Pinnacle Honor Society

Pinnacle is MTSU's chapter of the national Pinnacle Honor Society for nontraditional students, generally over the age of 25. Our MTSU chapter makes exceptions for students with adult responsibilities who are not yet 25. In addition to the 3.0 GPA required for undergraduates (3.4 for graduate students), Pinnacle looks at previous community service, volunteer work, and honors which the student has earned in life.

Pinnacle Application     Leadership Roles     Award of Achievement

To apply for membership submit the personal data sheet along with your $40 check by the November 6, 2015 deadline for Fall 2015 or the March 10, 2016 deadline for Spring 2016.

Why Join Pinnacle Honor Society?

If you are a non-traditional student who excels in your college work, Pinnacle membership will celebrate your academic achievement as an adult learner. It can mark to others, on your resume, for example, that you were an above-average student without them having to look at your transcript. Alumni Pinnacle members tell us that it helped them during a job interview. It has also become a nice supportive group for those who have chosen to become active leaders in the organization. The officers of Pinnacle participate in the annual Adult Learning Conference and usually send representatives to the annual ANTSHE (Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education) conferences. They also contribute ideas to the Reach for the Pinnacle Student Success Series, a service project of Pinnacle that provides online workshops to develop study skills and paper writing skills aimed primarily at the non-traditional student population at MTSU.

The Pinnacle Honor Society was founded by Dr. Frank Julian, a faculty member and administrator at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, in 1989. Dr. Julian recognized the dedication of nontraditional students and the institutions'inability to recognize these deserving students because of unobtainable requirements developed by traditional honor societies. Traditional honor societies recognized the accomplishments of typical traditional students (i.e. full-time students who have on-campus leadership responsibilities). In many cases, nontraditional students work full-time, attend college part-time, and care for family members. Many nontraditional students also live miles away from their school and attend via distant learning opportunities. So, Pinnacle was designed with those nontraditional students in mind.

Where does the $40 membership fee go?

The national Pinnacle Honor Society organization receives $20 for each new member. The national organization provides each new member their personalized Pinnacle certificate, a letter of welcome to the organization, a seal for your diploma, and a Pinnacle lapel pin (and because we usually have such a quick turn-around before the initiation, they usually have to overnight them to us).

The other $20 is an annual dues fee for the local chapter. We use that money to fund the publicity of our Reach for the Pinnacle Student Success series and for the costs of travel to the ANTSHE conference that might not be covered by the Student Activity Fee funds. It also provides part of the food served at fall dinner and the spring picnic, shared by the OWLs student organization for all our adult learners.

Need More Info About Pinnacle?

Please contact our officers at for details. Pinnacle membership is open to all adult learners who are juniors and seniors with a 3.0 GPA or graduate students with a 3.4 GPA. An online personal data sheet to apply for membership is available for your convenience. Don't forget to mail in your $40 check by the deadline to complete your online application.

Leadership Roles

Pinnacle Honor Society has opportunities for members to become active in the leadership as President, Vice-President for Membership, Vice-President for Service, and Vice-President for Fund Raising. We usually hold elections during the Nontraditional Student Week, but we also appoint members to leadership roles at other times of the year, as needed.

President - oversees the actions of the student organization in all of its aspects: support, advocacy, social, and service. The President also represents the Pinnacle Honor Society on various campus wide task forces and committees as needed. The primary function of the President is to advocate for the nontraditional students at MTSU.

Vice-President for Membership - develops ideas to encourage nontraditional students to join the organization and plans activities that members will enjoy, and participates in surveys and other means to determine the needs of the adult learners on campus.

Vice-President for Fund Raising - develops fund raising ideas and implements those ideas to increase the ability for Pinnacle to provide services of support to the members of the organization.

Vice-President for Service - researches possible service projects, selects at least one per semester, and implements that project with the other members.

Pinnacle Award of Achievement

Shirley A. Gates, an Education major graduating in December 2000, was the first recipient of the new Pinnacle Award of Achievement. The Pinnacle organization honors all those who have achieved academic success, but the Award of Achievement is a special award for one graduating Senior each fall and spring semester.

The Pinnacle Award of Achievement will be given to a graduating senior who is a member of Pinnacle who has achieved this success despite many obstacles encountered along the way. The award will go to the student with the most inspiring personal story of overcoming those obstacles.

The award application is available online. Please contact our officers at if you have any questions.

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