Guttman’s Five-Star Phi Theta Kappa Chapter One of 17 Colleges to Receive Honors Grant



March 24, 2023 | Academics, Awards, Grants

Guttman Chapter, Recently Named One of the Top Five in the State, will Use Funding to Increase Success for Students of Color

PTK membersNEW YORK, N.Y. (March 24, 2023) – Stella and Charles Guttman Community College was selected by Phi Theta Kappa as one of 17 two-year public community and technical colleges to participate in a three-year grant to provide access to honors programming, leadership development, peer networking, travel opportunities, scholarships and high-touch transfer and career coaching to Black- and Latinx-student serving community colleges. Beginning March 2022, the grant aims to provide recognition and increase student success of high-achieving students of color by providing quality learning experiences and wrap-around services that will improve transfer and completion rates.

Guttman PTK President Isabella Degracia said, “My PTK chapter is working to foster a sense of community and belonging among students on our campus so that they find motivation and passion for reaching their goals through our organization.” With new sources of funding being injected into the PTK program at Guttman, students will be even more supported as they attempt to improve the college culture and pursue their respective academic ambitions.

The grant funding will support the Beta Phi Gamma chapter of PTK at Guttman. Accompanied by PTK Co-Advisor Dr. Samuel Finesurrey, members of the chapter attended the Phi Theta Kappa Regional Conference March 17-19 in Rochester, New York, where they were awarded one of the top five most distinguished PTK Honors Society chapters in New York State.

Degracia, Holliday Senquiz, Guttman students and PTK chapter officers accepted two additional awards at the conference for the chapter’s College Project and Honors in Action Project, which leans on the diversity of the Guttman campus to study the economics of play. Additionally, Senquiz was elected from a crowded field of impressive candidates as PTK Regional Alumni Officer.

Guttman Community College is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority Serving Institution with a diverse student body across race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and neurodiversity. Roughly 92% of Guttman’s students are students of color, with 47% and 40% identifying as Hispanic and Black, respectively, in the Fall 2022 semester.

Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa is made up of more than 3.75 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations, with approximately 225,000 active members and 3,100 advisors. PTK is recognized as the official honor society for associate degree-granting colleges by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). PTK’s programs offer ways for students to improve their success both personally and professionally through leadership development, team-building experiences, service learning, and curriculum that teaches advocacy, life skills, transfer, and career preparation.

Stella and Charles Guttman Community College was CUNY’s first new community college in more than forty years. Reimagining what community college could be, Guttman opened its doors in Manhattan in August 2012 to create a research-based, innovative model focused on moving students efficiently toward graduation. Offering associate degree programs in a nurturing environment, the College’s three-year graduation rate consistently surpasses the national average, and most graduates transfer to senior colleges. Guttman is federally designated as a Hispanic-serving institution and minority-serving institution with more than 85% of the student population identifying as Latine or Black/African American. The College was named the best community college in America in 2020 and the top community college in New York State for 2020, 2021 and 2022 by and other ranking agencies.