What is an honor society?

An honor society is an organization that recognizes excellence, often academic excellence, in a variety of ways. At Capella University, there are several academic honor societies within the School of Counseling and Human Services, and they offer more than just an honorary title. Several Capella faculty members who serve as advisors for these groups recently reflected on the importance of honor societies.

The Value of Honor Societies

“An honor society is designed to be an organization that recognizes excellence among peers when it comes to performance and achievement,” says Rosanne Nunnery, Faculty Lead in the Counseling Department. Nunnery is advisor to Chi Upsilon Chi, the Capella chapter of Chi Sigma Iota counseling honor society.

Dinah Manns, faculty chair in Capella University’s School of Counseling Human Services and Vice President of the national board for Tau Upsilon Alpha, agrees. “Honor society membership shows how someone is using their skills and achievements,” she says. “It reflects scholarship and service, going above and beyond.”

More Than Just an Honor

Honor society membership at Capella is designed to be more than just an honor. They are largely student-led, fostering the development of leadership skills. “We offer several possibilities for members,” says Roxanne Bamond, Faculty Lead and advisor to Delta Kappa. “We have networking activities, webinars, and quarterly service projects at residencies.”

She notes that Delta Kappa is fairly new. “In the future, I’m hoping to develop regional chapters with regional meetings to increase networking and service project opportunities. There are also scholarships available.”

What Does It Take?

Requirements vary across the different societies, but someone interested in being invited to join an honor society needs to have a strong academic record. Both Capella University’s chapters of Tau Upsilon Alpha-Beta Chi and Chi Upsilon Chi require a GPA of 3.5 or higher, while Delta Kappa has a 3.75 GPA threshold.

In addition, some honor societies only accept students in active status with at least a year of their academic program behind them, while others will accept members who have already graduated and gone on to demonstrate leadership in the field. Regardless of student status, the organizations are looking for members who show not only academic prowess, but also leadership and a willingness to continue developing that leadership.

All faculty advisors note that being invited to join is an honor itself. “When we invite someone, it’s because they’re deemed promising with exemplary behavior and good judgment,” says Nunnery. “They’re endorsed by us when we accept them.”

Just like honor societies of years past, there is a special induction ceremony that involves receiving cords designating the bearer as a member of the honor society. But the honor doesn’t stop there; members who are inducted will have even more opportunities to distinguish themselves—excellent reasons for striving to demonstrate academic and leadership skills from the moment you start your counseling program.

Learn more about Capella University’s online counseling degree programs.