Alpha Alpha Alpha
A National Honor Society for First-Generation College Students
Alpha Alpha Alpha, or Tri-Alpha, was founded March 24, 2018 at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Over 100 members of the Alpha Chapter were initiated that day, including undergraduate students, faculty, staff, alumni, and honorary members. Following the successful induction, the College took steps to incorporate Alpha Alpha Alpha so that chapters could be started on other campuses across the country. Tri-Alpha exists as a not-for-profit (501(c)3) organization, for the purposes of supporting the activities of the honors society.
Students qualify for induction into Tri-Alpha if they meet the following criteria:
- The student has earned at least 36 credit/semester hours (or 54 quarter hours) towards a baccalaureate degree
- The 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
- Full-time graduate students who are first-generation students can be admitted if they have completed at least one term of study (9 or more graduate credits) and have a GPA in their graduate program of at least 3.0. (NEW AS OF MARCH 2019.)
Faculty and staff may be inducted as well. To qualify, they must have met the definition of a first-generation student listed above at the time they completed their bachelor's degree. Faculty and staff must be willing to serve as mentors for first-generation students.
A small number of alumni and honorary inductees may be initiated each year. To qualify, these inductees must have been first-generation students (using the definition above) when they completed their bachelor's degree. They must remain connected in some way to the institution which is inducting them— a member of the board or alumni association; the sibling of a current student; a volunteer; a donor; etc.. They must have established themselves in their post-college lives in a manner that can be held up to first-generation students as something to aspire to, and must be willing to mentor first-generation students, if asked.
In any case, the emphasis at any induction ceremony should always be on the student initiates.