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Old 09-28-2013, 03:03 PM
 
13,160 posts, read 20,776,233 times
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We are currently experiencing a brouhaha locally, over the NHS. I have been asked to take part in a meeting of disgruntled parents and students over the selection process.

My eldest was a member, through his private high school. Basically, he exceeded the GPA requirement of 92%, and was inducted. My youngest also exceeded the GPA, but declined the invitation, because his public high school required that he be available to tutor classmates 3 days a week, and he didn't have the time in his schedule.

I was fine with the way it worked out for both of my kids, and the admission, or non-admission, didn't seem to make a difference in their college acceptance. They both got into their first choice schools.

But, a local student with a 98% GPA was recently rejected. She is active in her school, her community, and her church. The parents met with the selection committee, and were not happy with the explanation, as it really didn't give clear criteria. The NHS requires a minimum of a 92% average. After that is met, a committee of teachers and administrators, grade candidates on extra-curriculars, leadership, and community activity on a scale of 1-3. Also, work experience and an essay are rated on a 1-5 scale. Out of 123 candidates in our high school, who met the grade cut-off, 55 were accepted.

I am wondering if the NHS is really worth applying for, when you are in a district with many high achieving students. I also wonder if residing in less competitive areas makes it easier to be accepted, in which case, it all seems pretty bogus.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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I'm not sure about the official policy but at my daughter's high school if even one faculty member "black balled you" you were not accepted into NHS. Rumor had it that one teacher in particular would either "make or break" your acceptance into NHS and could be quite vindictive towards students who didn't "brown nose" her sufficiently. Now, these were just rumors but often time when there are substantial rumors there is some basis in fact.

My daughter did not get in, but really, really wanted it. As a junior she was told that she didn't do enough volunteer work in the community, so she increased the responsibilities, amount of time and number of places where she volunteered. She was already volunteering quite a bit so it was difficult to do even more time each week. As a senior she was told that "she wasn't a good fit" for NHS. whatever that means. She still feels that she didn't get in because she once "rolled her eyes" when that particular teacher told a bad joke in class and the teacher noticed it. Whether or not that is true is a mystery.

My son never applied and I was rather irritated at him for not applying as NHS is something that really looks good on your resume. That particular teacher specifically told him to apply and said that she was sure that he would be accepted.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:22 PM
 
11,636 posts, read 20,432,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
We are currently experiencing a brouhaha locally, over the NHS. I have been asked to take part in a meeting of disgruntled parents and students over the selection process.

My eldest was a member, through his private high school. Basically, he exceeded the GPA requirement of 92%, and was inducted. My youngest also exceeded the GPA, but declined the invitation, because his public high school required that he be available to tutor classmates 3 days a week, and he didn't have the time in his schedule.

I was fine with the way it worked out for both of my kids, and the admission, or non-admission, didn't seem to make a difference in their college acceptance. They both got into their first choice schools.

But, a local student with a 98% GPA was recently rejected. She is active in her school, her community, and her church. The parents met with the selection committee, and were not happy with the explanation, as it really didn't give clear criteria. The NHS requires a minimum of a 92% average. After that is met, a committee of teachers and administrators, grade candidates on extra-curriculars, leadership, and community activity on a scale of 1-3. Also, work experience and an essay are rated on a 1-5 scale. Out of 123 candidates in our high school, who met the grade cut-off, 55 were accepted.

I am wondering if the NHS is really worth applying for, when you are in a district with many high achieving students. I also wonder if residing in less competitive areas makes it easier to be accepted, in which case, it all seems pretty bogus.
Around here there is a minimum set of requirements to be invited to apply for NHS but I don't know that there is a minimum requirement to be accepted into NHS. The minimum requirement include not only minimum GPA but also community service requirements.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:34 PM
 
2,591 posts, read 5,284,814 times
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> I am wondering if the NHS is really worth applying for

When I was in high school a long time ago where was a popularity contest aspect to it. I didn't play. It didn't make any difference.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:45 PM
 
16,587 posts, read 14,063,191 times
Reputation: 20556
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
We are currently experiencing a brouhaha locally, over the NHS. I have been asked to take part in a meeting of disgruntled parents and students over the selection process.

My eldest was a member, through his private high school. Basically, he exceeded the GPA requirement of 92%, and was inducted. My youngest also exceeded the GPA, but declined the invitation, because his public high school required that he be available to tutor classmates 3 days a week, and he didn't have the time in his schedule.

I was fine with the way it worked out for both of my kids, and the admission, or non-admission, didn't seem to make a difference in their college acceptance. They both got into their first choice schools.

But, a local student with a 98% GPA was recently rejected. She is active in her school, her community, and her church. The parents met with the selection committee, and were not happy with the explanation, as it really didn't give clear criteria. The NHS requires a minimum of a 92% average. After that is met, a committee of teachers and administrators, grade candidates on extra-curriculars, leadership, and community activity on a scale of 1-3. Also, work experience and an essay are rated on a 1-5 scale. Out of 123 candidates in our high school, who met the grade cut-off, 55 were accepted.

I am wondering if the NHS is really worth applying for, when you are in a district with many high achieving students. I also wonder if residing in less competitive areas makes it easier to be accepted, in which case, it all seems pretty bogus.
I know that if kids have had any academic integrity violations they will not get in at our school regardless of anything else. Also, many disciplinary issues will prevent acceptance.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:51 PM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
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Despite the name, it is nothing but a service group with selective admissions just like Betas, Golden Key, or Hugh O'Brien.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:59 PM
 
13,160 posts, read 20,776,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marigolds6 View Post
Despite the name, it is nothing but a service group with selective admissions just like Betas, Golden Key, or Hugh O'Brien.
There are service requirements for the Golden Key? We got an invitation in the mail today for our youngest, so the timing is perfect.

So, there is no benefit to being accepted into the NHS? That has changed over the years. There used to be some cache in membership.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:04 PM
 
13,160 posts, read 20,776,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I'm not sure about the official policy but at my daughter's high school if even one faculty member "black balled you" you were not accepted into NHS. Rumor had it that one teacher in particular would either "make or break" your acceptance into NHS and could be quite vindictive towards students who didn't "brown nose" her sufficiently. Now, these were just rumors but often time when there are substantial rumors there is some basis in fact.

My daughter did not get in, but really, really wanted it. As a junior she was told that she didn't do enough volunteer work in the community, so she increased the responsibilities, amount of time and number of places where she volunteered. She was already volunteering quite a bit so it was difficult to do even more time each week. As a senior she was told that "she wasn't a good fit" for NHS. whatever that means. She still feels that she didn't get in because she once "rolled her eyes" when that particular teacher told a bad joke in class and the teacher noticed it. Whether or not that is true is a mystery.
Your daughter's experience echoes what is currently happening in our district. I have read the criteria from the NHS multiple times, and it doesn't seem to indicate that local committees should have that degree of discretion. If a student meets the national requirements, I don't see why teacher/administration personnel can keep them out.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:09 PM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 4,816,498 times
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The flaw for each of these service based honor societies is that they are strong in some areas (particularly the South, where most of them were founded), but in other areas completely non-existent.

I grew up in Southern California where Hugh O'Brien was common but Golden Key and NHS were non-existent because they had both been supplanted by California Scholarship Federation. I never even knew about Betas until I was in college, as uncommon as they were in California. Since membership is so regional, I think colleges tend to discount it unless a student had an active leadership role in the service activities.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:05 PM
 
1,191 posts, read 1,534,939 times
Reputation: 3440
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I'm not sure about the official policy but at my daughter's high school if even one faculty member "black balled you" you were not accepted into NHS. Rumor had it that one teacher in particular would either "make or break" your acceptance into NHS and could be quite vindictive towards students who didn't "brown nose" her sufficiently. Now, these were just rumors but often time when there are substantial rumors there is some basis in fact.

My daughter did not get in, but really, really wanted it. As a junior she was told that she didn't do enough volunteer work in the community, so she increased the responsibilities, amount of time and number of places where she volunteered. She was already volunteering quite a bit so it was difficult to do even more time each week. As a senior she was told that "she wasn't a good fit" for NHS. whatever that means. She still feels that she didn't get in because she once "rolled her eyes" when that particular teacher told a bad joke in class and the teacher noticed it. Whether or not that is true is a mystery.
At our school, teacher evaluations are a component, but one teacher's evaluation does not carry enough weight to make or break a student's application. If multiple teachers rate the student's performance low, or the student gets a lot of so-so ratings, and a low one, they may not be accepted. Students who are not accepted by the regular application process can appeal through the principal (they have to write an essay explaining why they feel they should be accepted and sit down for a meeting with the principal, at which point their entire performance will be reviewed) and gain admission that way if the principal judges they have met the appropriate criteria. So there is some sort of process in place for review to try to eliminate "this teacher just doesn't like me" scenarios.

Most students who qualify by GPA are the sort of student who would get very high citizenship and leadership marks anyway. But I have had to evaluate students in the past who had been caught cheating, been caught lying or repeatedly bullying other students, or whose behavior was such a regular disruption to the classroom that a high rating would not accurately reflect their performance. Again, if only one class was a problem, that isn't enough to exclude them. If it's a pattern, then they've made their own bed.

With personal reports of a student rolling their eyes, or a teacher requiring to brown nose, I think there are issues on both sides. There are certainly bad teachers out there. There are also certainly kids who go home and tell mom one story while conveniently forgetting other details that might put the whole thing in a different light.
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