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Fall 2018

The Peak
A newsletter of Pinnacle and Spire, the nontraditional honor societies

The Pinnacle and Spire Honor Societies are based in Hagerstown, Maryland. Our address is 19134 Olde Waterford Rd., Hagerstown, MD 21742. Our telephone number is (240) 329-7512. However, the best way to stay in touch with us is through this Website, since we check our e-mail quite often. Just e-mail us at <>.

Be sure and place word Pinnacle or Spire in the subject box of your email so our heavy-duty spam filter knows to let your message through its screen.

We have been recommending to our chartered institutions that they e-mail their List of Honorees to us prior to mailing us the list and the students' Personal Data Sheets. When you e-mail, please let us know the date by which you need the certificates, pins, and diploma seals. We will choose our mailing method based on your deadline. Please also make sure that the names on the list are spelled properly and are exactly in the form that the honorees want their names to appear on their certificates. Our usual form of response is the United States Postal Service Priority Mail, although we use UPS when speed is of the utmost importance. Our usual turn-around time is 24-48 hours.

As our chartered institutional members know, Pinnacle has maintained a close relationship with ANTSHE, the Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education, since the organization was founded. ANTSHE is comprised of non-traditional students and professionals who work with this unique student population. The organization's mission is to "encourage and coordinate support, education, and advocacy for the adult learning community.  IMPORTANT NEWS!  As of January 1, 2019, ANTSHE will  take over the direction and operation of both Pinnacle and Spire Honor Societies. Our long-time association will grow into a melding of these two like-minded organizations.

ANTSHE members hold an annual conference in the month of March or April.  Conferences are often held on or near the campuses of member colleges and universities. Recent conferences have been held in Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and Michigan. This year's conference will be held on April 4-6 in Orlando, Florida. Go to <> for details.

  These national conclaves are a great way to meet dedicated colleagues and non-traditional students from around the nation, hear from experts in the field, and exchange ideas.  We encourage you to get involved in this valuable organization. Just go to <> for details.

Another organization important to non-traditional student services is CAEL, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. CAEL is a non-profit organization committed to providing better access to education for adults, through partnerships with business, government, labor, and higher education. It also holds an annual fall conference with sessions designed to help institutions do a better job of attracting and serving adult students.

CAEL publishes a number of books to assist members in their work, including Principles of Effectiveness for Serving Adult Learners, which provides a flexible framework of policies and practices that help make educational programs more attractive and accessible to adult learners. For several years CAEL has also published Best Practices in Adult Learning. Again, membership in CAEL can be of great value to you and your institution. CAEL holds professional gatherings as well as Webinars on topics of interest to you for a fee or free to members. Check their Website for further information. This year CAEL's annual international conference will be held on November 13-16 in Cleveland.

Speaking of innovative ways of serving adult students, if your Pinnacle chapter has taken on an interesting project, created some new service, succeeded in changing institutional or local policies to benefit adult students, or succeeded in other ways in making life a little bit better or easier for non-traditional students, please let us know about it. Our office often serves as a conduit for good ideas from around the country. Sometimes we even feature such innovations in this newsletter.

We are always heartened by newspaper clippings of all the wonderful projects Pinnacle chapters undertake and by the personal accomplishments of individual members. Every month brings clippings, photographs, and feature stories from local and campus newspapers. We love that stuff, so keep sending it! We also enjoy scanning the many Websites which have been created by Pinnacle chapters. It's clear that some of the best Web-based ideas are being widely adopted these days.

Every year we are overwhelmed by the accomplishments of our honorees. Here are just a few highlights from the honorees for last year:

  • Pinnacle honorees continue to flock into medical-related careers. Once again in 2017-2018 we honored a significant number of future nurses, nurse prectitioners, physician's assistants, medical technologists, EMTs, physical therapists, and other health professionals.
  • We have no exact statistics to back up this observation, but the number of honorees who have come back to college to establish new, second careers seems to be growing significantly in recent years. 
  • While the number of honorees majoring in computer science remains fairly small and men far outnumber women in the field, the number of honorees majoring in the field apears to be growing.
  • As in most years, among the honorees were police officers, fire fighters, EMTs, and small town public servants such as parks directors, county and city clerks, and public works supervisors.
  • Among the honorees were a number of men and women who have served or are currently serving the country in the armed services.
  • There number of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, including some who were wounded while in active service, are common faces among our honorees.
  • It appears that more honorees were interested in technology and teaching careers than in years past, and slightly fewer were pointing their careers at the business world, although business fields continue to draw a large number of our honorees. Specialties such as hospital administration and public administration seem to be growing.
  • We also noted another uptick in the number of honorees who are aimed at other helping professions, such as counseling, home healthcare, rehabilitation, and various aspects of gerontology.
  • Several honorees were running their own online businesses. A few also had brick-and-mortar businesses. A significant number were working from home.
  • As in past years, many Pinnacle and Spire honorees, who are both single parents and full-time students,  have somehow found the time to remain extremely active in their children's lives and community activities. Just reading their resumes exhausts us! 
  • As in past years, we had a number of retirees among our honorees. Some were earning their first degrees, while others were starting completely new careers.
  • Some of our more accomplished honorees were either international students or first generation American citizens.
  • A few honorees' accomplishments were especially heartwarming because they had overcome severe disabilities.
  • The number one non-school, non-family activity of our honorees was in the field of volunteerism. It is heartwarming to see how many non-traditional students somehow "create" the time to serve in a wide variety of volunteer positions.

Stay in touch and continue your good work!

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