Honors Programs

Jackson College offers two honors programs that provide you with enhanced educational opportunities, optimal class sizes, innovative curriculum, individual advising and unique opportunities for internships, scholarships and transfer with four-year colleges and universities. As an honors student, you can help shape the program for the students who follow. You will enter into a community of students, faculty and administrators committed to the shared ideals of academic excellence, leadership, intellectual curiosity and mutual respect.

commencement students in cap and gown

Honors @ Jackson College

Sometimes students need more – greater challenges, deeper discussions. The Honors Program @ Jackson College enriches the classroom experience. Students will explore in-depth topics in their majors and programs of study (pathways) with other students who seek a greater academic challenge.

Honors @ Jackson College

Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa is an international honorary society for students of two-year colleges.  The society is comprised of more than 1100 chapters internationally.  Each chapter is given its own Greek name.. Phi Theta Kappa is centered around four hallmarks: Scholarship, Leadership, Fellowship and Service.

Phi Theta Kappa

Program Comparison

Areas of Comparison Phi Theta Kappa Honors @ Jackson College


The mission of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize academic achievement of college students and to provide opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders. The mission of Honors @ Jackson College is to provide academically successful students with high-powered curricula and educational experiences that further enhance their scholarship and student excellence.


Founded in 1918, PTK is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious honor society serving two-year college students around the world. JC has had a PTK Chapter for 55 years. This year JC’s PTK Chapter was ranked 35th out of 1,300 Chapters. Honors @ Jackson College is newly launching in fall 2018, replacing the former American Honors Program.


  • Membership in Phi Theta Kappa is offered to eligible students by invitation only.
  • Eligibility is based on 3.5 or above GPA and completion of 12 credit hours at Jackson College.
  • Cost: $95.00 Lifetime membership for scholarships for associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees
  • Dual-enrolled students can become PTK members if they meet eligibility requirements.
  • 1,350 Phi Theta Kappa National and International Chapters at Community Colleges with over 3.5 million members
  • Application and interview process by Honors @ Jackson College Admissions Committee. High School GPA, ACT/SAT assessments, and personal essay are also used as determining factors.
  • Cost: $250 per semester.


Membership recognizes students’ academic success

  • Phi Theta Kappa Golden Key Membership Pin
  • Phi Theta Kappa Membership Certificate and ID Card
  • Recognition during college induction ceremony
  • Official seal of Phi Theta Kappa placed on your college diploma*
  • Notation of membership on your college transcript*
  • Recognition by wearing Phi Theta Kappa commencement regalia during college graduation
  • Press release announcing your academic achievement

Membership empowers students with a competitive edge

  • $37 million in scholarship opportunities for members only
  • Opportunity to be published in Phi Theta Kappa’s anthology, Nota Bene
  • Opportunities to develop research and servant leadership skills by participating in Honors in Action programming in local chapter
  • Opportunity to become part of a network of nearly 3 million fellow scholars and servant leaders on more than 1,300 campuses worldwide
  • Personalized letters of recommendation for scholarships and employment
  • Special benefits and member discount offers from Phi Theta Kappa Corporate Partners such as GEICO and Bank of America
  • As a member of the Honors @ JC program, students are provided an honors level education with optimal class sizes, innovative curriculum, enhanced advising, and unique opportunities for internships, scholarships, and transfer agreements with four-year universities.
  • Honors students are committed to the shared ideals of academic excellence, leadership, intellectual curiosity, mutual respect and shared accountability. Through active participation and engagement in the honors curricula, students will help shape the new Honors @ Jackson College program.
  • Honors sections in General Education courses are taught by JC faculty.
  • Plans are for capstone team research projects in the students’ pathway.

Time Commitment

The time a member devotes to Phi Theta Kappa is a matter of individual choice. Some members choose to devote many hours to chapter activities; others may not participate at all. Chapters cannot require participation in activities or withhold membership benefits based on lack of participation. Students are required to take 24 credit hours in designated Honors Courses to receive an Honors degree.

Students will receive an Honors Certificate by completing 18 credit hours in Honors Courses.

Success Rates

90 percent of Phi Theta Kappa members complete their associate degrees and/or transfer to a four-year college.  (Currently, only 42 percent of Michigan students complete their associate and/or transfer.) Data to be investigated during 2018-2019.