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THE PLAN FOR AIMING HIGHER: MAXIMIZING THE IMPACT OF COLLEGE HONOR SOCIETIES BY ALYCIA LYNCH HONORS SENIOR THESIS MENTOR DR. JIM GLEASON.

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Presentation on theme: "THE PLAN FOR AIMING HIGHER: MAXIMIZING THE IMPACT OF COLLEGE HONOR SOCIETIES BY ALYCIA LYNCH HONORS SENIOR THESIS MENTOR DR. JIM GLEASON."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE PLAN FOR AIMING HIGHER: MAXIMIZING THE IMPACT OF COLLEGE HONOR SOCIETIES BY ALYCIA LYNCH HONORS SENIOR THESIS MENTOR DR. JIM GLEASON

2 BACKGROUND Over 60 “Honor Societies” on EKU’s website Only 23 active certified under the Association of College Honor Societies (three “inactive”) OrgSync EKU Student Life An online community management system Provides basic information and president’s address to students

3 GENERAL SCHOLASTIC HONOR SOCIETIES “Celebrate academic excellence” “Foster leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and the spirit of service among college students” “Encourage members to participate in community service and provide them with professional and personal development opportunities”

4 DISCIPLINE-SPECIFIC SCHOLASTIC HONOR SOCIETIES “Honor outstanding scholarship in _____; encourage interest in _____ among students at all levels” “Promote an attitude of service of its members towards their fellow students, colleagues, and the public; provide a fellowship of persons who have excelled in _____” “Recognize academic excellence and promotes scholarship in _____”

5 BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP Prestige Personal development opportunities Networking (current students, faculty, alumni) Professional opportunities

6 ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGE HONOR SOCIETIES (ACHS) “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.” “Set the standards for organizational excellence and scholastic eligibility…” 66 member organizations Represented more than 92 million honor students Launched the Plan for Aiming Higher February 2014

7 THE PLAN FOR AIMING HIGHER Focused on improving effectiveness of all honor societies Seeks to collect data that will demonstrate the difference honor societies make in individual lives, universities, communities, and society Encourages collaboration among honor society chapters on campus Advisor Grant Program Grants to support development of Honors Councils

8 RESEARCH QUESTIONS Do honor societies achieve their purpose? Does ACHS fulfill its mission? Will the Plan for Aiming Higher achieve its strategic marketing goals?

9 METHODS Online search engines Seeking local pages or social media Questionnaires Sent to EKU and national contacts as available Resources from Dr. Ron Wolfe ACHS Secretary Did not use efforts or means beyond that of an average student

10 ACHS DATA FLAWS Pi Omega Pi and Alpha Kappa Delta Sigma Lambda Chi Mortar Board Sigma Theta Tau

11 QUESTIONNAIRE REPLIES Only eight were completed and returned 24 total sent Two were “too busy” Two were “wrong person” No replies from the other 12

12 THE PLAN FOR AIMING HIGHER Focused on improving effectiveness of all honor societies Seeks to collect data that will demonstrate the difference honors societies make in individual lives, universities, communities, and society Encourages collaboration among honor society chapters on campus Advisor Grant Program Grants to support development of Honors Councils

13 “IMPROVING EFFECTIVENESS” Perception: “Immediate recognition” “Attracting excellent students” “Social outlet” “Providing opportunities for students to get involved and gain experiences” Reality: Little facilitation of events/ activities Half are not on OrgSync Low visibility and lack of campus presence Huge communication gaps between organizations and non-members

14 “TO COLLECT DATA” Difficulty contacting correct persons “I retired as of two years ago” “EKU chapter has not been very active lately and we currently do not have a contact person” Forwarded s never replied to Told to look at the national website for information Student Life lack of records “Unaware” of OrgSync and registration

15 “ENCOURAGE COLLABORATION” Perception “No, only those in our area” “No, attributes of these honor societies are different” “Our society’s goals are so specific and this seems to be the case with other societies as well” “I don’t know what the previous coordinator did…” “Yes we do!” Reality Mostly self-sufficient and no need or desire for collaboration Primarily the service-based organizations that volunteer together No current Honors Council

16 JOINING A SOCIETY Identity Community Purpose

17 ANALYSIS Overall success can be predicted, but there are many hurdles Plan for Aiming Higher would hold honor societies to higher standards of accountability Implementation of an Honors Council would help communication gaps

18 RECOMMENDATIONS Update of contact information OrgSync EKU-linked pages and social media sites Connection to national headquarters Increase hands-on interactions by ACHS Improve campus presence A positive campus reputation results in greater student awareness and interest

19 RESEARCH LIMITATIONS Out-of-date or lack of information The study takes place on a single university campus within a limited timetable Only examined EKU honor societies certified under ACHS

20 CONCLUSION Plan for Aiming Higher could bring great benefits to member societies Changes must be made within areas of communication and organization in order to be successful Contact Communication Collaboration THANK YOU


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