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Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society

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Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society is the only national organization for high school juniors and seniors that recognizes excellence in the field of Social Studies. Any accredited public or private high school can apply for a local chapter, through which individuals will be inducted into Rho Kappa Honor Society.

A Rho Kappa chapter at your school provides national recognition for your outstanding students, and encourages an interest in, understanding of, and appreciation for the social studies.


Starting a Chapter at your School

Any accredited public or private high school approved by its corresponding state Department of Education or an accrediting agency is eligible to apply for a charter of a local chapter. Each high school shall have their own chapter unless there is not a faculty sponsor available. In such instances, one chapter may be shared as long as all other constitutional requirements are met and fulfilled. iStock_000015578938Small_0.jpg

Step 1. Select a Sponsor

A teacher in the field of social studies must serve as the chapter sponsor. This person will need to gather a core group of interested teachers and students to discuss the possibility of forming a chapter.

Sponsor Duties

  • The chapter sponsor shall be responsible for the chapter’s day-to-day activities, act as a supervisor over the chapter, and perform the duties of a liaison among administration, faculty, students, and community members.
  • The chapter sponsor shall coordinate the creation and review of chapter bylaws to execute the national organization’s constitution and outline the chapter’s operating procedures.
  • The chapter sponsor shall maintain of accurate and up-to-date files that consist of membership lists, financial transactions, chapter history, chapter activities, chapter publications and correspondence, and chapter by-laws.
  • The chapter sponsor shall regularly review each member to ensure membership in good standing as determined by the chapter’s by-laws
  • The chapter sponsor shall assist the chapter officers to understand and carry out their duties to the best of their abilities.
  • The chapter sponsor shall be the main liaison between the local chapter and the national organization. This sponsor is responsible for submitting all membership lists and associated fees along with any other information requested by the Rho Kappa Advisory Council.
  • The chapter sponsor shall appoint a faculty selection committee assembled at the high school in which the chapter resides select new members. The selection committee shall consist of the chapter faculty sponsor and other faculty members within the school. Membership is based upon academic achievement in courses within the field of social studies as well as overall academic GPA.
  • The chapter sponsor shall be a consider a Rho Kappa honorary member.

Step 2. Complete a New Charter Application

Once the decision is made to start a chapter, the sponsor must submit a charter application, $150 charter fee, and charter application to officially secure his/her charter. It takes approximately 30 days for the application to be processed. A formal charter is sent to the attention of the chapter sponsor to the school address.

Apply Online

Alternatively, download a PDF of the application form.

Note: Due to the high volume of orders at the beginning and ending of the school year, please allow 7-10 business days for the processing of new applications.

Criteria for Active Chapters

All chapters must:

  • Have a chapter sponsor.
  • Induct new members annually (chapters pay a $5 induction fee per new member)
  • Pay a $150 Charter Fee, then a $75 renewal fee annually (the year begins July 1 and ends June 30)
  • Submit an annual chapter report.

Chapter Affiliation Renewal Fee

Each chapter pays an annual affiliation fee of $75.00 each school year. Charter terms run September 1-August 30 each year.

Loss of Charter

Any chapter that fails to submit annually (1) current membership list and (2) annual national affiliation fees shall be deemed inactive. After two years of inactive status, the chapter shall forfeit its charter. The chapter may apply for reinstatement upon resubmitting reactivation papers and fees.

For more information about our current chartered schools, visit the Rho Kappa Chartered Schools page. 

New as an Advisor ? Here are some Rho Kappa Resources for you!

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