to being on campus, face-to-face with the college community we love. Going virtual has re-shaped the way we do things, and our chapter plans to keep a variety of the virtual components in the future to ensure that all of our students have access to the PTK support they want and need.
Many of the support services and departments at QCC have moved to remote/virtual to make sure our students get what they need. PTK Honor Society is one of many, including tutors, mentors, counseling, advising, admissions, the Food Pantry and more. If you have questions about PTK or any of the services QCC offers, please let us know. Follow college activities and updates on Facebook, Twitter, instagram and LinkedIn.
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