Psi Beta’s Affiliation with the Prestigious Association of College Honor Societies

Dear Psi Beta Advisors,
Please consider forwarding this press release to your college president, other top administrators, and your public information officer. Thank you!

 PRESS RELEASE ABOUT PSI BETA AND ITS AFFILIATION WITH THE PRESTIGIOUS ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGE HONOR SOCIETIES (ACHS)

Psi Beta© Endorses ‘The Plan for Aiming Higher’ – Strategic Plan, an Initiative of the Association of College Honor Societies, Focuses on Strengthening Effectiveness

Chattanooga, Tennessee—April 1, 2015—Psi Beta, the National Honor Society in Psychology for America’s Community Colleges, and a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, announces its official support of “The Plan for Aiming Higher,” the strategic plan of ACHS focused on improving effectiveness of all honor societies. Psi Beta and ACHS believe this is critical at a time when higher education faces many challenges, including questions about the value of a post-secondary degree.

Psi Beta will work to implement “The Plan for Aiming Higher” by providing new opportunities for America’s Psi Beta community college students to participate in high impact learning experiences. Examples include conducting psychological research on factors that contribute to academic and life success (e.g., self-regulation, metacognition, and adoption of a growth mindset), and service-learning programs in which Psi Beta students present workshops on correcting societal problems to high school, college, and community groups; workshop topics include bystander apathy and bullying, prejudice and discrimination, and others. Moreover, Psi Beta’s national board is about to launch a competitive scholarship program designed to recognize Psi Beta’s exemplary members.

ACHS, founded in 1925, is the nation’s only certifying agency for college and university honor societies and is comprised of 66 member organizations; since its founding ACHS has represented more than 92 million honors students. ACHS sets standards for organizational excellence and scholastic eligibility for the various categories of membership: general, specialized, leadership, freshman, and two-year honor societies. To ensure member participation in governance, honor societies must be structured on a membership basis so that the interests of individual members are advanced. In the 2012–13 academic year, 438,000 new students were initiated into ACHS member organizations and a total of 800,000 students were affiliated with member chapters.

Members and the society at large are protected by the standards of excellence of ACHS. Not all organizations calling themselves “honor societies” subscribe to the high standards of ACHS. “The demand for a better qualified workforce that meets the needs of the 21st century means all of us involved in post-secondary education must examine what we are doing and how to improve,” says Martha Zlokovich, president, ACHS and executive director, Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. “Support for excellent learning opportunities extends well beyond the classroom. The ACHS plan to assess both organization and member effectiveness shows that we are eager to be part of this transformation, while always adhering to our existing high standards. ACHS and its member honor societies can then better communicate their value to students, parents, faculty, and administrators.”

The plan seeks to collect data that will demonstrate the difference that honor societies make in individual lives, universities, communities, and society. Another part of the plan is the idea that societies on each campus should be connected to one another and collaborate.

To that end, ACHS promotes efforts, including the Adviser Grant Program and grants to support development of Honors Councils comprised of university-registered honor society chapters. These Honors Councils will focus on partnerships on co-curriculum high-impact practices, functional organizational activities (organizational business and meetings), and support for honor society advisers and officers.

The initiatives are aimed at improving the fact that only 27 percent of advisers reported in a recent ACHS survey that they collaborate with other honor societies on their campus.

The survey also found that advisers focused on four key areas in their programming: leadership (63 percent), service learning (62 percent), scholarship (61 percent), and then research (51 percent). Student members, however, reported a stronger program emphasis on scholarship (87 percent). Eighty-seven percent of honor society executive directors said they have chapter program initiatives.

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Psi Beta’s mission – To encourage professional development and psychological literacy of all students at two-year colleges through promotion and recognition of excellence in scholarship, leadership, research, and community service.

The mission of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) – To build a visibly cohesive community of national and international honor societies that promotes the values of higher education; fosters excellence in scholarship, leadership, service, and research; and adheres to the standards of honor society excellence.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MORE DETAILS:

Jerry Rudmann, Ph.D.
Psi Beta Executive Director
jrudmann@ivc.edu
(888) 774-2382

Dorothy I. Mitstifer, Ph.D.
ACHS Executive Director
dmitstifer@kon.org
(517) 351-8335

Link to this article on the Psi Beta website: http://psibeta.org/site/psi-beta-achs-news-release

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