How to Start a Chapter
Thanks for your interest in HOSA! If you are a health science, biomedical science or science-related teacher and would like to start a HOSA chapter at your school, the following information will be helpful in completing the process. This information is also available by downloading our new chapter informational flyer.
The following are resources available to assist teachers in chartering a HOSA - Future Health Professionals chapter at your school:
- Chapter Affiliation Packet - contact your state advisor or HOSA Headquarters to request a packet and a charter number and password for online affiliation. Affiliation packets are available annually in late August.
- HOSA Handbook - available online at http://www.hosa.org/node/139
- HOSA Website - a wealth of information is available at www.hosa.org
Begin the process of leadership development with your students in the first week of school. Introduce HOSA early in the school year. Contact HOSA Headquarters or your state advisor if you do not receive the chapter affiliation packet by early September.
Contact Your HOSA State Advisor
Contact your HOSA State Advisor regarding affiliating your school/college and students with the state association and national organizations. Your state advisor is an excellent source of information regarding state and national activities, projects, meetings and services available to chapter advisors and members. Seth Nutt is the State Advisor for Kansas (he can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (620) 235-4040) and Lisa Stouffer is the State Advisor Assistant for Kansas (she can be contacted via email at email@example.com)
Decide How to Organize Your Chapter
The following are three different ways by which you can organize your chapter.
- Classroom-Based Chapter - A HOSA Chapter can be formed with five (5) or more students; however, the more members, the more dynamic and robust the chapter plan of work. Classroom-based chapters are the preferred method when students are unable to meet together regularly and activities are fully integrated into classroom instruction. For example, career or technology centers might offer health science or biomedical science programs in the morning and afternoon. Instructors have the flexibility to organize the chapter and conduct business meetings and activities independent of each other. Programs can elect an officer team to develop its plan of work for AM and PM classes. For large projects, classes can collaborate. Business meetings and programs can be held during class time; HOSA is "curricular", not "extracurricular or co-curricular".
- Instructor-Based Chapter - One instructor can form a chapter for all students enrolled in his/her classes. While chapter meetings with all students may be difficult to schedule, individual classes can establish in-class committees to plan and organize projects and activities. Each class can elect a vice president (class representative) that serves on the HOSA Chapter Council, the steering committee for the chapter.
- School-Based Chapter - A Single chapter is formed for students in all classes regardless of the number of teachers. This is the least effective method due to a large number of students and the difficulty in integrating HOSA into the curriculum. A HOSA chapter is a "leadership laboratory" not a "club." Unless all students are actively involved and able to practice and refine their leadership skills through chapter activities, the benefits of HOSA are not fully realized. If this method is adopted, it is important to get 100% active involvement by all students and instructors.
Contact Local School Officials
Contact your local school/college officials (e.g. administrators, activity directors, dean of student activities) to be certain all information is properly submitted and on file (sample constitution for a HOSA chapter is available in theHOSA Handbook). HOSA Chapter Affiliation Application Review the instructions for completing the HOSA Chapter Affiliation Application online at http://www.hosa.org/node/20.
Give special attention to the following guidelines
- Students' fees must be received by the close of HOSA's membership year (May 15). National affiliation fees are $10 per member and Kansas state affiliation fees are $7 per member, for a total membership fee of $17 per member. Each chapter must have at least one dues-paying advisor.
- Affiliation fees for students planning to attend the state leadership and national leadership conferences must be received prior to registering for these events. Chapter pay their fees by check or purchase order. An invoice can be printed from the online affiliation. HOSA will bill the school or chapter. Payment should be received within 30 days of affiliation.
- Students who do not affiliate by the appropriate date will not be eligible to participate in the HOSA Competitive Events Program, HOSA Scholarship Program or seek state or national office. National competitors must be affiliated prior to their state conference to be eligible for participation at the national leadership conference. Allstate members are to be affiliated within National HOSA.
- Recruit professional members to join your chapter; guidance counselors, school administrators, board members and health professionals qualify for professional membership.
- Collect membership fees from all students or hold a fundraising project to pay affiliation fees for members and advisors. Special recognition is given to 100% Chapters. These chapters receive recognition certificates along with their membership cards. A 100% Chapter means 100% of the health science or biomedical science students enrolled in the program are also HOSA members.
- Submit additional members when students enroll in the program or pay their affiliation fees (e.g., second-semester enrollments).
- Get students involved in local, state and national activities through attendance at:
- Local chapter meetings
- Local committee meetings
- Fall Leadership Conference
- State Leadership Conference
- National Leadership Conference (held in June each year)
- Develop a meaningful program of work to include activities addressing:
- Leadership development
- Community Service
- Social and recreational activities
- Professional development
- School service
- Preparation for HOSA Competitive Events
- Adopt a budget and identify fundraising projects that can generate sufficient revenue to support the student development plan or work.
- Prepare students to participate in the HOSA Competitive Events Program.