Selection Criteria & Membership in NHS/NJHS

The NHS/NJHS chapter establishes rules for membership that are based upon a student's outstanding performance in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. These five criteria for selection form the foundation upon which the organization and its activities are built.


Scholarship: Students who have a cumulative grade point average of 92% for National Honor Society and 92% for National Junior Honor Society, set by the local school's Faculty Council meet the scholarship requirement for membership. These students are then eligible for consideration on the basis of service, leadership, and character.


Service:  This quality is defined through the voluntary contributions made by a student to the school or community, done without compensation and with a positive, courteous, and enthusiastic spirit.


Leadership:  Student leaders are those who are resourceful, good problem solvers, promoters of school activities, idea-contributors, dependable, and persons who exemplify positive attitudes about life. Leadership experiences can be drawn from school or community activity while working with or for others.


Character:  The student of good character upholds principles of morality and ethics, is cooperative, demonstrates high standards of honesty and reliability, shows courtesy, concern and respect for others and generally maintains a good and clean lifestyle.


Citizenship (NJHS only):  The student understands the importance of civic involvement, has a high regard for freedom, justice, and respect of the American form of government. Student demonstrates mature participation and responsibility through involvement with such activities as scouting, community organizations, and school clubs.


Selection Procedures for Selection into NHS and NJHS


For many students, selection as a member of NHS and NJHS is the pinnacle of their achievement in school. This honor, recognized throughout the nation, is both the public recognition of accomplishment and the private commitment to continued excellence on the part of the new member. Because of the importance placed upon this aspect of secondary school life local chapter are charged with creating a selection process that conforms to national guidelines, is applied fairly and consistently to all candidates, and provides a meaningful recognition of deserving students.


Selection to NHS and NJHS is a privilege, not a right. Students do not apply for membership in NHS and NJHS; instead, they provide information to be used by the local selection committee to support their candidacy for membership. Membership is granted only to those students selected by the Faculty Council. This is not an election, nor is membership automatically conveyed simply because a student has achieved a specified level of academic performance. NHS and NJHS are more than just an honor roll and the extent to which the local chapter emphasized the other components of the selection process are carefully included in the selection process guidelines. (NHS Handbook, 15th edition)


The following selection process is used at Southern Fulton:


Section 1: To be eligible for membership the candidate must be a member of those classes (sophomore, junior, senior) designated as eligible in the chapter bylaws. (Freshmen [ninth graders] are not eligible.) Candidates must have been in attendance at the school the equivalent of one semester. As the first step in the process, students’ academic records are reviewed to determine students who are scholastically eligible for membership, i.e., students who meet the required 92% cumulative percentage. The percentage will be calculated by school administration.  The GPA used at the local level cannot fall below the national minimum standard outlined in the national constitution, and, once set, must be applied fairly and consistently to all candidates.

Section 2: Students who are eligible scholastically (i.e.,“candidates”) should be notified and informed that for further consideration for selection to the chapter, they must complete the Student Activity Information Form. This form should not be referred to as an application. This form outlines the candidate’s accomplishments in the areas of Service and Leadership. Care will be taken to follow the established guidelines and time schedule for completing and submitting the forms in a reasonable amount of time. It is further recommended that both students and parents sign these forms when submitting them, indicating that the content is both complete and accurate.

Section 3: Because additional faculty input would be beneficial, all faculty members will 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 members must be made by the five appointed members of the Faculty Council. Consequently, point totals or averages of the faculty ratings are not to be considered as votes or the sole determinants of membership, but should instead 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 consequently be able to substantiate claims, in particular those low ratings provided, with professional actions. All input from the faculty should be signed, but will remain confidential as per commentary in the handbook unless dictated to the contrary by local or state policies or laws.

Section 4: The Student Activity Information Form should be reviewed by the Faculty Council, along with any other verifiable information about the candidates relevant to their candidacy. Some Faculty Councils may wish to interview candidates personally. The leadership, service, and character 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 to be inducted into the chapter. All nonselected candidates (i.e., those who do not receive the majority vote of the Faculty Council) should be listed and have those criteria not met by the individual candidate next to their name to assist the adviser and principal in handling inquiries regarding nonselection.

Section 5:  After careful consideration and review of the Student Activity Information Sheet, each member of the faculty council will rate the student in four categories: service, leadership, character, and citizenship.  Once the student’s GPA is shown to be sufficient for candidacy, the issue of scholarship should be put aside. The Faculty Council  will rate the forms using the scale of:  4 for outstanding, 3 for excellent, 2 for good, 1 for fair, and 0 for not recommended.   In the event of a low rating on one of the evaluations, it is always important to verify the reason for such a rating, avoiding the speculation and rumor.  A rating of less than 2 is considered a low rating and should be explained by the evaluator. 

Section 6: Each evaluation will be totaled.  All evaluation scores will be averaged to determine if the candidate’s score makes the cutoff point.  All tabulations will be rechecked for accuracy.  The cutoff score will be determined by the Faculty Council and will not serve as the absolute determinant of membership.   When determining the cutoff point, the Faculty Council will not have the names and scores of the candidates while making that decision. If a candidate falls below the cutoff point, the Faculty Council should review their information forms again in order to make a sound professional judgment regarding selection and non-selection.

Section 7:  To avoid questionable entries on faculty evaluations, all evaluations must be signed and each evaluator must be prepared to support any below-average rating with substantiating data based on sound professional judgment and action.  Anonymous faculty evaluation forms should not be used.  The local adviser serves as the link between the Faculty Council and the evaluators, and may conduct informal interviews with those teachers who provide the below-average ratings.   As with the Student Activity Information Forms, faculty evaluations are considered working documents to assist the Faculty Council in making sound decisions regarding membership.  Such evaluations are expected to be used only by the Faculty Council, the advisor, and the principal and should be considered confidential.

Section 8:  The actual selection of new members must be made by a majority vote of the five appointed members of the Faculty Council. Consequently, point totals or averages of the faculty ratings are not to be considered as 'votes' or the sole determinants of membership. With the vote on each candidate, those candidates receiving a majority vote of the faculty council should be invited for induction into the chapter. All candidates identified and listed as "not selected" (i.e., those who do not receive the majority vote of the faculty council) should have criteria not met listed next to their name to assist the adviser and principal in handling inquiries regarding non-selection.

Section 9:  Prior to notification of any candidates, the chapter adviser should 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.

Section 10:  Formal notification of all selected and non-selected candidates and their parents will be done with a letter by the chapter advisor to inform them about selection and the timing of the induction ceremony. 

Section 11: A description of the selection procedure shall be published in an official school publication that is widely available in a timely fashion to all students and parents of the school. The selection procedure shall be determined by the Faculty Council and shall be consistent with the rules and regulations of NHS.


During the second marking period, student records are reviewed, Faculty Council meets and selection is determined.  Students who still maintain the required 92% for NHS and 89% for NJHS cumulative at the end of the second marking period will be inducted during the beginning of the third marking period.