With more than 60 nationally accredited honors organization, and hundreds of “scam” organizations, one faculty member is making the process of deciding which group to join a bit easier.
Dr. Teddi Deka, honor’s director, has helped to establish the MWSU Honors League, an organization meant to facilitate cooperation between the seven other honors organizations on campus and to assist students with questions.
“What we’re going to hopefully do with the Honors League is to be able to give tips… if you’re approached by other honors organizations, how do you make a decision, about whether this is something you should join or if it’s legitimate or worth joining,” Deka said.
Aside from facilitating cooperation between honors organizations, Deka hopes that the Honors League can help students with two goals: first, to decide which organization(s) they should apply for; and second, avoid organizations that may be potential scams.
The university has eight recognized honors organization, including the Honors League; but, each organization can offer something different for students.
Deka outlines two basic categories of honors organizations: service oriented and prestigious or major specific. Deciding which organization to join depends largely on what experience the student would like to gain from membership.
Deka provides the following guidelines for determining the legitimacy of an honors organization:
- Do your research. Find out if the organization is listed on OrgSync or if an honors accreditation institution, such as the Association of College Honors Societies, recognizes it. Also, visit the organization’s website and try to find local chapter information or bylaws for membership.
- Contact the MWSU Honors League or the Honors Department. Both are able to assist students with any questions regarding Western honors organizations.
- Use your common sense. If you have a low GPA or if the organization seems illegitimate, offers may be a scam.
“You have to be a good consumer, so do your research and make sure this is something you want to be a member of,” Deka said. “It’s just like joining a gym— you join a gym and the gym charges you so much money and then you never use it, what good did it do for you?”