The Real Honor Societies of Kean University

How to distinguish Kean's Honor Societies from outside organizations

Features > The Real Honor Societies of Kean University
The Real Honor Societies of Kean University

Association of College Honor Societies

Brandon Gervais, Staff Writer

The honor societies at Kean are organizations that separate the academically elite at Kean and gives them a space to come together and work as a group to help others through service and leadership. Often associated with a specific subject, honor societies show high achievement in academics and involvement. 

The process for joining each honor society varies between the subject. For the most part however, it is required to have a GPA above 3.0 (varies between each group) in the subject area as well as cumulatively. Also, there is a required price for membership dues that again varies in price depending on the group. Each honor society at Kean requires you to attend at least two meetings and an induction ceremony. Some honor societies also have a service requirement. 

"I was a shy commuter student. I went to school for classes and left day in and day out. It wasn't until I got inducted into Sigma Tau Delta that I got involved on campus," said Holly Wood, an English writing major, a Kean graduate in 2016, and an academic specialist working at the Writing Center in the library. "[In] the first year, we had bake sales where I got to meet upperclassmen in the honor society. Throughout these interactions, I finally made a friend at college! Then, at the end of my first year, the president was graduating and the new president asked if I wanted to be her vice president. That year, we really vamped up the involvement in campus. We had poetry slams, where even shy, awkward me got up on stage and performed. Participating in and running events with Sigma Tau Delta allowed me to feel like a real college student for the first time, as I was finally spending time at Kean in a way that didn't involve a classroom."

It can be confusing to distinguish legitimate honor societies at Kean from outside organizations looking for student membership and money. Toward the beginning and end of each semester, students' emails become flooded with emails from various organizations claiming to be honor societies. These emails typically begin with "Congratulations, you've been accepted". It is important to be mindful and wary of such emails since there is a chance an application was never sent. 

Subject-specific honor societies at Kean require a lengthy process that involves an application that includes service hours, involvement evaluation, essays, and more. While the general honor societies at Kean will send you a letter in the mail directly. To be sure your honor society outside of Kean is legitimate the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) provides a list of nationally certified honor societies as well as resources for students to learn about different organizations. You can also check Cougar Link and look at the list of honor societies at Kean.

Here is a list of some things to keep in mind when deciding if an honor society is legitimate:

  • Honor Societies Require Three Semesters to Have Been Completed. If it is your first or second semester at Kean and you receive an email or mail invitation to join an honor society, there is a very high chance it is not legitimate, as there is a three-semester requirement to join honor societies. Keep in mind that for major specific organizations, you can not declare a major until your sophomore year, so you cannot be considered.
  • Look into the Organization. Real honor societies often have a long history that can be traced back and researched. It should be a red flag if the origin is vague or recent. It may be legitimate, but consider their history as a rule of thumb.
  • Most Certified Honor Societies are Registered. You can learn about certified organizations at www.achsnatl.org. The Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) has resources to distinguish real honor societies and describes the benefits of honor societies to a student. It also lists the many of the nationally certified honor societies

Here is a list of all of the honor societies at Kean.


about the author
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Brandon Gervais, Staff Writer
gervaisb@kean.edu

Brandon Gervais is a sophomore English education double major. Brandon works as a Staff Writer for The Cougar’s Byte as of November 2017. He is a part of the Leadership Institute as a Silver leader. In his free time, he enjoys reading and competitive indoor color guard. After his years at Kean, he hopes to become a high school teacher and coach color guard.


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