Honor societies and the Honors Program have much in common and are connected in many different ways:
- Many students are involved in both the Honors Program and one or more honor societies.
- The Honors Program Chair is the faculty advisor for Alpha Gamma Sigma and Phi Theta Kappa, the two honor societies open to all students of all majors.
Nevertheless, they also are quite different:
- The Honors Program and the honor societies are separate. Honors Program students are not required to participate in an honor society. Honor society members are not required to take Honors courses.
- The Honors Program is an academic department. It offers courses and a certificate. No fees are involved beyond regular tuition.
- Honor societies are voluntary associations. The Saddleback College honor societies are chapters of larger, outside, organizations formed to recognize and reward academic excellence. Most require dues or other membership fees to be paid. They may offer scholarships or other benefits to their members.
Currently only two "all-majors" honor societies are recognized by Saddleback College as valid and active organizations on campus:
- Alpha Gamma Sigma, the California community college honor society, and
- Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges.
It is unfortunately true that there are for-profit companies posing as honor societies.
Some even use the colors and typefonts of established societies.
Some claim you were nominated because of your academic record, but Saddleback doesn't share that information!
We recommend that you check with us before sending payment or "dues" to any organization other than the ones above.
Should you join student groups? Some students believe that getting involved on-campus in clubs, societies, or student government will distract them from academic success. Involvement is often very difficult at community colleges because so many students have work, family, or other obligations to handle. Repeated studies have shown, however, that the opposite is true:
"The higher the student involvement level
the higher [students'] grades are
and the more likely they are to re-enroll for the next semester."
Alpha Gamma Sigma and Phi Theta Kappa members
join the Honors Student Council at
Campus Involvement Day, Fall 2017