Why join an ACHS-certified honor society?
Membership in a certified, credible honor society provides prospective employers with instant verification of exemplary performance and achievement, distinguishing members from competing job applicants at a glance. In fact, the US Government's Office of Personnel Management (OPM) offers incoming federal employees a two level pay grade increase for "Superior Academic Achievement" which can be obtained through membership in ACHS-certified honor societies.
Membership is also valuable because certified honor societies offer student members opportunities to network with high achieving professionals in their field; to hold leadership positions locally, regionally, and nationally; to win valuable scholarships, fellowships, and grants; to publish their research/work as an undergraduate or graduate student; to attend seminars, workshops, and conferences; to participate in campus and community programming that extends and enhances their academic experience; and more.
ACHS Role & Mission
The Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), founded in 1925, is the nation's only certifying agency for college and university honor societies. ACHS sets standards for organizational excellence and for scholastic eligibility for the various categories of membership: general, specialized, leadership, freshman, and two-year honor societies. To assure member participation in governance, honor societies must be structured on a membership basis so that the interests of individual members are advanced.
The mission of the Association of College Honor Societies is to build a visibly cohesive community of national and international honor societies that promotes the values of higher education; fosters excellence in scholarship, leadership, service, and research; and adheres to the standards of honor society excellence.
The Association shall act as the coordinating agency for collegiate honor societies; provide facilities for the consideration of matters of mutual interest; define honor societies of the several types; cooperate with college and university faculties and administrative officers in developing and maintaining high standards and useful functions; and collect, publish, and distribute information and data.
Why does ACHS certification matter?
Students, parents, and all campus faculty should beware of predatory organizations that call themselves honor societies without requiring high academic standards for membership. These organizations often charge exorbitant initiation and membership fees. They exist primarily to make a profit, rather than to create opportunities for the students they purport to serve. Some have found ways around privacy laws and invite students via email from a national (non-campus) office, without input from a campus academic advisor to verify that the student would qualify as a high achiever. Others have gained a foothold at some institutions and may even have a faculty advisor, but they do not meet the minimum standards to qualify for certification. The only way to be certain is to do your research – only accept invitations from organizations that meet the criteria for ACHS certification. Learn more here.
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