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The Complete Guide to the National Spanish Honor Society

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A teenager working on the computer while having a conversation with her friends.

The Complete Guide to the National Spanish Honor Society

If you’re aiming for top colleges in the U.S., joining prestigious academic clubs can boost your appeal to admissions officers. If you excel in Spanish and are interested in a language spoken by over 570 million people globally, becoming a member of the Spanish Honor Society could be a great choice for you.

About the Spanish Honors Society

The Spanish Honors Society, or Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica as it is known in it on language, is an Honor Society for high school students or either North and Spanish or Portuguese classes. The Spanish Honors Society is officially sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).

First founded in the year 1953, the Spanish Honors Society is home two more than 2,900 national and international chapters. Overall, the mission of the Spanish Honors Society is to promote interest in Spanish and Luso-Brazilian studies across the world. It is also aimed at recognizing individual high school achievement in Spanish and Portuguese.

a professor in class

Eligibility Criteria for Schools to Join

If you are a student at a four-year high school but do not have the option of joining an already established chapter, there are some requirements that your school will have to meet. Essentially, any secondary school student who has maintained an honor average in either Spanish or Portuguese studies for a minimum of three semesters and is currently in the 10th grade of high school or higher is eligible to become a member of the Spanish Honors Society.

When it comes to the definition of “honor grade,” that definition is actually the trooper’s decision of each individual chapter. It should be remembered that the Spanish Honors Society is specifically meant for students who enjoy high academic achievement.

In order to carry out their mission of encouraging interest in Spanish and Portuguese as well as Hispanic land Luso-Brazilian studies, the Spanish Honors Society contributes more than $160,000 each year in awards that go to student members of the Spanish Honors Society.

The most prestigious award offered by the Spanish Honors Society is the Student Travel Award. Each year, this award is given to just 24 high school juniors who are members of the Spanish Honors Society.

How to start a charter at your school

One fantastic aspect of the Spanish Honors Society is that it is quite easy for high school students to join. The first step to joining the Spanish Honors Society is to find out whether or not a chapter has been started at your school. If a charter has not yet been started at your school, there are some simple steps that you can follow to get a charter started at your school.

1. Become a current member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).

2. Read the Spanish Honors Society Bylaws and Spanish Honors Society Updates to make sure that your plans for the chapter fall within the national guidelines.

3. Complete a Chapter Application.

    • Selection your first choice for the name of your chapter. Each name has to be unique within the state.
    • Pay a one-time $35 charter fee. You can pay either by credit or select the “Check/Money Order” option and mail in a check. Typically it takes 5-10 business days after payment and correct information are received for processing to take place.

4. Create your chapter bylaws and determine standards for membership.

5. Begin organizing your new members.

  • Allow students to apply for membership or invite students who qualify
  • Select and invite members
  • Elect officers

a woman student wearing a headset while smiling facing her laptop

How to join the Spanish Honors Society (Student Eligibility)

When it comes to figuring out how to attract the very best students at your school to join your new chapter, the Spanish Honors Society offers some great tips for picking the right kinds of students.

  • Eligible students are any high school student who has maintained an honor average in the study of Spanish for at least three semesters.
  • Each student has to be in at least the 10th grade in order to join. With that being said, freshman students are allowed to join if they have special permission from the Spanish Honors Society director.
  • When vetting students, there should be nominations from the Spanish teachers or have students fill out an application. An application can be formatted much like a test and hold some minimum requirements that students have to meet in order to qualify.
  • Remember, the definition of “honor grade” is left to the discretion of the sponsor, but it should be considered that the Spanish Honors Society is specifically meant for students who enjoy high academic achievement.

After reading about how you can start your own Spanish Honors Society chapter, you may worry that college admissions officers at the top colleges and universities in the country will not consider your inclusion as impressive. Believe it or not, that could not be further from the truth!

One of the major things that college admissions officers look for when it comes to the extracurricular activities that a high school student has taken part in is that a student shows the ability to be a leader and show great initiative. One of the very best ways to display both of those highly impressive attributes is to start a club or group on your very own.

For that reason, if you play a role in bringing a Spanish Honors Society chapter to your high school, make sure that you broadcast that fact front and center when you are writing or talking about your extracurricular activities during the application process.

alumni

Awards

One of the best reasons to join the Spanish Honors Society is because it can lead to you winning some fairly impressive awards and scholarships. These awards and scholarships give high school students very major talking points when it comes to talking about what they achieved in their high school years.

Spanish Honors Society
Bertie Green Junior Travel Award Each year over twenty travel awards are given out to high school juniors who are members of the Spanish Honors Society. The students get the chance to travel to a country or region of the Spanish-speaking world.
Joseph Adams Senior Scholarship Each year, the Spanish Honors Society awards 12 $2,000 and 48 $1,000 scholarships to graduating senior members.
Best of Albricias Awards For every issue of the AATSP’s in-print publication Albricias, a selection committee chooses the best contributions to the publication in the categories of poetry, prose, and art/photography. Winners of each category receive a check in the amounts of $250, $100, or $50 as a recognition of their contributions.
Premio de Honor Sponsors of active chapters are able to award the Premio de Honor to the best graduating senior member of each chapter. Each chapter is able to submit one student to receive the award free of charge.
Certificados de Excelencia Sponsored or active chapters are able to award the Certificados de Excelecia to initiated members, winners in the National Spanish and Portuguese Examinations, or to the initiated member who has achieved the highest GPA in Spanish or Portuguese that year.

medals hanging on a student's neck

Reasons to join the Spanish Honors Society

At this point, chances are good that you are weighing the benefits of joining the Spanish Honors Society. The truth is that there are plenty of reasons why joining an honor society of any kind in high school is a great avenue to go down with it comes to picking your extracurricular activities.

There is no doubt that great extracurricular activities in high school come in all shapes and sizes. You can be on a sports team for all four years, be a part of your school’s science or history club, or anything in between. The reason why joining an Honor Society is fairly unique when it comes to extracurriculars is because they allow students to highlight their academic achievements will also highlighting their passions and interests outside of the classroom.

One of the best benefits of joining an honors society is that it simply looks fantastic on your application to the college. But that is far from the only reason why you should consider joining the Spanish Honors Society.

Here are some other top reasons to consider:

  • Networking opportunities

Honors societies give high school students valuable opportunities to meet and engage with other high school students who share similar interests. Many chapters allow students the opportunity to make fantastic friends who share similar goals and academic achievements. In fact, these societies may even motivate students to stay focused and work harder throughout high school in order to achieve their goals.

a group of college students looking at the camera

As is the case with any other society, making friends more committed to academic achievement is a great way to encourage future success. After all, many of the high school members of honor societies are some of the most gifted students in the country. This means that you will be forming relationships with people who will likely go on to achieve great things. There are many ways that can help you in both the professional and personal world further down the line.

Another fantastic reason why students should consider joining the Spanish Honors Society is that joining offers a fantastic opportunity to develop great leadership skills. To take full advantage of your membership, you want to undertake leadership roles during her high school years. Many honors societies provide valuable leadership training and even half of student leadership groups such as the NSHSS ambassador program.

College admissions officers are not looking for someone who has invested their time in a bunch of different extracurricular activities. Instead, they are looking for students both managed to achieve roles of leadership in a few different areas of interest and passion. Gaining a role of leadership in an honor society will look absolutely fantastic on your college application.

  • Scholarships and study abroad opportunities

The final reason why joining an honors society is such a great idea is because it offers members a chance to experience fantastic travel for free. The Spanish Honors Society offers travel scholarships for students each and every year. This serves as a fantastic chance for students to put the Spanish or Portuguese language to great use by traveling to the countries that consider those languages their native tongues.

This is an exciting chance to grow and see the world in a whole new light. Again, while the experiences are what matters most, it should also be considered that earning sponsored travel through an honors society such as the Spanish Honors Society offers high school students fantastic stuff to talk about when it comes to developing a fantastic college application essay.

Final Thoughts

The Spanish Honor Society is a gateway to enhancing your high school experience and boosting your college applications. Joining the Spanish Honor Society is a great way to highlight your dedication to Spanish and Portuguese studies while also showcasing your academic strengths, developing leadership skills, expanding your network, and accessing unique travel and scholarship opportunities. This honor society provides a comprehensive platform for personal and academic growth. Portuguese studies but also sets you apart as a motivated and culturally engaged student. Take the step today to enrich your academic journey and prepare for a bright future, making unforgettable memories and invaluable connections along the way.

Three caucasian students talking to each other.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Spanish Honor Society?

The Spanish Honor Society, also known as Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, is an academic organization for high school students studying Spanish or Portuguese. Founded in 1953 and sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, it aims to promote interest in Spanish and Luso-Brazilian studies and recognize high school achievements in these languages.

2. Who is eligible to join the Spanish Honor Society?

High school students who have maintained an honor average in their Spanish or Portuguese studies for at least three semesters and are in the 10th grade or higher can join the Spanish Honor Society. The definition of an “honor grade” may vary by chapter, as it is determined by each individual chapter’s discretion.

3. How can a school start a new chapter of the Spanish Honor Society?

To start a new chapter, a school must first ensure there isn’t an existing one. The process includes becoming a member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, reading the society’s bylaws, completing a chapter application, selecting a unique chapter name, paying a one-time charter fee, and setting up chapter bylaws and membership standards.

4. What are some benefits of joining the Spanish Honor Society?

Joining the Spanish Honor Society offers numerous benefits including academic recognition, opportunities for scholarships, leadership development, networking with peers who have similar interests, and potential travel opportunities to Spanish-speaking regions through awards like the Bertie Green Junior Travel Award.

5. What awards and scholarships does the Spanish Honor Society offer?

The society provides several awards and scholarships, such as the Joseph Adams Senior Scholarship, which grants $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors. Other notable awards include the Bertie Green Junior Travel Award for travel experiences and the Best of Albricias Awards, recognizing outstanding contributions in poetry, prose, and art/photography. These opportunities highlight significant achievements and can greatly enhance a student’s college application.

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