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SEIFC Schools That Make Academics a Priority

Our Regional Awards have been announced at the Central Fraternal Leadership Conference/National Black Leadership Conference and the Northeast Greek Leadership Conference.  Men from fraternal communities in the Southeast region gathered this week for SEIFC and Gamma Sigma Alpha announced the Regional GPA Awards for this region today.

Congratulations to the fraternal community that was awarded our top academic achievement award for this region. This award is measured by the differential between the all-undergraduate mens GPA and the all-fraternity GPA. The fraternity GPA on this campus was consistently above the all-mens average and proves this community is putting academics first. The winner of the Spring 2011 semester award is also the winner for the Fall 2011 semester award and that school is the University of Miami! Go Hurricanes!

Our Honor Roll Schools in this region were recognized for having higher fraternity GPA statistics than the all-mens GPA statistics on their respective campuses. Congrats to these schools:

Birmingham-Southern College
Brenau University
Clemson University
Jacksonville State University
Samford University
University of Alabama
University of Central Florida
University of Louisiana at Monroe
University of Miami
University of South Carolina
Valdosta State University

Do you think your fraternity community should be added to our Honor Roll? We’ll continue to take GPA submission through the end of the semester, send us your information here.


Posted: February 24th, 2012 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

GSA Presents Awards at NGLA

Begun in 2000, the Gamma Sigma Alpha regional GPA competition seeks to recognize those schools within the Central region whose fraternity and sorority GPA is the greatest above their undergraduate GPA. Schools who have already submitted their GPA information are featured on our Honor Roll and provided a certificate. If the Fraternity/Sorority GPA on your campus is higher than your all-undergraduate GPA, you can submit your grades through the end of the semester to be included in the HONOR ROLL. Submit grade information here.

Awards were announced today at the Northeast Greek Leadership Association in Hartford, CT. The institution receiving the highest academic award for the Spring 2011 academic period is Saint Francis University. Our winner for the Fall 2011 academic period is Washington & Jefferson College. Congratulations!

The 2011 Honor Roll Recipients for the Northeastern region are:

Muhlenberg College
Saint Francis University
Susquehanna University
Washington & Jefferson College

*The schools listed achieved honor roll status for Spring and Fall semester. Stay tuned–awards for SEIFC will be announced next!  To stay updated, follow Gamma Sigma Alpha on Facebook & Twitter.

Posted: February 24th, 2012 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Scholarship Plan Planning? Here are some great examples for possible inclusion!

We highlighted the Fraternity/Sorority Community Academic Report Card on our website and blogged about the process of creating a scholarship plan. Below are some “Best Practice” examples we’ve compiled that have been shared with us from Gamma Sigma Alpha chapters across the country and through our Regional Academic Award Submissions. We have categorized them in the same way we did for the report card so they can be easily added to your scholarship plan that outlines activities in that way.

Standards and Policies: 

  • At Case Western Reserve University the Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter assists the Greek Life office and handles peer appeals when Greek officers, both within the chapters and the officers of the governing councils are academically ineligible to hold office.
  • Working in conjunction with the Academic Centers for Excellence office, each Greek-letter organization is paired with a graduate academic coach to help with academic presentations and/or individual member issues at the University of South Carolina.

Scholarship Program:

  • Many fraternity/sorority chapters across the country, including those at Muhlenberg College and Clemson University, are required by the Greek Life office to have an annual scholarship plan that includes measures to address low achievers and new members as well as a reward system for high achievers
  • We encourage you to find a way to recognize all 4.0 students. Communities around the country do this during a Greek Awards Ceremony, Scholarship Tea with the President, Free coffee voucher, newspaper ad, etc.
  • Oklahoma State University hosts a scholarship chair chapter office training to share successes & challenges.

Resources: 

  • Butler University hosts a Midnight Breakfast each finals week—free breakfast in dining halls served by faculty & staff, learning resource center is on-site distributing study tips, give-aways and tutoring opportunities.
  • Missouri State University’s fraternity/sorority life office implemented a tutoring program for students struggling academically.
  • We encourage all chapters that have physical chapter space to expand quiet space availability on campus and encourage enforcement in chapter houses during mid-terms and finals week. Indiana University’s large chapter houses do this each semester.

Faculty Advisors/Faculty Relations: 

  • University of Central Florida hosts roundtables for advisors with a topic of scholarship each semester.
  • The Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter at the University of Iowa created a faculty/staff appreciation award for individuals who help contribute to the academic success of their members, chapters & community.
  • The Gamma Sigma Alpha chapter hosts quarterly faculty dinners with students at Northwestern University.
  • Elmhurst College hosts a Faculty Appreciation Day throughout the Fraternity/Sorority community, encouraging students to send thank you notes, post signs in faculty lounges, tweet or utilize social media to spread appreciation.

Community Culture:

  • Many communities, including the University of Louisiana at Monroe, publish grade ‘rankings’ of Greek-letter organizations as a way of recognition, we encourage you to incorporate these statistics into recruitment materials.
  • Do not only recognize highest GPA—also recognized most improved and encourage chapters to recognize individuals for most improved in their chapters
  • Brenau University hosts a Study-a-thon each semester. The University of San Diego does this with free chair massages to increase student attendance. We encourage all communities to host a social freeze during ‘dead’ week which NO SOCIAL EVENTS may be scheduled.
  • Integrate an academic focused event into Greek Week (tutoring circles, study hours with snacks, Greek Assembly with speaker on tips to be a better student
  • Conduct a “Letters in the Library” campaign—encouraging members to wear their lettered attire to study in the library and record their study hours in a binder at the library desk. At the end of the semester, award the chapter that had the most study hours to member ratio. Drake University did this and the program was so successful they now also host ‘Letters in the Gym” to encourage healthy lifestyles!

Do you have a ‘best practice’ to add to our list? Tweet, post on Facebook or comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted: February 16th, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Central Awards Announced at CFLNBGLC

For the past 11 years Gamma Sigma Alpha has honored those schools whose fraternity and sorority GPA is at or above their undergraduate counterparts.  This elite group of schools represents the top 5% of schools throughout the country.

Begun in 2000, the Gamma Sigma Alpha regional GPA competition seeks to recognize those schools within the Central region whose fraternity and sorority GPA is the greatest above their undergraduate GPA. Schools who have already submitted their GPA information are featured on our Honor Roll and provided a certificate. If the Fraternity/Sorority GPA on your campus is higher than your all-undergraduate GPA, you can submit your grades through the end of the semester to be included in the HONOR ROLL. Submit grade information here.

Awards were announced today at the Central Fraternal Leadership Conference/National Black Leadership Conference in St. Louis, MO. The institution receiving the award for the Spring 2011 academic period is ALSO our winner for the Fall 2011 academic period. The winner is Oklahoma State University.

The 2011 Honor Roll Recipients for the Central region are:

Albion College (Spring & Fall)

Ball State University (Spring & Fall)

Binghamton University (Fall)

Case Western Reserve University (Spring & Fall)

Eastern Illinois University (Spring & Fall)

Elmhurst College (Spring & Fall)

Longwood University (Fall)

Missouri State University (Fall)

Northwestern University (Spring & Fall)

Oklahoma State University (Spring & Fall)

Pennsylvania State University (Spring & Fall)

Rutgers University, New Brunswick (Spring & Fall)

University of Illinois (Spring & Fall)

University of Iowa (Spring)

University of Michigan (Spring & Fall)

University of Washington (Spring & Fall)

Wittenberg University (Spring & Fall)

Stay tuned–NGLA Conference is next week and we’ll be announcing our regional winners there and online! To stay updated, follow Gamma Sigma Alpha on Facebook & Twitter.

Posted: February 10th, 2012 in Academic Achievement, GSA News | 1 Comment »

Who needs a scholarship plan?

This time of year, students are beginning new terms as council leaders. Your governing council may have a dedicated position for scholarship, as we recommend, or the responsibility of scholarship oversight falls into another job description. Either way, reviewing/revising or creating a scholarship program is a good place to start.

In order to assess strengths & weaknesses, in terms of academic achievement on your campus, complete the Fraternity/Sorority Community Academic Report Card. This report card is easy to complete and can be done during a one-on-one meeting with an advisor or during an executive council meeting. It can also be translated and used by each chapter on your campus if desired. The report card divides scholarship into five categories: Standards & Policies, Scholarship Program, Resources, Faculty Advisor/Relations and Community Culture. After completing the report card, review each category and determine successes & challenges and determine a single change in each category that could be implemented into the community.

Try to ensure that the change can be translated into a SMART goal. This is easily defined as a goal that is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action Oriented
  • Realistic
  • Timely
Simply stating, “We want to reach out to more faculty mentors” isn’t a SMART goal. However, rephrasing it to say “The IFC Council will recruit a faculty member to serve as a scholastic mentor for each of our chapters on campus by the end of Spring semester,” meets all of the characteristics above.
When you determine a change goal as well as some successes for each category of the report card, a revised/updated or new scholarship plan can be drafted. Ensure that you are inclusive of all parties involved in implementing the plan during the creation process. This may include faculty, staff, seniors, new members, council officers, etc. If you are not inclusive, implementation becomes nearly impossible. Utilize the honor societies on campus to have this dialogue and if you don’t have an honor society on campus, adding that as a change goal is an important step. These organizations demonstrate that students can achieve balance among academics and other extracurriculars.
 
Remember that any change on campus is a marathon, not a sprint. Know you can make a difference, but it takes time and commitment. Gamma Sigma Alpha is happy to help review scholarship plans from any campus and assist in any way we can. Visit www.gammasigmaalpha.org for additional resources. Stay tuned for some ‘best practices’ in each category of the report card to be highlighted on this blog next week! Follow GSA on twitter or Facebook to stay updated!
Posted: February 1st, 2012 in Academic Achievement | 1 Comment »