FAQs for Selection
Frequently Asked Questions about NHS Selection
How is Leadership evaluated?
There are several ways to exhibit leadership, but not all are easily quantifiable. The Faculty Council often looks to a student’s involvement outside of the classroom as a measure of their leadership qualities. A sustained commitment to organizations on and off campus, especially when the candidate holds a leadership position or undertakes additional responsibilities, is a major consideration in evaluating a candidate.
While the council understands that many students work to excel in a particular area, there is an expectation that a well-rounded student will explore a variety of experiences through participation in clubs, organizations, projects, and/or employment.
Teacher evaluations can also help to shed light on a candidate’s leadership qualities.
How is Service evaluated?
One of the qualities that sets the National Honor Society apart from other organizations is the expectation that members are committed to serving the community. Ideally, any candidate for NHS will have already demonstrated a desire to serve before being notified of eligibility for the organization.
All service projects must be documented and verified by the supervisor of the project. Relatives of the candidates are not allowed to verify the service; any issues with this must be resolved through one of the NHS advisers in advance. While we realize that many young men and women perform acts of service on a regular basis, it is imperative to have documentation.
Please plan in advance if you are interested in joining NHS. Proof of service can be provided by using the “Service Verification Form” on the campus NHS webpage; by providing a certificate from an organization with contact information of the supervisor, the nature of the service, and the dates/times the activity took place; or a letter on official letterhead providing the same information as a certificate.
Not all “volunteerism” is considered community service. Please see the Service Guidelines attached below for more information.
How many service hours are required to be selected?
There is no set “minimum” number of hours for selection, but candidates are expected to have shown a sustained commitment over a period of time. A candidate may submit a single project that involved several hours, often over the course of a week or month; however if that is the only evidence of community service, it will not usually be given much consideration. On the other hand, a candidate may submit several different projects over the course of two years, with each project lasting only a few hours. Though the total number of hours may vary greatly between these two candidates, the latter will usually receive more consideration due to the perceived commitment over a longer period of time. Additionally, a candidate who shows a willingness to serve in a variety of ways generally receives a favorable evaluation.
If a student is interested in joining NHS during the junior or senior year, he or she should begin finding ways to demonstrate a commitment to service early in high school. Make sure that all of this service is documented at the time it is performed, rather than trying to track down a supervisor after time has passed.
Common Misconceptions about Community Service:
- “If I am not paid for doing something, then it counts as community service.”
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Performing chores or helping others outside of an organized project/organization are rarely recognized as service. That is not to say that it is not a good thing to do.
If you are working at an office or other place of business, even if you are not paid, that will not be considered community service. Exceptions can include filing paperwork or completing mailouts for a recognized service organization such as the Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity. This can also include a political campaign as long as you are not related to the candidate.
If you are a member of an organization, either on or off campus, activities that benefit your organization directly, whether or not it is a financial benefit, or indirectly will not count as service. Teaching other students at a martial arts studio you attend or working a fundraising activity for a club or organization to which you belong do show leadership, and should be included in your candidate information, but it will not be counted towards the service criterion.
Helping individual teachers in their classrooms, mowing the yard for an individual, tutoring others outside of school, or watching children also do not generally count. Exceptions should be discussed with one of the chapter advisers.
If you choose to tutor on campus under the supervision of a teacher, that can count. Please contact the NHS adviser to clear this activity.
- “If I am working with my church, then I am doing service.”
This is confusing, and different chapters may look at it differently. Please consult the NHS Adviser.
Activities that are undertaken to help the community as an outreach sponsored by that organization (for example, volunteering at a nursing home with the choir, food drives, volunteering at a church festival) can count as community service.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE ASK ONE OF THE ADVISERS. WE ARE HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.
Mrs. Mumme: firstname.lastname@example.org