New Scholarship Programming
- Panhellenic Council’s Dean’s List Celebration
Ideas for Chapter Programming
In addition to programs on the obvious topics (time management, test taking, study skills), a good chapter scholarship program addresses other related issues as well. You should consider programs that help the chapter examine scholastics for the organization overall and programs that are designed more for the individual member. The following are brief descriptions of several activities you can include in your chapter academic programming.
Values Voting: Scholarship
If chapter members do not value scholarship and place a priority on academics, the best scholarship program will have little effect on them. This activity measures members’ commitment to academic achievement and can easily be used in a chapter meeting or separate workshop. A chapter member or advisor should facilitate the discussion after members respond to each statement.
Academic Programming Year By Year
This is a simple activity for involving members in identifying the educational programs that would be of most value to them during a particular year in school. During a chapter meeting have everyone gather in groups by the same year in school and brainstorm a list of five to 10 topics related to academics that they think will be issues for them during the coming year. From those lists you can develop your calendar of programming.
Some Tips for Scholarship Programming
- Work with your advisory boards and house corporation officers to have some funds set aside for small awards and recognition.
- Plan recognition activities that can occur on an ongoing basis. For example, have members bring tests to chapters that they got an A or B on. Place all tests in a box and draw two or three, giving away a prize for the person who submitted each of those tests. Prizes can be small.
- Start a scholarship stock market. Print up fake stock certificates with the fraternity/sorority name on them and give out a certain number of shares for every high grade earned on a test, in a class, etc. Once per term, let members use their stock to “buy” items from a chapter store consisting of shirts, cups, hats, and other small items with your fraternity or sorority name on them.
- Create numerous small competitions and pairings to try to boost member GPAs: big brother or big sister and little brother or little sister, all members of a particular recruitment class, everyone with birthdays in the same month, etc.
- Meet individually with members doing poorly and try to help them identify what they could do to improve. Create a scholarship contract that holds them accountable for taking any actions that you decide on together.
- Talk to members of chapters on your campus who do well academically and determine what their chapter does for scholarship programming. Steal some ideas!
- Have your faculty advisor or chapter advisor meet with new members, individuals doing poorly, and other targeted groups to offer their support and encouragement.
- Create special competitions around mid-terms and finals. Have some visual displays of ongoing results and progress to help build enthusiasm.
- Have the entire chapter agree on a chapter GPA goal and establish an incentive that the whole chapter will benefit from if the goal is reached; i.e., free pizza party.
- Offer to pay 50 percent of any member’s tutoring bill.
- Give discounts off dues, formal, etc. to members getting a B average or better.
- Keep members’ grades confidential unless they have released the information to be public.
- Use grade reports by the University. Carefully review individual member’s grades to try and pinpoint which individuals are most positively and negatively affecting the chapter GPA. Thank those doing well and meet individually with those doing poorly.
- Make sure all chapter officers understand how their area of responsibility can help or hurt individual or chapter GPA.
- Have numerous awards for individual improvement, not just individual achievement like highest GPA, etc.
- Have a brief scholarship tip of the week at every single chapter meeting. Keep the emphasis on scholarship in front of the chapter whenever you can.
- Attend and participate in scholarship chair roundtables sponsored by the IFC or Panhellenic or the Greek Advisor. You never know where you will pick up (or share) some great ideas.
- Emphasize positive incentives more than negative reinforcements.
- Have members from each recruitment class involved in the scholarship committee.
- Encourage members to apply for campus and national scholarships or awards.
- Acknowledge members who make the Dean’s List, are selected for a campus honorary, etc.
- Design educational programs that are targeted for different needs.
- Be familiar with, and take advantage of, free academic resources provided by the University. Refer members whenever possible.
- Diligently enforce any academic standards set by the chapter. Failure to hold members accountable is almost worst than failure to have any standards.
Source: University of Oregon Greek Life Office