The Phi Theta Kappa Awards Luncheon is an annual event sponsored by the Community College League of California to recognize outstanding scholars from California’s community colleges. Ranking on the All-State team is determined by the student's score in the national competition.
To be eligible for nomination to the national competition, a student must post a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA and be eligible to graduate with an associate degree. In addition to outstanding academic rigor and grade point averages; other considerations include participation in honors programs and academically rigorous coursework; awards, honors, and recognition for academic achievement, leadership and service to the college and community.
The focal point of the All-USA Academic Team Application is the essay. This should center around one endeavor undertaken by the student that used his or her community college education to improve his or her community or school. Judges look for innovative, creative, original and lasting achievements or undertakings.
Nominee applications are scored based on academic performance & rigor, community service, campus activities, leadership, significant endeavor, letters of recommendation, etc. Individual states request individual rankings, and while PTK uses national competition scores for rankings – students are only provided ranking information against the peers in their state. The All-California rankings don’t necessarily imply winners for New Century Scholars, Coca-Cola, etc. The All-California team is then split into 3 teams for the purposes of incremental stipends (when available) and to facilitate the award ceremony. These are state rankings and are not national.
The luncheon honors All-State Team members with special recognition including medallions, certificates and when available, stipends and scholarships. The Team members also have an opportunity to meet their legislators at the State Capitol the day of the luncheon.
Speakers for the event have included California’s First Lady, Sharon Davis and California Community Colleges past Chancellors, Diane Woodruff and Brice Harris.