The National Business Honor Society

The National Business Honor Society (NBHS) is an academic honor society which helps to recognize business students at the high school level.  Requirements are as follows:

  • Student must be in their junior or senior year
  • Must have taken at least 3 courses (or is completing their third), who maintains a minimum 3.5 GPA with a minimum overall academic GPA of 3.0 (in a 4.0 scale)
  • Each chapter may also customize their requirements with a higher GPA and leadership requirements.

Students inducted into the NBHS happily record this honor on their work, college, and scholarship applications.

The National Business Education Association (NBEA) is the sponsor for the NBHS.  There is a history, which I will briefly relate.  The information is drawn from Business Education Forum.

In the early 1980’s there was a business honor society managed by the National Catholic Business Education Association.  After years of success and many high school chapters nationally, this honor society was disbanded in the mid-1990’s.  A few existing chapters tried to sustain their honor societies at the local level.  Without sponsorship from a professional national organization, these chapters lost their national affiliation.

In 2006, the NBEA Executive Board established the NBHS task force.  In 2009, the NBHS was launched, and the rest is history!  A National Governing Council, made up of volunteers from all over the Country, is a dedicated group of business educators, professional members of the NBEA, participants in NBHS chapters, and dedicated business education professionals (The National Business Honor Society…Academic Recognition for Your Business Students!).

While my role in the Governing Council is officially over, my love for the NBHS is as strong as ever.  NBHS Chapters have grown nationally to 180 chapters.  Ten new chapters were being evaluated during the Fall meeting of the Governing Council.  Massachusetts proudly has 16 active chapters (as of summer, 2017).  Quincy High School was the first Massachusetts Chapter! We definitely should have more, but this shows positive forward progress in business education for Massachusetts!

We as business educators understand the value of the courses we teach.  We also understand the results when budgets and staffing cuts hit our areas.  We have to show the community there is value in business education courses.  The fight right now centers around a financial literacy requirement.  Involvement in the professional organizations is critical.  Massachusetts Business Educators Association (MBEA) is having our annual State conference on April 6, 2018.  The National Business Education Association Conference (NBEA) will be in Maryland this year from March 27-31, 2018.

Students able to graduate with the National Business Education Honor Society (NBHS) cord shows the community the prestige and value in what the student accomplishes, and what we business educators teach.  Regardless of the student’s future plans, participation in the NBHS is a prestigious honor.  It shows the world the student is ready for life.  Public, Independent, and private schools offering a business education curriculum following NBEA National Business Standards may apply for a chapter charter.  There are strict requirements, which are details in the “start-up kit” located at  It is important to note that this is a template document.  The applying schools should customize and follow editing and instructions for signatures and supplemental, supporting documentation.

Please do not let fear of forms stop you from pursuing an NBHS Chapter Charter.  I am happy to assist if you want to be in touch with me.


About the blogger: Lydia Ann Nelson is an experienced accountant and business manager who currently is a certified business and technology educator. She teaches at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School in Whitman, MA, and is also an adjunct faculty member of Quincy College in Plymouth. Her passion is to enable her students to be life ready with the financial literacy, business and technology tools for a successful future.  Because of this, she has served as the Governing Council Chair for the National Business Honor Society, as well as a Director for NBHS on the National Business Education Association Executive Board.  Additionally, Lydia is a K-16 task force and steering committee member for the financial advocacy collaborative, MassSAVES. Lydia is a reader of historical fiction, crafter, cook and baker. She lives in Carver with her husband and two adopted cats.  She also has two grown children.

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