COLLEGE PROJECT ENTRY 2013
1: Briefly describe your college project and who from the chapter and the college administration was involved in determining it.
This year our college project was sponsoring Honors Day on campus. In previous years only students who made the Hall of Fame were recognized by the school and community. The Iota Zeta officers realized a need for students who rightly deserved to be recognized for their outstanding academic excellence or other achievements. Several of the officers met with the President of Northeast and the Dean of Instruction and began to plan Honors Day.
2: Summarize your objectives for the College Project and the Process by which the chapter and college administration set these objectives.
Once we began to collaborate with President Allen our ideas quickly began to focus on scholarship and how it should be recognized at Northeast. We soon settled on the idea of Honors day and we began working out our objectives. We came to the consensus that our first objective should be to spotlight students with different, noteworthy accomplishments-not just the five students elected into the Hall of Fame each year. Our next objective was to recognize distinguished faculty members.
3: Describe the planning process and strategies developed to complete the College Project.
The first step in planning Honors Day was a meeting with the Dean of Instruction to set a date for the annual Honors Day Convocation and to discuss the selection of a guest speaker. When the guest speaker was confirmed, we were able to acquire a photo and resume to use as publicity for the event. To ensure that the date was secure Honors Day was added to the Northeast master calendar as well as the local public calendar, making it a local event. E-mails were then sent to the President, Vice President of Instruction, all deans, and division heads with a “save the date” message to make sure word of Honors day would spread. Funding was obtained through the college’s Development Foundation to help with other expenses.
As a second step we formed a committee, consisting of the college’s division heads, the Executive Director of the Development Foundation, Iota Zeta’s Vice Presidents of Scholarship, and the chapter advisors. This committee was appointed to plan and execute the event. They formulated the criteria for awards, planned the program agenda, and ensured that everything went according to plan.
The third step was notifying the instructors of Honors Day and asking them to submit students who they considered candidates for the awards. After the students were decided Iota Zeta members and advisors sent letters and e-mails to students and groups who were to be recognized. The letters explained the reason for Honors Day and gave all the necessary information such as the location of the event, what attire should be worn, and other important details. In the days prior to the event reminders were posted on campus and sent through e-mail.
Iota Zeta chapter members were really able to get involved with Honors day by helping the college’s Public Information Officer gather all pertinent information for news releases. A draft of the program for the event was then written and sent to qualified individuals to proof the document. Officers then met with the Northeast Duplicating Department to get the programs for the event published and figure out deadlines for printing, the number of copies needed, what type of paper, ect. Quotes were sent to the business office regarding the expenses of the plaques for the honorees.
As the larger details were worked out our attention then shifted to the little things such as a seating chart, a photographer, flowers and décor, and finger foods. All these things made the program very eloquent. To organize all of these details the Iota Zeta Chapter correlated with the maintenance department to ensure everything was in mint condition and the food service department to work out a menu for the luncheon. A hospitality basket was assembled by members of the Iota Zeta chapter, as a token of appreciation, and presented to the guest speaker.
When the event finally arrived members worked hard to put everything in its place. Tables were clothed, flowers were set, chairs were placed in the appropriate order, and last the plaques were organized so that the audience could see them. Chapter members were prepared and used for ushers to show the students, faculty, and guests to their seats.
When Honors Day concluded the final step was to send “Thank You” cards to everyone who helped to make Honors Day a success. The cards were printed on Phi Theta Kappa stationary and sent to the guest speaker, campus offices that assisted, and other department heads.
4: What were the quantitative and qualitative outcomes of your project, including the lessons learned by your chapter members and others?
Honors Day extended far beyond the five members of the Hall of Fame and included over 200 students, each one was recognized for their different, noteworthy accomplishments. Many valuable things stemmed from the Honors Day program, Northeast received public recognition for honoring their students, other students became inspired to strive toward achieving goals so they could also be recognized, and most of all the intrinsic value of personal achievement for students was raised. Other things that resulted from the planning of Honors Day were the leadership skills that were developed by the officers and members who helped to make it happen. They learned time management, public relations, event planning and organization, how to be flexible, and teamwork.
5: What is left undone or what opportunities remain for the future?
Since its inception, the Honors Day Program has been held during the hour-long activity period. However, the program has grown and has been enhanced so that period of time is adequate for a guest speaker and delivery of so many awards to recipients. In the future, Phi Theta Kappa will continue to propose to the Academic Council that the event be held in the evening so that more family and community members can attend.