Honoring the High Achiever

by NYC Firm Schools on January 12, 2010

There will always be a place for people who have the same interests and talents to gather, exchange stories and information and become even better experienced in their chosen specialties. In the High School years, these groups, or societites, are created and kept to honor those who have achieved a high level of proficiency in a particular specialty.

The National Honor Society, for instance, accepts student who maintain at least a 3.0, though in many schools acceptance to this society requires an even higher total G.P.A.

As Honor Societies have become a badge of, well, honor for students upon graduation and on college resumes, more and more of these societies have been created. Some believe that the ready availability of so many Honor Societies has diluted the idea of them in the first place, as bastions of the high achiever.

The New York Times ran a recent article discussing the proliferation of Honor Societies as badges of achievement in High School. As students gather to themselves more cords of advanced achievement, are they really earning to that mark with dedication to each society?

With so many societies, some students are unable to attend all of the meetings and shirk their duties with the groups, showing up only to collect the “honor cord” — a decorative tassel — to wear at graduation.
Commack is one of many places where educators and parents are re-examining the role of honor societies, which started out as an academic distinction reserved for the top 5 or 10 percent of a class but have become a routine item on college résumés.
“The problem comes when you’re trying to run an honor society where kids don’t want to be and they’re skipping meetings and they’re not doing anything,” said Amanda Seres, president of the 168-member English society.
Amanda said she joined only two other societies (national and English) so as not to overextend, but acknowledged that “it will be kind of hard in May when I’ll have three honor cords and everyone else will have nine.”

Many addmissions deans of colleges have begun to notice the applications coming through the doors that are almost littered with honor society placements and have begun to question whether or not a student can truly give their all when they are spread out so thin.

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