NHS/NJHS Selection Process
Students must have completed at least one full semester at R-MA before they can be identified as a candidate for selection. Students who have achieved the minimum academic standard of a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher will be given a letter notifying them that they are eligible as a candidate and a Student Activity Information Form to complete. The form requests examples from the candidate that demonstrate his or her accomplishments in the realms of knowledge, character, leadership and service. The form for the NJHS also requires the candidate to list his or her achievements in the realm of citizenship. Upper School candidates must complete the form in full and return it to the NHS/NJHS advisor by the deadline stipulated in order to be considered by the Faculty Council for selection to membership in the NHS/NJHS. Middle School candidates must complete the form in full and return it to the Middle School Principal by the deadline stipulated in order to be considered by the Faculty Council for selection to membership in the NJHS.
The NHS/NJHS advisor will also deliver evaluation sheets to all the candidate’s teachers for them to fill out. These evaluation sheets will be used in conjunction with the Student Activity Information Form by the Faculty Council to vote on who is selected for induction. Additionally, all R-MA professionals will be solicited for their input on any candidates whom they know well enough to comment and this information will also be taken into account by the Faculty Council. It is therefore important that the candidate should strive to demonstrate all the characteristics required for membership at all times.
The following descriptions give guidelines on the basic tenets of the NHS/NJHS and indicate what the candidate should aim to demonstrate in the Student Activity Information Form.
Knowledge and learning is much more than just grades and the Faculty Council will be interested in hearing what particular knowledge and skills the candidate has acquired, and how he or she values and applies this knowledge and these skills in his or her academic career path.
The NHS/NJHS aims to uphold the Honor Code that indicates that students will act with honor at all times. Similarly, the Faculty Council will want to see evidence that the candidate respects and abides by the rules set forth in the Cadet Handbook. A violation of the school rules resulting in restriction or an Honor Code violation in the past semester will seriously damage a candidate’s chances of being accepted into the NHS/NJHS. Furthermore, any discipline problems of any nature that have arisen at any time in the past will be taken into consideration when the selection committee makes its decision.
Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many leadership opportunities that are available through the ROTC program, the athletics program, committees such as the Residential Life Committee, and various clubs and intramural activities offered at the Middle and Upper School at R-MA. Students are further encouraged to demonstrate leadership from activities outside of R-MA. The Faculty Council will be interested in seeing evidence of leadership and what personal goals candidates feel they have achieved from their experience.
We have a standard that requires all candidates to have completed at least 12.5 Community Service (CS) hours (half of our yearly total of 25 hours) from the beginning of January for fall induction and from the beginning of the school year for spring induction in order to be selected for induction. These CS hours must also be officially logged with Mrs. Stephanie Portillo, the CS director. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many community service options on campus and log any community service hours earned with the community service coordinator. There are numerous ways to demonstrate service in all aspects of life at R-MA, whether in the classroom, on the sports field, in the dorms, in the dining room or just around campus. There are also several committees at R-MA such as the Residential Life Committee, The Academy’s Own Recruitment Team and the Class Ring Committee. The selection committee will want to see evidence of some form of commitment to the service of the R-MA community. The committee will want to hear what candidates have achieved in this area and what personal goals they have met.
The Selection Committee
There is a separate Faculty Council for the NHS and NJHS that consists of five faculty members from the Upper and Middle Schools that selects candidates for membership to the NHS and NJHS respectively. When considering candidates for selection, the NHS/NJHS advisor moderates the review of the Student Activity Information Forms and evaluation sheets for each student but does not have a casting vote. Selection to the NHS/NJHS is determined by a majority vote by the five selection committee members. Selection lies solely at the discretion of the relevant NHS/NJHS Faculty Council that expects the same standards of all applicants. All current 7th, 8th and 9th grade candidates who are selected by the Faculty Council to membership will be inducted into the NJHS. All current 10th, 11th and 12th grades candidates who are selected by the Faculty Council to membership will be inducted into the NHS.
Selection Process Sequence
In summary, the selection process is as follows:
1. A list of students is provided to the NHS/NJHS advisor by the academic office that lists all students who have been at R-MA for at least one semester and whose cumulative GPA is 3.7 or higher.
2. The NHS/NJHS advisor notifies the students of their candidacy by letter and the NHS President provides the candidates with the Student Activity Information Form for them to complete by the deadline stipulated. The NHS/NJHS advisor sends a list to the mentors notifying them of the students who are candidates for selection. An announcement is also made and posted on www.rmalife.net. At the same time a letter is sent home via e-mail attachment to parents notifying them of their son’s/daughter’s candidacy.
3. The candidates who have been informed of their candidacy must complete the Student Activity Information Form in full and give it to Mr. Latham, the NHS/NJHS advisor, by the deadline stipulated on the form.
4. The NHS/NJHS distributes evaluation sheets for the faculty, to fill out and return by the deadline specified.
5. The NHS/NJHS advisor contacts the Director of Discipline and the Honor Council for details on all candidates.
6. The Faculty Council convenes and reviews the information on the Student Activity Information Forms and Evaluation Sheets along with details provided by the Director of Discipline and the Honor Council, as well as any details provided by any R-MA professionals, and by majority vote selects those candidates to membership whom the Faculty Council feels have met the required standards.
7. The NHS/NJHS advisor sends a letter to all candidates advising them whether they have been selected or not. The dean and the NHS advisor meet with the unsuccessful candidates to tell them why they were not successful and how they can be better candidates in future.
8. Those candidates who have been selected to membership must take part in the next induction ceremony to officially become a member. Any candidate who is not selected for membership will be eligible to become a candidate again the following semester, should they maintain the required GPA.