Association of College Honor Societies


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Association of College Honor Societies Launches 'The Plan for Aiming Higher,' As High Achieving Students Face New Challenges

Members of the Association of College Honor Societies Will Build on their Strengths in Serving Millions of Students in Thousands of Chapters

NEW ORLEANS—Feb. 10, 2014—The Association of College Honor Societies, the nation's only certifying agency for college and university honor societies, voted to implement The Plan for Aiming Higher which will help its 66 members, and thousands of chapters around the world, focus on improving their effectiveness. The plan includes the creation and sharing of measures that will help to better assess and improve the work of advisors and chapters.

ACHS members unanimously agreed to the action at its Annual Council Meeting late Friday. They also reviewed the results of a questionnaire of students, advisors, honor society executives and university administrators that focused on officer and program effectiveness, and communications practices.
"The demand for a better-qualified work force that meets the needs of the 21st century means everyone involved in post-secondary education must examine what they are doing and how to improve. Support for excellent learning opportunities extends well beyond the classroom. The ACHS plan to assess both organization and member effectiveness shows that we are eager to be part of this transformation, while always adhering to our existing high standards. ACHS and its member honor societies can then better communicate their value to students, parents, faculty and administrators," says Martha Zlokovich, president, ACHS and executive director, Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.

The questionnaire found many strengths as well as room for growth. Some of the highlights include:

  • Advisors reported that their honor societies focused on four key areas in their programming: leadership (63 percent), service learning (62 percent), scholarship (61 percent) and then research (51 percent). Student members, however, reported a stronger program emphasis on scholarship (87 percent).  
  • Only 27 percent of advisors reported that they collaborate with other honor societies on their campus.
  • Eighty-seven percent of honor society executive directors said they have chapter program initiatives.  

At the meeting members attended also heard from Jane Halonen, professor of psychology, University of West Florida, about the need for honor societies to track effectiveness. Jillian Kinzie, Ph.D., associate director, National Survey of Student Engagement, Indiana University Bloomington, spoke about the quality of the undergraduate experience. Other sessions addressed "Chartering and Maintaining Chapters at Online Universities," "Developing Board Members," and "Best Practices for Recruiting, Educating and Retaining Advisors."

It was also announced that Golden Key International Honour Society, after a series of on-going discussions and correspondence, decided to resign from ACHS, effective Dec. 31, 2013.

ACHS members are non-profits that encourage and honor superior scholarship and leadership achievement in areas ranging from business to physics, mathematics to music.

It sets standards for organizational excellence and scholastic eligibility for the various categories of membership: general, specialized, leadership, freshman and two-year honor societies. To ensure member participation in governance, honor societies must be structured on a membership basis so that the interests of individual members are advanced.

Members and society-at-large are protected by the standards of excellence of the Association of College Honor Societies. Not all organizations calling themselves "honor societies" subscribe to the high honors standards of ACHS.

The minimum ACHS scholarship criterion for undergraduate (specialized and leadership) is a rank in the upper 35 percent of the class (a 3.2 or 3.3 GPA in most cases). Undergraduate (general) allow in students that rank in the upper 20 percent of the class. These criteria are minimum ones; many societies have higher standards.

This link provides further details about "How to Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society":


The Association of College Honor Societies ( is a visibly cohesive community of national and international honor societies. A coordinating agency for these societies in chartering chapters in accredited colleges and universities, the Association sets high priority in maintaining high standards, in defining the honor society movement, and in developing criteria for judging the credibility and legitimacy of honor societies.

Adam Shapiro
[email protected]

The Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) seeks to advance knowledge about the use of standards and self- assessment processes in enhancing programs and services to students and in developing designated student learning and developmental outcomes.

Proposal Focus:  Research proposals should address some dimension of the question:  Does the use of the CAS Standards and Guidelines in a self-assessment process enhance programs, services, or student learning outcomes?

  1. Proposals with a specific focus on uses of the CAS standards in a Self-Assessment process are preferred.
  2. Proposals may be at the department, division, and institutional or multi-site level.
  3. Proposals may study a particular functional area.
  4. Proposals should not be for the individual use of a standard for campus self-assessment as grants are intended for research purposes.
  5. Dissertation research will be considered and is encouraged.

Proposal Content:  Proposal should be 5-7 pages with a separate one page summary and should include:

  1. Name and contact information for the project director
  2. Background and related literature
  3. Research questions and significance of the proposed study
  4. Methods (any appropriate methodology [e.g. case studies, longitudinal designs] will be considered)
  5. Time frame (projects must be completed in three years or less)
  6. Brief biographies of researchers
  7. Budget (no overhead charges may be submitted; funds may not be used for equipment or software, salaries or tuition; proposals should indicate if funds are being sought or are provided by other sources.)

Grant:  Typically, grants of up to $3000 will be considered. More than one grant may be awarded.

Deadline:  Proposals must be received by October 14, 2011.

Review Process:  Proposals should be submitted electronically to CAS Research Chair, Dr. John Zacker, [email protected].  The review committee is comprised of the chair and research committee members who are members of the Board of Directors of CAS.

Agreements by Recipients:  Recipients of grants will receive additional information on the dispersal of funds, return of funds in the case on non-completion of a project, annual project reports and accounting, and expectations of dissemination of findings. CAS acknowledges full authorship rights to the project researchers. In general CAS will expect a summary report of findings to post on the CAS website, researcher publication(s), and presentations at appropriate conferences including a possible invitation to the CAS Symposium. CAS support must be acknowledged in all dissemination of findings.

This summer, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will host a groundbreaking new program for college leaders--a summit on hate speech, propaganda, and civic engagement. We hope that you will encourage your network of students to apply for what promises to be an exciting and meaningful experience. A description and application are below.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will host What You Do Matters:  A Leadership Summit on Propaganda, Hate Speech, and Civic Engagement, exploring critical issues such as:

  • The Museum's special exhibition  State of Deception:  The Power of Nazi Propaganda
  • What makes us vulnerable today
  • The challenges and power of the First Amendment
  • Media literacy in today's age of information overload
  • Overcoming indifference and empowering citizen response
  • Working together for change

The summit will include opportunities to:

  • Experience the Museum's rich collection, powerful exhibitions, and platform for meaningful dialogue
  • Build a relationship with the Museum and gain support from our institution
  • Meet and learn from noteworthy speakers, scholars, and educators
  • Hear perspective from student leaders who have taken creative steps to respond to hate in their communities
  • Participate in breakout sessions with other student leaders from across the nation
  • Connect with peers and build coalitions to take action on issues you care about

Who you will hear from (among others):

  • Bill Adair, editor of Politifact and Washington Bureau Chief of the St. Petersburg Times
  • Carl Wilkens, the sole American aid worker remaining in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide
  • Bob Behr, Holocaust survivor and Museum volunteer
  • Amy Lazarus, Executive Director, Sustained Dialogue Campus Network
  • Charles C. Haynes, Director, Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum in Washington, DC
  • Renee Hobbs, Professor of Communication, School of Communications and Theater, Temple University and founder of the Media Education Lab
  • A panel of student leaders who have worked with others to respond to contemporary issues

We invite you to apply to attend, make your voice heard, engage with your peers, and build a network to overcome indifference, build bridges, and move to meaningful action.

We will accept 50-100 students to participate, based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated leadership experience on your university campus or in your community
  • Interest and ability to take action in the next year
  • Passion and interest for the topics of the summit (hate speech, propaganda, and civic engagement)
  • Current undergraduate university student

Due to the volume of interest in this groundbreaking new program for college leaders,  the application deadline has been extended until Sunday, June 12.   

You will be notified by Thursday, June 16. 

This summit has been planned in cooperation with the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum and the Media Education Lab of Temple University.

This summit has been made possible by the generous support of The Marcus Foundation.

Click here for online application

2012 ACHS Annual Council Meeting

Save the Date

2012 ACHS Annual Council Meeting

Humphrey's Half Moon Inn & Suites

Shelter Island, San Diego, CA 

February 16 - 19, 2012

2011 ACHS Annual Council Meeting

2011 Meeting


Association of College Honor Societies
Annual Council Meeting

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville (FL) Riverfront
February 17- 20 2011

2010 ACHS Annual Council Meeting

Hyatt Regency Boston
February 18 - 21, 2010

Beta Gamma Sigma Center for Ethical Business Leadership

After much planning and work, Beta Gamma Sigma recently opened the EBL Center at The first stage of the Center offers access to a great deal of information through short clips of video arranged under a variety of topics. It is planned that in the future there will be transcripts, corporate background information, message boards, blogs, and much, much more. 

In 2006, the goal was shared by President John Wholihan: "We plan to develop ways to encourage business leaders to adhere to the highest ethical standards, and to show that this is one of the most important aspects of leadership in the 21st Century. . . . The society plans to emphasize that good ethical behavior in business is more often than not a result of leaders, at al levels, displaying the courage and conviction to make the right choices at the right times" (BGS International Exchange, Spring 2009).



ACHS Announces Adviser Grant Program

Social Responsibility: The Power of the Association of College Honor Societies to Make a Difference

A Chapter Leadership Project

Award Recipients

The following societies have engaged numerous partners, including other honor societies and student organizations.

DAHLONEGA, Ga., April 15, 2008 -- North Georgia College & State University's honor societies have donated $2000 to activate Lumpkin County's new 2-1-1 help line. Once the 2-1-1 line goes into service on July 7, a Lumpkin County resident will be able to dial the three-digit number in order to reach an operator who will refer the caller to an agency that
will help with chronic health problems, financial problems requiring help with food or shelter, or other needs for social services.

According to Dr. Gessell, the NGCSU executive director of regional engagement, "This resource will support the quality of life of our neighbors. The 2-1-1 line will help social-service and health-care providers, as well as members of the community."

Participating in this Council of Honor Societies project were Alpha Kappa Delta, sociology; Alpha Phi Sigma, criminal justice; Beta Gamma Sigma, business administration; Phi Eta Sigma, freshmen; Pi Delta Phi, French; Pi Gamma Mu, social sciences; Pi Sigma Alpha, political science; Psi Chi, psychology; and Sigma Theta Tau, nursing. The Council of Honor Societies coordinated the project and provided funding as well.