PC to charter new honor society for first-generation students

February 7, 2023

Presbyterian College will charter a new national honor society for first-generation students this spring.

The chartering ceremony and the inaugural induction for new members of the new Eta Delta Chapter of Tri-Alpha will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 26.

Dr. Joleesa Johnson, director of the Presby First+ program, hailed the new chapter as proof of PC’s strong commitment to its first-generation students’ academic success and achievement.

“Chartering the Eta Delta Chapter of Tri-Alpha further demonstrates PC’s commitment to the well-being, academic excellence, and strengths of our first-generation students,” Johnson said. “This will be a way to celebrate the academic and personal accomplishments of our first-generation students, and hopefully show them that they can achieve academically despite what research says about not being academically prepared. Tri-Alpha will for years to come serve as an acknowledgement of the successes of our first-generation students, as well as serve as a space to continue to cultivate academic excellence and service, and an environment where first-generation students can flourish and thrive.”

Dr. Selena Blair, the Rogers-Ingram Vice President for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, also praised PC for chartering the Eta Delta Chapter.

“Taking the necessary steps to establish the Eta Delta Chapter of Tri-Alpha on our campus solidifies PC’s commitment to champion first-generation college student success,” Blair said. “Not only are we celebrating current academic achievements, but we are encouraging continued academic excellence through the promotion of scholarship and the inducting of faculty, staff, alumni, and honorary members. Membership in Tri-Alpha is a lifetime distinction signifying superior academic ability and commitment to employers as well as graduate schools.”

Tri-Alpha was founded in 2018 on the campus of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Penn. The national honor society promotes academic excellence and creates a supportive environment for students who are the first in their families to attend a higher education institution.

Membership is by invitation only. Each year, Tri-Alpha has the honor of inducting students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are first-generation students. PC is the fifth school in South Carolina and the fifth Presbyterian Church-affiliated college to charter a Tri-Alpha chapter.

Students qualify for induction into Tri-Alpha if they meet the following criteria:

  • The student has earned at least 30 credit/semester hours (or 45 quarter hours) towards an associate’s degree or baccalaureate degree (including half-time).
  • The undergraduate student has achieved an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Neither of the student’s parents, nor step-parents, nor legal guardians completed a bachelor’s degree (or, for students at a community college, the parents did not complete an associate’s degree)

Graduate students who are first-generation students can be admitted if they have completed the equivalent of at least one term of study (9 or more graduate credits) and have a GPA in their graduate program of at least 3.5.