The Recommended Selection Procedure: NHS & NJHS
The following is an overview of the Recommended Selection Procedure that appears in a more substantial version in the national handbooks for NHS and NJHS. The recommendations that appear below best represent the policies and guidelines found in the national constitutions and handbooks of the Honor Societies. However, local chapters are given some flexibility when creating their own local selection process. Local variations can be accommodated as long as they are in compliance with the policies found in the national constitutions and handbooks.
The current NHS and NJHS Handbooks provide both the policies for selection and the Recommended Selection Procedure for all chapters. As a quick review, here are some of the most significant points to keep in mind:
- The selection procedure should be determined by the Faculty Council (the five member selection committee facilitated by the chapter adviser who sits as the sixth, non-voting member of the group), approved by the principal, and must be published and available for review by students, faculty, and parents.
- As the first step in the process, students’ academic records are reviewed to determine those persons who are scholastically eligible for membership, i.e., those persons who meet the required cumulative GPA standard. The GPA used at the local level cannot be set below the national minimum standard outlined in the national constitution, and, once set, must be applied fairly and consistently to all candidates.
- Students who are eligible scholastically (i.e., "candidates") should be notified and informed that for further consideration for selection to the chapter, they may complete the Candidate Form (or other materials used at the local level). This form outlines the candidate's accomplishments in the areas of Service and Leadership (a sample of this form can be found in the current handbook). This form should not be referred to as an "application.” NOTE: Candidates are not to be disqualified early in the process due to character (i.e. disciplinary records, etc.).
Many chapters offer "help sessions" for candidates which provide assistance in filling out their forms. Care should be taken to follow the established guidelines and schedule for completing and submitting the forms. It is further recommended that both students and parents sign these forms when submitting them, indicating that the content is both complete and accurate.
- If additional faculty input would be beneficial, all faculty members can be invited to make comments on candidates, most often done on a Faculty Evaluation Form. It is important to note that the actual selection of new members must be made by a vote of the five appointed members of the Faculty Council.
Point totals or averages of the faculty ratings are not to be considered as 'votes' or the sole determinants of membership, but should be reported to the Faculty Council to add to their information when considering selections. Faculty members should consider this input in the most professional manner and be able to substantiate claims (i.e. low ratings) with professional actions. Anonymous evaluations are not allowed. All input from faculty is to be signed, but may remain confidential as per commentary in the handbook. See the October, 1994 edition of Leadership magazine or the newest handbooks for additional information on the use of faculty evaluations in your selection process.
- The Candidate Form should be reviewed by the Faculty Council, along with any other verifiable information about the candidates relevant to their consideration for membership. Some Faculty Councils may wish to interview candidates personally. The leadership, service, and character (and citizenship for NJHS) of all candidates should be reviewed carefully. Faculty council members are encouraged to deliberate in order to guarantee that their decisions are based on accurate and complete understandings of all information presented for review. With the vote on each candidate, those candidates receiving a majority vote of the faculty council should be invited for induction into the chapter.
- Prior to notification of any candidates, the chapter adviser is required to report to the principal the results of the Faculty Council's deliberations for approval. Lists of selected and non-selected students, as well as reasons for non-selection may be incorporated into this meeting. This will assure the support of the administration prior to any notification.
- Chapters should consider formal notification of all selected candidates and their parents to inform them in writing about selection and the timing of the induction ceremony. Schools should also seriously consider the method by which students who are NOT selected are informed about their non-selection to see that this method is both timely and considerate of their well-being.
- To finalize the plans for induction, steps should be devised for verification of new membership, acceptance of the invitations for membership, and attendance at the induction ceremony.
Additional discussion of the selection process can be found in the NHS or NJHS Handbook, both in the constitution and the commentary. The process noted above has undergone significant review by school administrations and the courts and contains the best recommendations to date for procedures for all chapters. Questions can be answered or clarification provided by contacting the national office:
NHS & NJHS National Office
1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537
Phone: 703-860-0200 / Fax: 703-476-5432
www.nhs.us and www.njhs.us