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National Honor Society » Member Engagement

Member Engagement

Please see our handbook for the most up to date information regarding Individual Service Projects. Note that the guidelines for 2020-2021 are adapting as the circumstances of our current situation are changing. Members will be updated on a regular bases.

Members, Roles and Responsibilities


Membership in National Honor Society is an honor and a privilege bestowed upon deserving students, and not considered a right inherent to any student—it is more than an honor roll, and so members must demonstrate not only good grades. Selection for membership by the Faculty Council considers a combination a variety of important traits as highlighted by the National Organization’s dedication to not just Scholarship, but also Leadership, Service, and Character. Once selected, members have the responsibility to continually demonstrate the qualities that were the foundation for their selection. 


Membership takes three forms—active, honorary, and alumni. Active members are those members who have been inducted and have an active voting voice in chapter affairs during the current school year, and who must maintain the yearly standards as outlined below.  Under special circumstances, the Faculty Council may also award honorary membership to students who warrant special consideration, particularly those who receive accommodations for a disability, or for foreign exchange students who do not meet some aspect of the basic requirement (generally the school’s determined GPA requirement, or the required semester at Mira Costa before application, but not limited to these), but who deserve recognition for achievement and/or outstanding service rendered to the school in keeping with the purposes of the National Honor Society. The Faculty Council may also award similar status to school officials, staff, administration, teachers, advisors, or other adults. This type of membership grants to the recipient all of the privileges of membership without the obligations associated with active membership as detailed below. Upon graduation, active and honorary students become alumni members, who have no voice or vote in chapter activities, but may stay connected, facilitate, participate, and aid in future chapter missions.


Members in good standing are eligible to apply and compete in national scholarship programs, and those who maintain good standing up to graduation are recognized at graduation with gold cords that may be worn over robes during the ceremony and kept beyond. Leaders also receive pins that may be worn during graduation, and for all chapter-specific events or honors as well.


All members are to maintain the standards by which they were selected, i.e., GPA requirements, involvement in service and leadership projects, etc. Members are asked to pay membership dues as well, of $20.00, to maintain events such as induction, as well as purchase honorary emblems and cords for graduation (in cases of demonstrated need, this fee may be waived, and will not be a motivator for dismissal from membership). Members are expected to regularly attend and participate actively in chapter meetings—members may incur four excused absences per year, but may not exceed that or three unexcusedabsences without penalty to membership status or without disciplinary action.


Members must also participate actively in chapter-sanctioned projects, activities, and/or events, and must work to complete an Individual Service Project of at least 20 in school hours of sustained, dedicated, and meaningful service of their choosing (summer hours are encouraged, but do not count toward this goal). By the end of October of each school year, all members (with the exception of those in leadership positions, whose leadership service stands in place of this requirement) will submit proposals for detailing the specifics of their project and goals for the year, which will be given to their Class Chair. The Class Chair and President then work together to grant approval, and then the Historian and Public Relations chair will make public the records of each member’s service project for the school year. This project can be a continuance of a previous projects, and should be a reflection of the individual, but not directly or indirectly benefit the member in any way (i.e. remuneration, benefits to the member’s family, etc.). At the end of the year, members will reflect on their project, and that reflection as well as documentation in the form of signatures, pictures, media, etc. will be publicized for the school and local community.


Individual service projects are one-year commitments, and must be renewed each year of a member’s tenure. Resubmission of proposals can be granted in the following years as extensions of previous work (this should be indicated within the proposal itself), given that they reflect growth from the previous year’s submission.

Committees, Roles and Responsibilities


For the purpose of completing all the necessary elements of NHS yearly, committees may be a convenient and collaborative way for members to work together toward common goals. Committees should include both newly-inducted and returning members of the chapter to ensure continuity of leadership and multiplicity of perspectives and strengths. Committees should aim not to duplicate or interfere with each other or with other school organizations as much as possible on campus—though, they can serve to complement the best interests of those groups and the school as a whole. It is important that committees foster comfortable atmospheres where all ideas are valued, and should maintain and refine clear coals, exhibit proper communication among all members internally and in coordination with other committees and members, and should constantly engage in self-assessments, aiming to understand the authority and limitations of the group and its leaders while recognizing and appreciating the contributions of all members within the group.


There are two basic type of committees: Special Committees, and Standing Committees. Special Committees are those which are requested by the Chapter Council and specially-appointed by the President to complete definite tasks for projects within a limited time frame, such as fund drives, dances, elections, specific short-term events, chapter business, etc. Special Committees meet with the President and/or Vice President regarding their tasks outside of the regular meeting structure during the time in which they are relevant, and are dissolved upon task completion. Special Committees do not receive representation in Chapter Council meetings; they do, however, count toward the official chapter hour commitments.


Standing Committees are those which are formed and proposed by members in order to collectively fulfill a more year-long mission (it is advised that committees not exceed 10-12 members for the purpose of productivity). Standing Committees may be formed in order to enact individual service projects in a more collaborative setting, especially if desire project goals coincide. These Committees are sustained throughout the school year, must be approved by the Board, and are subject to constant review. Upon approval, the standing committee’s selected chair will serve as the representative voice of the committee in Chapter Council meetings for the school year. Committees will be expected to report on progress or present to the full membership of the organization at regularly chapter meetings during the school year.


After Induction, active members will have access to the Standing Committee Proposal Form (given below). There is no due date necessarily for committee proposals—they may be submitted at any time to the Vice President, for the consideration of the Executive Board, who ultimately deliberate and vote on Committee approval.  Once a proposal secures a majority vote of the Board, written notification will be given to the proposed committee chair, and may begin conducting officially-sanctioned chapter business. Committee Chairs may now begin attending Chapter Council meetings, and must submit, revise, and update schedules, meeting minutes, committee events, and committee rosters with the Historian. This information will be made public for all members of the chapter.


Standing Committees are one-year commitments, and must be renewed each year—this can be done by returning members, or committees may be renewed and continued by new inductees based on past work with similar goals. Resubmission of proposals must include any changes in membership to the committee, and must show growth and strengthening of the initial intent of the community as it adapts to intermediate goals within the larger mission of the committee.