Operations Advisor Accreditation, page 4
Scholarship Best Practices
All undergraduate members of Pi Kappa Alpha are in school to get an education and the ideal chapter will help support, challenge, and hold its members accountable to their academics. Pi Kappa Alpha should enhance the academic experience – not detract from it. Additionally, like it or not, one of the ways that University administration judges the quality of chapter is by their GPA. As a fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha is uniquely positioned to provide support to our members if chapters can organize effective scholarship programs. Below are some tips to not only increase the chapter’s GPA but to also help improve member’s academic performance.
Increasing Chapter GPA
- Recruit smarter men. One of the easiest and best ways to increase the chapters GPA is to increase the academic standards of the chapters during recruitment. To do this, the chapter could create a recruitment scholarship (~$500-$1000) where incoming freshman will apply, list their accolades, their standardized test scores, and their high school GPA. This acts not only as a way to screen candidates but also to generate a list of qualified men who could be great Pikes.
- Remove those with poor GPAs. The Fraternity’s Constitution & Chapter Codes state that in order to be eligible for initiation one must be above a 2.5 GPA. The Chapter Codes also state that chapter members are eligible for automatic expulsion for failing to meet the GPA requirement (either a 2.5 or higher if chapter stipulates) for two consecutive semesters. Many chapters have their GPA drug down by men who have below a 1.5 GPA and could easily be removed. It is a difficult decision, but their academic future could be better off without the Fraternity. Additionally, men who are removed are eligible to return as soon as their GPA increases above a 2.5.
Improving Member Scholastic Performance
Some of these recommendations might seem basic, but a few of our chapters fail to implement event them.
- Clearly communicate the minimum expectation. For all of our chapters, the bare minimum individual GPA is a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. However, some of our chapters might have higher expectations of their members such as a greater than a 2.7. The scholarship chairman, chapter president, recruitment chairman, and chapter advisor should all emphasize the chapters commitment to academics at least once per semester.
- Hold those who fail to meet expectation accountable. If someone does not meet the minimum chapter requirement for one semester the chapter should hold that member to an increased standard of academic effort. The chapter, in their scholarship plan (see below), should outline what happens when a member does not meet their academic requirements.
- Have a written and chapter approved scholarship plan. The chapter should have a scholarship plan that is approved by a chapter vote that delineates what will happen when a member falls below the minimum GPA. Some ideas in the plan could be the following:
- Not eligible for social events unless a minimum amount of study hours/tutor hours are met
- Must show class attendance
- Must meet for individual consultation with scholarship chair
- Assigned to a study group within the Major/Department
For more ideas, please see the scholarship chairman handbook here.