By: Alexandra M. White
This spring APSU’s campus will be brightened with a new Honor Society, the Alpha Theta Psi chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda.
However, this isn’t like your average honor society for college campus’s this honor society is specifically catered to non-traditional
Non-traditional students on APSU’s campus are identified as students 25 years of age or older according to the Office of
Institutional Research and Effectiveness.
According to University enrollment data, since 2001, APSU has expanded 41 percent in the number of non-traditional undergraduate
In fall 2010, a total of 3,914 non-traditional students enrolled at APSU. Alpha Sigma Lambda according to its website is the largest and oldest honor society for full- and
part-time students.
The honor society’s mission is “to recognize the special achievements of adults who accomplish academic excellence while
facing competing interests of home and work.”
The Alpha Theta Psi chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda is the first honor society at APSU for adult learners and membership is by invitation only. The presence of Alpha Sigma Lambda on campus can be accredited to four students Holly Templeton, Krizia Gonzales, Halbin Gundky and June Knight. They were working on a project in class of designing a
They chose to focus on Student Life and Leadership, and non-traditional students
such as their selves.
The steps they took in the research involved interviewing department heads, speaking with non-traditional students, attending non-traditional student luncheon and
researching APSU’s materials and website.
After conducting this research these founding members sought the need on campus for a type of honor society to recognize the
accomplishments of non-traditional students.
Then the students did research on what honor societies were the best, and decided on Alpha Sigma Lambda for its pristine legacy. The society offers scholarships, honor cords
and stoles and a private social network for their
They contacted the main office and picked the local chapter name. There they discovered a faculty member, Kay Haralson a specialist in the Office of Enrollment
Management and Academic Support, had already contacted the National Headquarters and was interested in becoming and advisor.
It was as if everything was meant to be, and was falling into place perfectly. When speaking with June Knight, the new President of Alpha Theta Psi, she expressed they were, “inviting 600 students, 200 from each classification [sophomore-senior], for induction into the honor society, but expecting between
200-400 inductees.
Currently the founding members meet as needed to prepare for the induction ceremony.
“After induction, we have a meeting planned in April for new elections for the following school year. At that point I m sure that executive board will decide how they want
to conduct meetings,” Knight said.
While Alpha Sigma Lambda is an honor society, they have hopes of exploring options into community and campus service. “We would like our focus to be on family events since the majority of our membership is older and are parents,” Knight said.
Knight also went on to express, “we feel that we achieved a miracle because we obtained our goal [alpha sigma lambda] within
one semester.”
To be eligible for induction into Alpha Sigma Lambda, students must be in the top 20 percent of all students with at least 30 credit- hours at APSU and have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2.
Notice of eligibility will be sent by e- mail in February and students interested in joining must submit an application. Invitations for induction will be issued in March and the official induction ceremony is planned for Saturday, April 16.
“I am 42 years old, I have three children, and it’s not easy sitting in a classroom with a majority of traditional students.
But when I walk down that graduation aisle, I will be the happiest woman on Earth,” Knight said.
“It is my hopes that if other traditional students hear my personal story they will be more accepting of our population on campus.”
For more information on Alpha Sigma Lambda contact President June Knight or advisor Kay Haralson.