Honors students are frequently offered membership in a wide and bewildering array of honor societies, but are often concerned about their value and legitimacy. In general, the honor societies that have a chapter on your campus are an honor you can proudly place on your resume. For all others, NCHC recommends that honors students, directors, and deans go to the website of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), founded in 1925 as the impartial certifying agency for college and university honor societies. According to its website, "ACHS sets standards for organizational excellence and for scholastic eligibility for the various categories of membership: general, specialized, leadership, freshman, and two-year honor societies."
Of particular interest is ACHS’s web page titled "How to Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society." In addition to many positive criteria, ACHS lists "Factors that Raise Questions about Credibility," which include an address limited to a post office box, missing information about the organization’s chief executive officer, vague and flexible eligibility standards, no institutional chapter structure, and an on-line application. "Certified honor societies issue invitations to all qualified candidates from institutional chapters." You can find a list of certified members of ACHS at the ACHS Member Societies page.
Following the Board of Directors meeting on June 28, 2013, NCHC Board members developed the following statement related to for-profit Honors Educational organizations:
Essential tenets of the National Collegiate Honors Council include that honors directors and deans have primary authority over honors curriculum, governance, policy, development, and evaluation decisions (see the Basic Characteristics of a Fully Developed Honors Program, Numbers 2, 3, and 10 ).
The NCHC Board of Directors is aware that for-profit educational organizations are approaching two-year and four-year institutions of higher education with contractual offers to deliver honors education and to develop articulation agreements. Honors directors and deans must be involved in any discussions—from inception to decision—regarding proposals that affect the honors education and its delivery.