California State University, Sacramento

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Center for First-Generation Student Initiatives Division of Student Affairs

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About Alpha Alpha Alpha National Honor Society

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.

The Sacramento State chapter was approved in the Summer of 2020 and chartered November 2020. The purpose of this organization shall be to recognize academic achievements in first-generation college students, create enthusiasm for scholarship, to promote leadership, and to provide support networks for first-generation students within and across college chapters.


  • A certificate and pin signifying membership. Membership is for life.
  • An outward recognition of personal accomplishment and an incentive for continued high scholarship.
  • The opportunity to meet other first-generation scholars from all academic disciplines on your campus and to join them in promoting academic excellence and creating a supportive environment for first-generation college students.
  • Identifies you to employers, professionals, and graduate schools as a person of superior academic ability and commitment.
  • Ability to mentor younger first-generation students.
  • Ability to receive mentoring from more senior first-generation students, as well as faculty, staff, and alumni who were first-generation students.
  • Local chapter leadership opportunities.


Students qualify for induction into Tri-Alpha if they meet the following criteria:

  • The student has earned at least 36 units towards a baccalaureate degree
  • Who have at least a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale may be admitted into Alpha Alpha Alpha.
  • Neither of the student's parents, nor step-parents, nor legal guardians, completed a bachelor's degree.
  • Graduate students who are first-generation students can be admitted if they have completed the equivalent of at least one term of study (9 or more graduate units) and have a GPA in their graduate program of at least 3.5.

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.

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


President: Dr. Chao Vang

Treasurer: Anne Cheng

Membership Secretary: Dr. Margaret Hwang

Member-At-Large: Dr. Elvia Ramirez

Member-At-Large: Bonnie Beevers

Member-At-Large: Dr. Maiko Xiong

Initiation Officer: Dr. Christine Miller

Student Representatives: Sylvia Hernandez, Debie Ikenador, Chi Meng Vang

In addition to our faculty and staff executive committee members, we have undergraduate and graduate student representatives and an Advisory Board serving the Chapter.

*Faculty or staff interested to serve, please contact us at