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Academic Honor Societies


This Document provides a convenient summary of honor societies at OCC

Wednesday, March 12
10am – 4pm
Student Center Lounge
Learn about OCC’s Honors Program and its Honor Societies: visit with officers and other members, find out about upcoming meetings and events, discover how membership in these organizations can enrich your college experience and help you become a more competitive candidate for transfer, scholarships, internships, and employment.
Pizza and beverages will be available throughout the day
Participating Honors Organizations:
OCC HONORS PROGRAM/HONORS STUDENT COUNCIL – all study interests; OCC campus-wide; special transfer agreements with UCLA, UCI, Chapman, Columbia University, and Georgetown University, as well as others
ALPHA BETA GAMMA – business honor society; national; focus on business success, management style, business ethics, etc.
ALPHA GAMMA SIGMA – all study interests; California; focus on community and campus service
ETA ETA OMICRON (Pending approval) – marine science honor society; OCC campus-wide; focus on supporting improvements to the marine ecology, especially in Southern California
MU ALPHA THETA – math honor society; national; focus on math literacy and competency, supporting math education on and off campus, celebrating math excellence among high school and college students
OMEGA PSI SIGMA – political science honor society; OCC campus-wide; focus on social issues, public policy, election law, related careers, and matters of interest to poli-sci, pre-law, and other majors
PI RHO SIGMA (Pending approval) – music honor society; OCC campus-wide; focus on music and musicianship, music careers, etc.
PHI ALPHA MU – social and behavioral sciences honor society; OCC campus-wide; focus on social issues and recognition of student excellence in the social/behavioral sciences
PHI THETA KAPPA – all study interests; international; largest honor society for two-year colleges in the world; special scholarship opportunities for members
PSI BETA – psychology honor society; national; focus on psychological issues and phenomena, careers in psychology, etc.
SIGMA KAPPA DELTA – English honor society; national; focus on humanity’s expressive imprint through literature and poetry
What are some benefits of honor society membership?
  • Develop leadership and organizational skills through activities, events, and projects
  • Support for your high educational standards and values
  • Receive personal and public recognition of your outstanding academic achievement
  • Participate in extra-curricular social activities, fundraising, and community service
  • Improve your potential for transfer to competitive four-year universities and programs
  • Compete for additional scholarships
  • Attend local, regional, and national conferences
  • Receive special notations on official OCC transcripts
  • Earn distinction at graduation ceremonies and the privilege of wearing honors regalia with your cap and gown
  • Make new friends and acquaintances
  • Take advantage of exclusive offers (e.g., PTK: discounts on the purchase of computers and books, insurance, and exam preparation classes)
What you need to know:
Honor society membership is NOT automatic. You must apply separately to each honor society for which you qualify and wish to join. Some societies require a one-time application; others may require renewals each semester until permanent membership is achieved.

Honor societies are NOT fraternities or sororities. Membership in honor societies is not limited by gender. Furthermore, honor societies focus on academic as well as social and community-service goals.

You may apply for membership in one or more honor societies. There is no limit to the number of societies that you are permitted to join, provided you meet the enrollment requirements of each.

Honor society membership generally requires the payment of dues
. Currently, dues range from as little as $30 to as much as $100. Some dues are payable each semester, others are collected on a one-time basis. All are pre-paid with the application.

Certain honor society memberships may be available to first-semester OCC students and to OCC students with GPA's of at least 3.0 and completion of at least 12 units of OCC letter-graded coursework. Find out the specific additional requirements for membership in each of the OCC honor society chapters by following the links to the left.

Which honor society chapters exist at OCC?
OCC currently has chapters of eight honor societies:
Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society of the Two-Year College, invites students from all disciplines who meet the minimum enrollment requirements for membership each fall and spring. For complete information and application, click on the Phi Theta Kappa link at left.
Alpha Gamma Sigma, the California Community College Scholastic Honor  Society, is open to students in all disciplines who meet the minimum enrollment requirements. For full information about eligibility and applying, click on the Alpha Gamma Sigma link at left.

Mu Alpha Theta, the National High School and Community College Honor Society for Mathematics, is open to students who meet minimum GPA and math coursework requirements. For more information about applying, click on the Mu Alpha Theta link at left.
Phi Alpha Mu, the Orange Coast College Honor Society for Social and Behavioral Sciences, is open to students who meet minimum GPA and coursework requirements in the social and behavioral sciences. For more information about how and when to apply, click on the Phi Alpha Mu link at left.
Psi Beta, the National Honor Society in Psychology for Community and Junior Colleges, is open to students who meet minimum GPA and psychology coursework requirements. For more information about applying, click the Psi Beta link at left.
Alpha Beta Gamma, the International Business Honor Society, is open to students who meet minimum GPA and coursework requirements in a wide variety of courses relating to accounting, business, culinary arts, economics, international business, travel and tourism, marketing, public relations, and many more. For application information, click the Alpha Beta Gamma link on the left.
National Technical Honor Society (NTHS)
Please check back soon for more information about eligibility and a link to the NTHS.
Mu Delta Rho, the pre-health honor society of Orange Coast College, is open to students studying for careers in heath and allied health professions who meet minimum GPA requirements, complete a specified amounts of qualified coursework, and submit a supporting faculty evaluation. For full details and application information, click the link on the left.
OMEGA PSI SIGMA, the newest of OCC's honor societies, is open to political science and pre-law majors who meet minimum GPA and political science coursework requirements. For full details and application information, click the link on the left.

What if you don't see an honor society in your area of study or interest?
Start by researching the existence of established statewide, national or international honor societies available to two-year colleges in your particular field of interest (we'll refer to this as a "parent" organization).
Start by researching the existence of established statewide, national or international honor societies available to two-year colleges in your particular field of interest (we'll refer to this as a "parent" organization).
  •  If a potential parent organization IS found, find out about their chartering process, including the cost of starting a new chapter. If NO potential parent organization is found, consider starting an OCC campus-wide honor society. 
  •  In either instance (parent organization exists or none exists), you’ll need the support of students, a prospective faculty advisor, and the appropriate academic division.
  •  Draft a proposal for a chapter or society start-up and a constitution and bylaws; enlist the help of the prospective faculty advisor or honors office staff for this step; these will need to fall in line with existing policies of a parent organization, if any, and the campus; some considerations to include will be:
    ·     Name of organization (if new) or chapter name as assigned by the parent organization
    ·     Purpose/mission/goals of organization
    ·     Membership eligibility requirements (GPA, coursework, dues, etc.),
    ·     Term of membership (semester, year, permanent, temporary/ provisional, etc.),
    ·     Structure of governance and responsibilities of each officer/board members
    ·     Meeting and service requirements, if any
    ·     Honors recognition policies 
    ·     Good-standing/not-in-good standing criteria
    ·     Consequences of losing good standing, etc.
    ·     Ceremonial issues – colors, motto, induction ritual, regalia to be worn at graduation, etc.
    ·     Make appointments to speak with the appropriate administrator(s) and campus committees to get the new organization approved and activated
    ·     Obtain a letter of support from the prospective advisor and dean of the academic division most closely associated with the organization
    ·     Submit the proposal, draft bylaws, letters of support to the Dean of Student Services (who may share it with the VP of Student Services and college President)
    ·     If approved at the campus level, request approval by the Board of Trustees (work through the academic division’s officer coordinator to get a consent item added to the next BOT meeting)
    ·     Once approved by the BOT, advertise and promote the new chapter/society through various means available at OCC:
    ·     Establish a meeting schedule
    ·     Place MyOCC targeted announcements, email invitations to join society, participate at Club Rush/Student Services Fairs, honors events, put up flyers, posters, ads in student newspaper, press releases, etc.)

Students are welcome to request assistance with this process from the Academic Honors Office in Watson Hall - room 287