The National Honor Society is a well-known organization that recognizes high school students for their outstanding scholarship, service, citizenship and leadership. The corresponding organization for students in middle school is known as the National Junior Honor Society. This organization recognizes the same qualities as the National Honor Society. Chapters of the National Junior Honor Society, commonly abbreviated as NJHS, exist all over the country.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals established the National Junior Honor Society in 1929, eight years after the same organization founded the National Honor Society. Community service has remained a large component of the NJHS and NHS organizations’ missions. Each chapter and each member of the organization must complete a certain amount of service hours.
Schools interested in starting a new chapter of the National Junior Honor Society must contact the national NJHS office and then complete and submit an application, along with a chartering fee. Approved chapters must then follow the rules and guidelines represented by the NJHS National Constitution. Individual chapters can elect their own faculty advisers and, of course, elect and induct new NJHS members.
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All National Junior Honor Society chapters must follow the same basic criteria for electing new members. The four primary characteristics that NJHS emphasizes include scholarship, service, leadership, character and citizenship. To meet the scholarship requirement, students must have achieved a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a standard 4.0 scale. Individual schools can decide to elect members with a higher minimum grade point average. Individual schools can also set their own standards for measuring service, leadership, character and citizenship.
Individual chapters are responsible for planning and organizing their own membership induction ceremonies. These ceremonies typically take place once per semester or academic year to induct recently elected members into the organization. Local chapters often give new members an NJHS pin. Pins can be ordered through the NHS catalog of products.
The national offices for both the National Junior Honor Society and the National Honor society are now located in Reston, Virginia: NHS and NJHS 1904 Association Dr. Reston, VA 20191 703-860-0200