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Academic Honors

Phi Theta Kappa

Founded in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is the international honor society for 2-year colleges. PTK recognizes and encourages scholarship and education among students seeking associate degrees. PTK provides opportunities for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate to exchange ideas and for the continued pursuit of academic excellence.

To be selected for membership in PTK, students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher, based on 12 or more credits of 100 level or higher courses. Both full and part-time students are eligible.

Rio Salado College’s PTK chapter, Alpha Theta Omicron, was chartered in 1982. In recent years, the chapter has received four Top 25 awards during international competitions.

PTK members are eligible to wear a gold stole and tassel the night of commencement.

Honors Graduates

Graduates wearing colored honors cords are completing an Associate Degree with Distinction. The honors designation is calculated from all grades used to fulfill graduation requirements, including classes from other accredited institutions, except those from the current semester/calendar block. To earn graduation with Distinction, a student must meet the following graduation grade point average requirements:

Gold Cord Highest Distinction 3.9-4.0
Red Cord High Distinction 3.7-3.89
White Cord Distinction 3.5-3.69

Graduates wearing the gold stole and tassel are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the National Honor Society for Two-Year American Colleges.

Graduates from the honors program have completed at least 15 credits of specially designated honors work and have achieved a cumulative 3.5 grade point average.

Faculty members and administrators also adhere to the academic dress code during the ceremony.

Black tassels are appropriate for all degrees, and colored tassels are worn by preference. Gold metallic tassels may be worn by doctors or presidents of colleges and universities.

National Society of Leadership and Success

The Rio Salado College chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success was established in fall 2013. The organization helps people discover and achieve their goals through life-changing lectures from the nation's top leadership presenters. The chapter is a community where like-minded, success-oriented individuals come together to help one another succeed.

Our chapter’s vision is for students to make progress towards their goals and build leadership skills. We help them accomplish this through education, a support team of staff and students, and opportunities to grow and succeed.

Attend Commencement Ceremony