Eligibility for membership in the National Honor Society is based on scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The procedures for selection used by Columbus High School are aligned with the procedures set out by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the organization that governs the National Honor Society.
Determination of Eligible Candidates
To be eligible for candidacy, a student must be at least a second-semester sophomore and have a
cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.6 or above. Students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or better will be notified by the NHS adviser of eligibility.
Completion of the Student Activity Information Form
As part of the notification process, students will be instructed to complete a Student Information
Form. This form is the document whereby students supply the necessary scholarship, leadership, service, and character information used in the selection process. No student is selected for membership simply by completing the form.
A deadline will be set for returning the completed Student Information Form. Students who choose not to return a completed form or return the form after the deadline will not be considered for membership during that current school year.
Review of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character
A committee of five teachers, referred to as the Faculty Council, is given the authority of selecting candidates for membership. The adviser, functioning as the student advocate, collects and organizes necessary information regarding each candidate and then facilitates the selection meeting where this information is reviewed.
The Faculty Council sets minimum standards for leadership and service, as well as expectations for character. The Faculty Council will review each candidate’s Student Information Form, evaluations from faculty members, and student discipline and attendance records. Those candidates who meet or exceed the standards for scholarship, leadership, service, and character will be selected for membership. Selection into NHS is a privilege bestowed upon students by the faculty of Columbus High School and is not a right inherent to any student.
Students will be notified of their selection or non-selection for membership. Students of junior or sophomore standing not selected will be eligible for selection the following year, if they maintain a 3.6 GPA or higher.
Non-selection Review and Appeals Process
In seeking to understand the reasons for non-selection, a student may request a meeting for clarification. Below is the proper procedure that must be followed by the student when seeking clarification, before an appeal can be granted:
- Consult with the chapter adviser. The chapter adviser facilitates the selection meeting and may be able to clarify the selection process and any decisions that were made regarding the information provided.
- File a formal appeal. Because NHS encourages leadership and strong character, students are expected to initiate and speak on their own behalf when seeking an appeal.
Any student who submitted a Student Information Form, but who was not selected for membership, may choose to appeal the Faculty Council’s decision using the process outlined below:
A. Within five school days of the date of the non-selection letter, the candidate must:
- Submit a typed letter to the adviser, written to the Faculty Council, clearly stating the reason for the appeal and addressing the concerns of the Faculty Council related to the student’s scholarship, leadership, service, or character.
- The letter should address specific concerns and clarify information provided in the Student Information Form.
- A student cannot include information that was omitted or documentation that was not submitted during the initial selection process.
B. Within five school days of receipt of the candidate’s letter of appeal, the adviser will:
- Provide copies of the student’s letter to the Faculty Council.
- Initiate a Faculty Council meeting where the concerns will be discussed.
- Personally deliver a decision letter from the Faculty Council to the student.
All decisions from the Faculty Council’s appeals meeting are final.
A candidate cannot become an actual member of the National Honor Society without participating in the induction ceremony. The details of the ceremony will be communicated to the selected candidates and their parents/guardians.
Maintenance of High Standards
Current members of the National Honor Society are instructed during the ceremony to uphold the ideals of the Society. National Honor Society members should understand that they are subject to discipline and/or dismissal if they do not maintain the standards of scholarship, leadership, service, and character that were used as a basis for their selection. Described below is the procedure that is followed in disciplining members of and dismissing members from the Columbus High School Chapter of the National Honor Society.
Discipline and Dismissal
The chapter adviser periodically reviews the standing of members for compliance with NHS standards. Examples include but are not limited to: maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher, compliance with school rules and procedures, maintaining academic honesty, completion of service hours, and participation in chapter meetings and activities.
The Faculty Council is called together to review situations in which a current member is in jeopardy of dismissal from the Society. When a member falls below the standards, the adviser will initiate the appropriate process outlined below:
- Members who fall below the standards that were the basis for their selection shall be promptly warned in writing by the chapter adviser and given a reasonable amount of time to correct the deficiency, except that in the case of flagrant violation of school rules or the law, a member doesnot have to be warned.
- The adviser in consultation with the principal shall determine when an individual has exceeded a reasonable number of warnings, in cases when the discipline situations involved warnings. The student and parent(s) will be notified in writing of the impending dismissal.
- In all cases of pending dismissal, a member shall have a right to a hearing before the FacultyCouncil. The student should contact the principal to arrange attendance at the hearing. At the hearing, the student may present their arguments for maintaining their NHS membership.
- For purposes of dismissal, a majority vote of the Faculty Council is required. Once a student is dismissed, he/she is never again eligible for membership in or benefits of National Honor Society.
- A member who has been dismissed may appeal the decision of the Faculty Council to the Principal within 5 days of the Faculty Council decision. During the appeals meeting with the principal, the student must present their arguments for maintaining their NHS membership.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals does not hear appeals in non-selection or dismissal cases. (NHS Handbook, NASSP, 18th Edition; Article IX, Section 5 and Article X, Section 7.)