Alpha Alpha Alpha

A National Honor Society for First-Generation College Students

Dear friends and colleagues of Tri-Alpha:

The leadership at Tri-Alpha, and many of our chapter advisors, are disturbed at the legislation being recommended and approved in various states across the country which diminish or ban the teaching, scholarship, and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion so important in today's world.  The barriers that have prevented equitable and inclusive practices in admissions, teaching, learning, and student support over the years have been chipped at little by little to allow better entrance, retention, and graduation rates across the nation for under-represented groups; now, those barriers are being put back into place or reaffirmed in ways that we simply cannot support. 

We understand that some of our institutions may be challenged to remain members of Tri-Alpha without the use of institutional funds. The logical move is for chapters in these positions to lay the cost of membership completely at the feet of their students who wish to join.  We are proud to be able to stand as the national honor society with the lowest induction fee, to remove THAT barrier to membership.  Yet, this will be an impossibility for some students.  Thus, the national board is looking at options as to how to provide a path to membership that does not encumber students to the point that it becomes an obstacle while also being able to support operations at the national level.  

We appreciate any suggestions our chapters can provide, and hope that we will all continue the important work of providing equitable and inclusive paths to higher education.

Carol Traupman-Carr, President and Founder

on behalf of the Alpha Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for First-Generation College Students

Effective October 1, 2021, half-time students may be admitted to Tri-Alpha.  Institutions should follow their definition of "half-time," as used for the purposes of financial aid.

Alpha Alpha Alpha, Established 2018

Alpha Alpha Alpha, or Tri-Alpha, was founded March 24, 2018 at Moravian College (now Moravian University) 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:

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.  NEW UPDATE: Honorary members need not have been first-generation college students; rather honorary inductees may be first-gen students with some kind of connection to the institution (as indicated above) OR clearly be a first-gen student advocate, mentor, or supporter while maintaining a connection to the institution which is inducting them.

In any case, the emphasis at any induction ceremony should always be on the student initiates.

When inducted, initiates receive a certificate of initiation and a pin.  Honor cords for graduating students and members of the faculty/staff/alumni are available for purchase at an additional charge.