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22 September 2006 @ 11:44 pm
Advice needed sort of . . . . . .  
Hi, newbie with a question/information needed:

My name is Maria, I'll be getting inducted into the Tau Pi Chapter of PTK at Prince George's County Community College in Maryland in about 2 more months - give or take a few weeks (December 1st is set as the date of induction)

I'm relatively new to everything, but generally when I recieved my letter of acceptance a day or so later I recieved an application into the Honors Society Program -there's a 'forbidden' building on campus no one ever comes out of (at least that I've seen ) and I'm told that building is the honors building where I would take the rest of my courses needed.

I'm also told that PTK and Honors Society Program members get inducted all at once. This leaves me frazzled, yet, intrigued at the same time.

My question is, if I already am or have gotten my credits required to graduate (pre PTK induction) is it recommended (or well, worth it) to stay back and take more classes to graduate with a citation in honors or not to? If it is I would probably complete my undergrad studies in 2008 instead of graduating with only a notice of Psi Beta induction (I was inducted into Psi Beta last year).

Just curious if it is worth it to stay back, especially since, I have all my credits completed prior to being asked to join and if I stayed back it would delay my graduate studies for another year while I gain 15 credits in honors courses. Any input would be really, really, helpful.

Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: "One Day Remains" - Alterbridge
Trishcelestrata on September 23rd, 2006 04:40 am (UTC)
PTK and your school honors are not really related, but many schools have the same staff member assigned to both, and the same people in both, so it's often simpler to do them together.

Where I went to school, being an Honor student, being PTK, graduating "with honors" were all differnt things, but frequently a person in one was in all three.

Now, having graduated with High honors as an Honor student and PTK, sadly I find none of it means much to anybody while I am looking for a job. However, ALL of it means something when I look into continuing at school. So, if you know what school you plan to go to next, call that academic advising office and ask them the question you posted. "Will this mean anything when I go on to my next school?" Also, see if any of them have scholarships you want for continuing. If they do, then by all means keep going in school where you are. If not, well then you would have to decide.

But I cannot tell you how hard I worked, and how disappointed I am, that after the scholarships and the regalia and the fellowship and all, none of it means a thing. :(
Jamescaughtshort on September 23rd, 2006 05:04 am (UTC)
I'll just add a little bit to that.

If the courses you'll take as honors courses are courses that you WANT or that you need for something, then by all means take them.

Courses at the community college level are less expensive. But you should also be aware if your state has rules about taking so many credits over what is required. Here in Florida, a student is punished for having too many credits by having to forfeit financial aid. You'll need to look into whether there are similar rules in your state, and whether that would have an impact on you at the university level (maybe you'll want to take extra classes there, you don't want to find yourself having to pay out of state rates for classes at a university if you can possibly avoid it).

Now, if the courses you'd be taking for honors credit at the community college are not classes you really want, or need, then I'd say paying for a full term of classes is an expensive way to get an honors notation on your transcript. Unless there are scholarships at the school you are transferring to that that offset that cost AND you can only get if you have that honors notation, then I'd say it's probably not worth it to stick around an extra term just to get the notation.

Chances are you will be eligible for entry into the honors program at the university you transfer to. If I were you, that's the route I'd take.

In any case, your ΦΘΚ notation will be on your transcript, and you should make sure you seek out the transfer scholarships specifically for ΦΘΚ members at the university you are going to, if they have them.
gwen stacy: gangsta edge & lita icon credit rory_tutgwendolynmstacy on September 23rd, 2006 05:18 am (UTC)
Okay well, let me pose this question while I'm at it - since I'm a Forensic Science/Psychology major and alot of the courses offered on Forensics are taught at a normal level then at an Honors level.

Since statewide this college is the only one to even have an extensive Forensics program would it still count if I took the Forensics courses normally or would I still have to take them as Honors courses? (there are still some Psychology and maybe 2 Forensic courses I need that I can't take Online though)

I have no problem doing them over if that's the case, truthfully. I would need the courses though, because of my combining majors/minor or whatever you want to call it.

As far as I know, here, no, we're not penalized for having too many credits, infact in the Forensics field at least that I know of you have to have a high level number anyway inccase you do go into a crime lab office or the like, but if I speak to someone in the office I'd be sure to double check to make sure I'm correct and it wouldn't later come back to hurt me.

See, like I stated below, the thing is, I'm a Forensic Science/ Psychology Major so it's rather hard for me to find somewhere that offers an extensive program - I've been looking but nothing's appealing or offered course wide at any college I've looked into. Which has me groaning, see, I get somewhere then get pulled back only to have more 'fustrations' while trying to move onto graduate studies.

Thanks for the advice though. I appreciate it.

Jamescaughtshort on September 23rd, 2006 05:26 am (UTC)
Personally, I would never take a course over again to get honors credit. Admissions offices tend to look poorly on repeated courses.

But it really depends on how your honors program works, and each college has their own requirements.

At my school, once you've met the GPA and credit requirements, you only have to take 1 honors course, plus one of two honors-only offerings (a leadership course, or a colloquia) per term. That's not very heavy.

You should find out what the requirments are at your school. If it's something like the system here, then you'd just have to take a couple of honors courses your next term (and here we can do contracts for courses we're already in, usually it means extra assisngments, so we don't have to take classes we don't need). Once you do that you'll have the honors designation on your transcript and you wouldn't need to stay an extra term and re-take courses.
gwen stacy: Cedric/Hermionegwendolynmstacy on September 23rd, 2006 05:35 am (UTC)
I'm not really familar with much at this point, truthfully, given this notice I just kind of nose dived into it, but I do plan to call the woman in charge of the Honors program to see what she recommends exactly to avoid getting myself confused or knee deep into some classes that I don't have to repeat. (e.g. for instace I'm taking abnormal psychology (the non honors) currently and it's also offered as an honors course, so I'll have to talk to the office about what they recommend so I don't run myself into the ground so to speak.

Though, I don't like dealing with the office, but that's here nor there.

Jamescaughtshort on September 23rd, 2006 05:43 am (UTC)
It's insane isn't it?

All colleges are the same. I think psychological consultants were brought in when these systems were created in order to make them the most challenging obstacle courses anyone could go through.

The financial aid office is always the worst. It feels like Mortal Kombat every time I go in there.
gwen stacy: gangsta edge icon credit rory_tutorgirlgwendolynmstacy on September 23rd, 2006 05:52 am (UTC)
Tell me about it, insanity at it's finest is what it is. The lines alone are killer.

Thankfully I don't have Financial Aid, but I do get a scholarship every fall from a local club through my mothers work that pays for everything and lets me keep accumulated money for the next time so that the next time I have to pay for it out of my pocket it isn't so awful.

This may be a dumb insane question, but it's one I'm going to ask the woman in the office anyway, if I'm taking abnormal psych now (and even without the class I still have all the credit I need to graduate) would it be wise to just drop it now and pick it back up later?

(That actually is an idiotic question now that I've thought about it seeing as the abnormal psych class ends 13 days after get inducted- timing sucks)

This whole thing, IMO is insanity, and I can't ask my parents or family these sort of things because they look at me like I have 15 heads.

Jamescaughtshort on September 23rd, 2006 05:56 am (UTC)
Maybe, instead, you can ask the lady if there's any way to get the class you're in right now made into an honors class. You'd have to get the professor to agree, but here at least, they have no problem and they make you do a special project and maybe present it to the class in order to get the honors credit. Explore that route before you drop any classes.

As for college questions...I have just the book for you:

It's called Hacking College, by Dr. Dean Kohrs. Our ΦΘΚ chapter had him as a speaker at our Regional Honors that we hosted a couple of months ago. He's AMAZING.

He has a myspace: http://www.myspace.com/hackingcollege

gwen stacy: Cedric/Hermionegwendolynmstacy on September 23rd, 2006 06:06 am (UTC)
I'll talk and see what sje says, but that might be difficult somewhat seeing as it's an online class and I'm not sure of the ways you can do that kinda thing, but when I talk with her I'll bring it up, and see what can happen but with my induction date being in december I'm not sure if they would over look that or what. Blah, insanity. So I'll still ask regardless.

Thank you for that, I'll be sure to look into it, although from skimming, it looks like it'll be a big help to me.

Thanks again.
Trishcelestrata on September 23rd, 2006 12:05 pm (UTC)
Excellent points.

I was tired and frustrated when I posted that. I would not change a thing or trade my PTK or Honors experiences for anything. I just kinda wish I had realized it really would not make a difference in my earnings/hiring potential. Maybe not... had I known that, I prolly would not have tried so hard or even finished, and I think I am a better person for all of that, earnings potential or not.
(Deleted comment)
Jamescaughtshort on September 23rd, 2006 05:20 am (UTC)
Really? I would've thought it would mean something long term at least education wise (then slightly, but not so much going into the work force).

There are a few reasons for taking honors courses. I don't think any of them have anything to do with getting a job in the "real world".

First, honors courses are more challenging. They also tend to be more interactive and meaningful. Ideally they're the classes you should take if you love learning about the particular subject you're taking.

Second, scholarships. There are scholarships for people in honors programs that you just can't get if you don't take them. If you can handle the courses, it's free money.

Third, transcripts. Honors courses may not make a bit of difference in the real world, but in College Land they mean a lot. If you're going into a limited access program, those honors courses will give you an edge that other applicants may not have. They could also mean getting preferrential admissions at other schools, either the university you tranfer to, or the school where you decide to get your post-baccalaureate degree. If your career plans include going into education or another aspect of academia, then that's something you definitely put on your resume, because they love that stuff.
gwen stacy: Rated R Shirtgwendolynmstacy on September 23rd, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
Hence the "Not so much" comment at the end. ;)

Generally, I love what I'm studying so I have no problem with learning more because well, ideally, that's what you go to school for anyway.

As far as transcripts go, mine have been clean. I figured overall, they'd give you an edge at the field you picked to go into beit, education or psychology or any other field. That's the general impression I've been given from years of classes and school overall.
Jamescaughtshort on September 23rd, 2006 05:40 am (UTC)
I think the main reason anyone does anything in school, is transcripts. Which is perfectly fine.

The dirty little secret about honors programs, I think, is that they're not that hard. I think it's more psychological than anything else. I got all worked up because I thought it would be hard and all this. It's not. It's almost a joke. You turn in some papers, get some free money, and you do some extra assignments. It's one of those "ask and ye shall receive" kind of things.

For example: My intended major is International Relations. I was excited when I saw that the International Relations course I need was offered as one of the Honors program courses. So this professor is teaching an honors course. He comes in late, spends the first half hour going around the room and seeing how each individual student is doing, then we talk about world events, and we might get to cover some material in the textbook if we get around to it. And we always end class at least an hour early.

That's why I say don't re-take any courses just for honors credit.
gwen stacy: gangsta edge & lita icon credit rory_tutgwendolynmstacy on September 23rd, 2006 06:00 am (UTC)
I dont think it would be, I mean I think from where I sit I would be fine. I think they just give it the name of "Honors" to try and get you freaked out a bit, but on campus, I know of that specfic building that's just for the Honors Students so that does scare me a bit. Never mind the classes, and hey, I like extra work.

Re example: I have a teacher like that now, it's for Forensic psychology, it's more of a discussion sort of thing involving law and it's politics and such dealing with juvenile delinquency it it's main area (not shocking) He let's us out half an hour to 15 minutes early every class, because we can't discuss anything anymore (it's a 3 hour class too so that might be why)

After discussing it, I don't think I will, retake anything but y'know I'll have to see what's recommended.
gwen stacy: gangsta edge icon credit rory_tutorgirlgwendolynmstacy on September 23rd, 2006 05:20 am (UTC)
Yeah I noticed that they were, but I thought that since one came with the other they had to go hand in hand somewhere along the line, turns out it's has the same staff member.

I'm not too sure about how my college operates at all to be quite honest (I'm the only one in my family to ever go to one) so my family is just as clueless as I am about everything. I may call up the staff member that's assigned to PTK and the Honors Program and ask her a few things and see if that gets me anywhere, or if she has any advice for me (I'm a Forensic Science/ Psychology Major so it's rather hard for me to find somewhere that offers an extensive program - I've been looking but nothing's appealing or offered).

As far as I know the college I'm at right now has the only extensive forensic program in the field in this entire region. I'll look into the scholarship offers though, but I'm not sure if any get offered for aspiring Forensic Psychologists or Audio/Visual Crime Lab Technicians. Thanks for the suggestions though, it means alot, I've had the letters on my desk for a week or so, unsure about what exactly to do as I sometimes feel like a pain when I have to deal with calling the college office.

Really? I would've thought it would mean something long term at least education wise (then slightly, but not so much going into the work force).

Trishcelestrata on September 23rd, 2006 12:11 pm (UTC)
As stated very well above, PTK and Honors and GPA mean the world in Academicland. It gets you noticed, gets you money, and gets you attention in a competitive environment. But in Job Search World, nobody is interested in that stuff and it almost seems pretentious.
gwen stacy: Cedric/Hermionegwendolynmstacy on September 23rd, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
Gotcha, and thanks for the help. Much appreciated as I'll call my head office on monday.