National Honor Society
This webpage serves as a reference for all members and prospective members of the National Honor Society (NHS) in Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS). Use the links on the left side of the page to navigate through the application procedure, the criteria for selection, and maintaining active membership in the NHS in a high school within CCPS.
According to the National Honor Society Handbook, “The purpose of this organization shall be to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, and to develop character in the students of secondary schools.”
The handbook also outlines procedures for candidate eligibility and selection that are outlined on the “Criteria for Selection” and “Application Procedure” pages. Specific procedures are developed by each chapter within the high school. More information on specific requirements and any questions can be referred to the chapter adviser or high school principal.
The school-based procedures for the NHS application are governed by the National Honor Society, and are applied by each high school in Carroll County Public Schools. Each school chapter holds, independently, the right to admit and reject candidates for induction into NHS. Candidates do not apply for admission, but are selected by a faculty council, consisting of five (5) voting faculty members and chaired by a non-voting faculty adviser. As stated in the National Honor Society Handbook: “membership in the National Honor Society is both an honor and a responsibility”; and “parents and students must understand that no student has a right to be selected for membership in a chapter of the National Honor Society.” The below described documents are not an application, but a solicitation for information about the candidate in order to aid the faculty council in rendering a decision as to the eligibility of the candidate for induction into the NHS.
All students who meet academic eligibility requirements will be notified and provided with:
- Carroll County Public School's NHS Eligibility, Selection, and Membership Guidelines
- Required Student/Parent Signature Form
- Student Activity Information Form
- This is used to evaluate the candidate's involvement in co-curricular, service, and community activites. Evaluations in this category are used to assist the faculty council in reaching a decision as to admission for the candidate. When completeing the information form, candidates should be as thorough and complete as possible. Only activities which candidates have participated in high school are considered. Candidate's will be evaluated on the following criteria for each category: co-curricular activites, service activites, and community activities.
- Four Sponsor Forms
- At least three forms must be completed by a high school's faculty/staff member.
- One Sponsor Form may be completed by an adult, community-based activity leader when appropriate.
- Optional Essay Form
- The essay section of the nomination form is optional. The essay can be used to supplement a candidate's nomination and aid the faculty council in their decision. The essay may also be used to explain a student's involvement in leadership, service, and/or character if you believe the Activity Information Form or Sponsor Forms may not entirely describe a candidate's qualifications in these areas. The essay may not exceed one page and must be the candidates sole work. Candidates must sign the essay to indicate their statements are truthful and the essay is their own work.
Students wishing to be further considered for NHS selection will be given the opportunity to complete these documents and return them to a specified person by the specified time, to be set by the school and described clearly in the application materials. School based NHS advisers reserve the right to deny acceptance of any late or incomplete nomination materials.
Returning the nomination form does not guarantee induction into the National Honor Society.
Not all eligible students will be inducted into the National Honor Society. Students must demonstrate exceptional commitment to the 4 pillars and be recognized as a leader in their school and community. Induction into the NHS is not an expectation of any student - it is an honor for a select few students. Meeting the minimum GPA requirement is the first step for consideration, not a cut-off for induction.
All nomination forms are reviewed by the faculty council to aid the council in evaluating the candidate for induction into the National Honor Society. After the administration has reviewed the list of eligible students and has indicated whether any name should be withdrawn as the result of disciplinary infractions, the remaining candidates receiving a majority vote of the faculty council will be invited to be inducted as members of NHS. All eligible students will be notified in writing of the faculty council’s decision. Candidates are considered based on both the strength of their application and their actions in and outside the classroom
Students not selected for induction in their sophomore or junior year will be reconsidered without prejudice the following year provided they continue to meet eligibility requirements.
- Membership Eligibility Requirements
- NHS Eligibility Flow Chart
To be eligible for nomination, it is mandatory that students attain at least sophomore status, be enrolled in a CCPS high school for at least 1 semester, have a greater than 3.75 cumulative weighted GPA, have no major disciplinary infractions, and not have been previously inducted into the National Honor Society.
Once these conditions are met, eligible students will be sent a packet by the chapter adviser soliciting information about the candidate’s qualifications in the 4 Pillars of the NHS: Character, Scholarship, Leadership, and Service. Packets are only distributed once every school year, only to eligible students. Students who believe they are eligible based on the above conditions, yet did not receive a packet, should see the NHS chapter adviser.
Meeting the scholarship component that makes a student eligible to apply for induction does not mean the student is a strong candidate for induction. Students must demonstrate excellence in all 4 Pillars to be strong candidates for induction into NHS.
Candidates should be known in their schools to exhibit characteristics of an NHS member daily, both inside and outside of school. Strong candidates for admission into NHS will demonstrate excellence in the following areas and identify with most or all of the traits listed below:
- Takes criticism willingly and accepts recommendations graciously
- Consistently exemplifies desirable qualities of behavior (cheerfulness, friendliness, poise, stability)
- Upholds principles of morality and ethics
- Cooperates by complying with school regulations concerning property, programs, office, halls, etc. ᴬ
- Demonstrates the highest standards of honesty and reliability
- Regularly shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others
- Observes instructions and rules, is punctual, and is faithful both inside and outside the classroom
- Has powers of concentration, self-discipline, and sustained attention as shown by perseverance and application to studies
- Manifests truthfulness in acknowledging obedience to rules, avoiding cheating in written work, and showing unwillingness to profit by mistakes of others ᴬ
- Actively helps rid the school of bad influences or environment.
ᴬ Names may be withdrawn from nomination for certain disciplinary infractions
- Is resourceful in proposing new problems, applying principles, and making suggestions
- Demonstrates initiative in promoting school activities
- Exercises positive influence on peers in upholding school ideals
- Contributes ideas that improve the civic life of the school
- Is able to delegate responsibilities
- Exemplifies positive attitudes
- Inspires positive behavior in others
- Demonstrates academic initiative
- Successfully holds school offices or positions of responsibility; conducts business effectively and efficiently; demonstrates reliability and dependability
- Is a leader in the classroom, at work, and in other school or community activities
- Is thoroughly dependable in any responsibility accepted
- Is willing to uphold scholarship and maintain a loyal school attitude.
- Volunteers and provides dependable and well organized assistance, is gladly available, and is willing to sacrifice to offer assistance
- Works well with others and is willing to take on difficult or inconspicuous responsibilities
- Cheerfully and enthusiastically renders any requested service to the school
- Is willing to represent the class or school in inter-class and inter-scholastic competitions
- Does committee and staff work without complaint
- Participates in activities outside of school (for example: Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church groups, or volunteer for the elderly, poor, or disadvantaged)
- Mentors persons in the community or students at other schools
- Shows courtesy by assisting visitors, teachers, and students.
1. In general, the standards for scholarship, leadership, service, and character required for eligibility and selection must be maintained in order for students to remain active members. According to the official National Honor Society Handbook, the adviser will periodically review the standing of members for compliance with NHS standards. However, a member is never automatically dismissed for failing to maintain standards. “A hearing must be conducted by the faculty council to dismiss a member,” unless the student elects to resign from the NHS. A resignation must be submitted in writing to the NHS adviser.
2. “In the case of a flagrant violation of school rules or civil laws, a warning is not necessarily required for dismissal.”
3. For infractions or offenses of a minor nature, the adviser will inform the student in writing, and when possible in a conference, about the nature of the violation, providing the student with a reasonable time period for improvement. Should the faculty council determine that an individual has exceeded a reasonable number of warnings, a faculty council pre-dismissal hearing will be held.
4. In the event that a faculty council pre-dismissal hearing must be convened, the hearing and any consequent dismissal appeal will be conducted in strict accordance with procedures outlined in the National Honor Society Handbook. “Furthermore, a student who is dismissed or resigns may never again become an NHS member.”
5. Each member is required to maintain a 3.75 weighted GPA. A member whose GPA falls below this level will be warned and given a period of one semester to raise his/her GPA to the minimum level. Each member’s GPA will be checked twice a year (mid-year and end-of-year grades). At mid-year, the GPA for the semester will be reviewed. If the semester GPA falls below a 3.75 weighted GPA, the student's cumulative GPA will be calculated using all credits earned, and any grades that reflect year-long courses will be calculated as if they were final grades.
6. Members of the NHS must remain active in their NHS chapter to be eligible to wear the NHS stole during their graduation. Student participation will be determined by earned service points at each individual high school.