“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”
John F. Kennedy
The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions
for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.*The purpose of a social studies education is the promotion of civic competence—body of knowledge, and to be able to think flexibly and act responsibly to address civic issues in a diverse and interdependent world. A well developed social studies education is essential for students to be committed to the ideas and values of democracy. Civic competence rests on this commitment to democratic values, and requires that citizens have the ability to use their knowledge about their community, nation, and world; to apply inquiry processes; and to employ skills of data collection and analysis, collaboration, decision-making, and problem-solving. Young people who are knowledgeable, skillful, and committed to democracy are necessary to sustaining and improving our democratic way of life, and participating as members of a global community.*The definition was officially adopted by National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) in 1992.
See National Council for the Social Studies,Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
(Washington, D.C.: NCSS, 1994)
Rho Kappa: National Social Studies Honor Society
Each candidate for membership shall be selected to a designated chapter of Rho Kappa based on the following criteria:
Candidates for membership should:
1. have been in attendance at the school in which the chapter resides for the equivalent of one semester prior to being considered (If a special or unique circumstances merit, the high school administration may waive the semester requirement, providing a letter of explanation to the National Advisory Council).
2. have completed four semesters of courses in the field of social studies and be prepared to complete at least six semesters. The minimum grade point average for these courses is an A-.
3. have an overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.75 or the numerical equivalent (weighted).
Candidates achieving the minimal GPA requirements may be invited to apply for membership into Rho Kappa. The application process will require candidates to show participation in activities the demonstrate civic engagement in school or community and their desire and aspiration to be a member of the organization. Applicants must have a letter of recommendation from a current faculty member.
Selection of eligible students and their election to the organization shall be determined by the faculty sponsor, faculty selection committee, and the high school administration. Candidates must meet the GPA, social studies course completion requirements and the application requirements listed above. All other methods of selecting candidates is left up to the individual chapters. A description of the selection procedures and the local chapter criteria should be widely available in a timely fashion to all the school's administration, faculty, students, parents, and community members. The National RHO KAPPA Advisory Council will not review the judgement of the faculty selection committee regarding the selection of individual members to the local chapters.
Active members are current high school students chosen by the faculty selection committee and inducted into the society. Active members are expected to maintain the eligibility standards by which they were selected for membership until graduation. Upon graduation these members will become alumni members. Active member have a voice and vote in chapter affairs. Active members shall:
1. demonstrate an ability to work with others, to conduct research and inquiry in the field of social studies and shall possess the qualities of industry, initiative, and reliability as they pertain to academic excellence.
2. exhibit a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for, social studies scholarship and topics.
3. contribute service to the school or community in which the chapter resides at the direction and discretion of the chapter advisor.
Alumni memberships are automatically given to members who graduate with good standing in the organization. Alumni members may be invited by the school to attend and/or participate in chapter events. Alumni members do not have a voice or vote in chapter affairs.
Honorary memberships may be awarded with consent from the chapter faculty sponsor to individuals who might not otherwise be eligible for membership and whose achievements in the advancement of social studies and related fields merit such recognition. Honorary members may include: school officials, principals, teachers, community members, former graduates, etc. Chapters may induct up to two honorary members per year. Honorary members have no voice and no vote in chapter affairs.
The chapter faculty sponsor is a Rho Kappa honorary member.
Induction of New Memberships
Each local chapter may design and execute an appropriate ceremony for the induction of its new members. The procedures and proceedings for this ceremony shall be determined by the local chapter, the chapter sponsor, and the high school administration. Newly inducted members shall receive their membership certificates and any other appropriate Rho Kappa materials when their membership has been affirmed. In an event that a particular individual qualifies for membership after the date of the induction ceremony, he or she may be induced at a regular chapter meeting provided the membership forms and fees have already been submitted to NCSS.Contact Information:Laura DragoTeaching Instructional Supervisor of Social Studies & World Languages65 West Greenbrook Road
North Caldwell, New Jersey 07006
Phone: (973) 228-1200, ext. 365Email: email@example.com