Get Recognized through Honors at OCC
Here is a brief summary of existing and newly-emerging honor societies at OCC.
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
ALPHA MU GAMMA – foreign language honor society; national; focus on the study of foreign languages and cultures, including English as a second language and sign language
ETA ETA OMICRON – 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
MU DELTA RHO - pre-health professions honor society; OCC campus-wide; focus on preparation for transfer and graduate programs in medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and all allied-health professions
NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY HONOR SOCIETY - focus on Career and Technical Education certificate programs.
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 related majors
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 and transfer-planning tools for members and non-members alike
PI RHO SIGMA – music honor society; OCC campus-wide; focus on music and musicianship, music careers, etc.
PI TAU EPSILON - film and visual arts honor society; OCC campus-wide; focus on film, video, fine arts, photography.
PSI BETA – psychology honor society; national; focus on psychological issues and phenomena, careers in psychology, etc.
S.A.L.U.T.E. - veteran's honor society to recognize academic achievement and persistence
SIGMA CHI ETA – communications honor society; national; focus on academic excellence in communication studies
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.
You must be enrolled in classes at OCC to be eligible for honor society membership at OCC.
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 $20 to as much as $140. 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.
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).
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. Provide prospective faculty advisors with a copy of the ASOCC Club Handbook to use as a general guide for the kinds of support on behalf of the campus and district that advisors will be expected to provide.
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.
· Design applications and brochures, flyers, etc.
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 the Library and Learning Support and then 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, promote the new chapter/society through various means available at OCC: Place MyCoast 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.)
Establish a meeting schedule and reserve facilities. The Honors Office can help you with facility reservations.
Students are welcome to request assistance with this process from the Garrison Honors Center
last update 10/7/20