Per the strategic plan, the General Fraternity regularly evaluates the effectiveness, and usage, of the LEAD Program. The purpose of this evaluation is to guide the continued development of the LEAD Program.
Every two years all undergraduate chapters are sent a survey regarding the LEAD Program. This survey measures a number of items related to the LEAD Program. Some of those items include chapter usage, and effectiveness of the program in developing members’ skills and perceptions as they relate to, but are not limited to: Fraternal Connectedness, Accountability and Recognition of Personal and Group Development.
In 2005, the General Fraternity contracted with George Mason University – Center for the Advancement of Public Health (GMU’s CAPH), to create the survey process currently in place.
This independent, scientific evaluation measures:
- Whether the program is accomplishing its purpose
- Curriculum relevance and development
- Enthusiasm and support among members
- Academic respect and support
In the Fall of 2005, the Fraternity began work with GMU’s CAPH to develop and implement the evaluative component. A pilot evaluation was implemented with 30 chapters in 2006 and since that time national implementation has taken place on a yearly basis. Starting with the 2008 survey, an online instrument was used. George Mason personnel evaluate the raw data and compile a comprehensive report, which is submitted to the General Fraternity, regarding the usage of the various phases, comparative data between those groups of chapters that utilize one phase or multiple phases, and the members’ overall perceptions of how LEAD has improved their leadership qualities and skills. How individual chapters, and members, reply to any of the questions on the survey is unknown to the General Fraternity for the purpose of maintaining a secure and scientific measure of the effectiveness of the LEAD Program.
Findings from the evaluative component show:
- Chapters and members who take part in the LEAD Program see significant positive results as opposed to those who do not participate.
- The more LEAD that chapters and members take part in and experience, the more likely they are to:
- Feel comfortable expressing their opinions with chapter members, even if they believe others will disagree.
- Know what is important to them.
- Be more confident in their ability to initiate change.
- Believe that their personal ethics are reflective of their values.
- Have had the opportunity to interact with alumni who have been successful in their college careers.
- Understand that for long-lasting change to be effective there must be buy-in by those affected by the change.
- Have more direction than before their participation in the LEAD Program.
- Understand that it is better to establish long-term solutions to problems than to use quick-fixes.
- See increased participation in their chapter from brothers.
- Develop stronger friendships with their fraternity brothers.
The new redesign of the LEAD Program takes its cues from the results of those 2006-2008 LEAD Evaluative Surveys. As part of that analysis, our members suggested improvements to the LEAD Program including:
- Shorter sessions – sessions will now be broken into two parts, with one portion done by individuals online and the second portion completed as a group with a facilitator.
- More interactive sessions that are discussion-based – online portions of the program allow users to interact with course content in a multimedia format and provide further detail than previous workbooks. Facilitated portions are dedicated to bringing the online content to life through discussions, activities, and personal reflection.
- Updated Manuals and Materials – a wholly new online portion has been created for individual members to experience. This online portion is dedicated to providing participants with a greater base of knowledge. This knowledge-base will allow members to interact with concepts and skills from the facilitated session and apply those skills both inside and outside of the chapter setting.
- Easier access to LEAD and its benefits – members and chapters participating in more of the program and on a larger scale are more likely to: have direction, be aware of their personal values, have plans in place to reach their goals, initiate change, and address the accountability of others. The redesign will provide all of our members with access to all of the online information contained in Phases I-IV, regardless of whether their chapter provides the facilitated session.