Honor Student Associations

The Honors Program, the Honors Student Council, honor societies, and academic clubs 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 or academic clubs.
  • The Honors Student Council is a branch of student government open to Honors Program students.
  • The Honors Program assists the honor societies in record-keeping, outreach, transcript credit, and other kinds of organizational support.
  • The Honors Program Chair is the faculty advisor for the Honors Student Council and those honor societies that are open to all students of all majors.

Nevertheless, they also are quite different:

  • The Honors Program is an academic department. It offers courses and a certificate. No fees are involved beyond regular tuition. Honors Program students are not required to participate in the Honors Student Council or any honors society.
  • The Honors Student Council is a branch of Associated Student Government. There are no dues, but HSC members participate in community, school, and program service. All Honors Program students are eligible for HSC membership and are invited to participate in HSC activities.
  • Honor societies are voluntary associations 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. They are not connected to the college academically; they do not offer courses. Currently only three honor societies are recognized by Saddleback College as valid and active organizations on campus:
    • Alpha Gamma Sigma, the California community college honor society (all majors);
    • Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges (all majors); and
    • Psi Beta, the psychology honor society for two-year colleges.
It is unfortunately true that there are for-profit companies posing as honor societies.
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.

Do you like Venn Diagrams? Here's a dense one for you:

Honors Program, HSC, PTK, and AGS: Lots of combinations to choose from.