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Advisor Resources

To assist our advisors, we are providing some resources below. Some of these are developed by PASC, and others are provided by NASC and NHS, sponsored by NASSP. At the bottom of the page, there are links to more resources, including those curated by NA4SA.


Of particular importance for honor society advisors is the information detailed below on ensuring your chapter is in compliance with national office requirements and regulations.

We also encourage our advisors to consider joining the online advisor community sponsored by NA4SA, where you can interact with advisors from across the US.

If you are looking specifically for project ideas, those can be found on our Project Databases and Resources page.

If you need additional or specific help, we encourage you to reach out to your Region Director for more information.


Successful organizations are made possible by willing, patient, and creative advisors/teachers. A progressive and innovative activity or group does not just happen, but is determined by the personal qualities of that Advisor.  The very “key” to that group’s success is the adult serving in the Advisor’s capacity. The way that the Advisor plays his or her role can be most significant to an organization and to the school/community that organization serves. How is the role of the Student Council or Honor Society Chapter Advisor unique? While there may be a difference on specific duties in a given school, there is a general agreement on the Advisor’s role as Planner, Consultant, Counselor, Evaluator, Teacher, Agent, Fundraiser, and Salesperson. Specifically to Honor Societies, there are also requirements set by NASSP that must be followed as well.

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The council or chapter advisor provides a wealth of advice and practical knowledge, and is one of the most important factors in the success of a Student Council or Honor Society chapter. The advisor is the liaison between students and school administration. Advising requires personal time and educational commitment.

Here are some things that council and chapter advisers do regularly:

  • Consider services and activities for the school and community that will bring improvement to the school community

  • Coordinate the work of the council or chapter through the officers and committees

  • Make detailed yearlong plans, writing goals for each project

  • Work with the council or chapter officers and student members to plan meetings and activities for the yearlong schedule

  • Hold regular meetings and planning sessions with the council or chapter’s executive committee

  • Know your officers, their duties, and personalities, and how to help them develop into successful student leaders

  • Read and review the National Handbook; read each issue of Advise magazine; and visit the NASC or NHS website to stay informed about activities, policies, and procedures.

  • Review the school policies regarding student activities. Know and understand the rules that govern what student activity groups can and cannot do, especially where field trips, fundraising, and projects are concerned.

  • Maintain contact with faculty and administrators, by clearing all activities with the principal and keeping him or her informed of all council or chapter functions

  • Lead, but do not do, the students’ work and find ways to guide council or chapter members without dictating

  • Are open-minded, looking for new ideas and encouraging the best from students

  • Participate in PASC sponsored activities and programs, and help students do the same

  • Understand how student activities operate in your district and state, including legal responsibilities

  • Teach, as well as practice, democratic actions and encourage civic engagement

  • Be sure to meet with the principal to determine his or her expectations for you. Develop a productive working relationship. Also meet with your officers and let them know how you view your role.

10 Common Practices for Effective Advisors

For the majority of students, the student council or honor society experience is their first venture into formal leadership training and leadership organizations. This “newness” to leadership brings about many of the same challenges that advisors face in their roles as classroom teachers introducing students to new curricular concepts and information. As in the classroom, advisors must be cognizant of the learning styles of student leaders in order to help them gain mastery of leadership concepts.

There are 10 common denominators that serve as core practices and philosophies shared by effective advisors. Some are general concepts found in academic and co-curricular areas, while others are specific to leadership instruction.

An effective advisor:

  1. Believes that learning is continuous, occurs both inside and outside of the classroom, and requires a variety of methods and experiences in order to obtain optimal outcomes.

  2. Knows that students, who are involved in co-curricular activities, get more from those experiences when a caring adult is there to advise them.

  3. Helps ensure that student leaders understand the parameters, scope, origins of power, and the duties of their offices.

  4. Manages meetings, giving limited input when called upon to do so, but also helps to see that basic meeting rules are followed.

  5. Lets student leaders fail but helps them understand and cope with failure.

  6. Manages time. Allots time to be there for the students by recognizing how much time will be needed before committing to individual projects or other organizations.

  7. Helps student leaders set good goals for the organization and supports the planning to reach those goals.

  8. Trains student leaders in the basics of leadership and how they apply to the organization—duties, meeting management, the constitution, school rules and mission, communication skills, and more.

  9. Expects commitment and conveys it as a requirement for successful leaders.

  10. Challenges students to continue their leadership roles from the middle level to high school and beyond.

Honor Society Advisors have additional expectations in order to ensure their chapters remain in good standing with NHS and NJHS, including:

Below are some additional resources provided to our friends at the Missouri Association of National Honor Societies by Elancia Felder, manager of Honor Societies at NASSP. A reminder that state associations are not involved in selection or dismissal of individual honor society chapter members at the school level, and generally do not influence the processes used for these purposes at the local chapter level. Chapter concerns fall under the domain of the local chapter adviser and school principal. Policy questions regarding NHS and NJHS selection and discipline procedures should be directed to Elancia at With regard to student councils, neither the state nor national office prescribe selection or dismissal procedures; these are governed solely at the local level by the individual student council's constitution, as overseen by the advisor and principal. 

NHS/NJHS Selection Procedures

NHS/NJHS Discipline and Dismissal

Resources for Advisors from NASSP

National Honor Society Adviser Resource Center            NJHS Adviser Resource Center​                             NASC Adviser Resource Center


NASSP Adviser Online Community

Join the NA4SA Online Advisor Community!

The National Association for Student Activities (NA4SA) hosts a vibrant online community where activity advisors from across the US share ideas, resources, and support one another. We encourage all of our advisors to join this community! 


Additional RESOURCES

NASC Adviser Handbook

New Advisor Handbook

Project Planning

Sample Constitution

Sample Meeting Agenda

NHS Handbook (20th ed.)

PASBO Student Activities Fund Guide (4th ed.)

How to Host a Middle Level Conference

How to Host a Region Conference

How to Host a State Conference

California Associated Student Body2015 Accounting Manual, Fraud Prevention Guide and Desk Reference

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