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Best Practices Library

Intellectual Development

Academic Assistance Campus Resources Incentives and Recognition
Scholarship Plans General Fraternity Resources  

Academic Assistance and Support

ID1 - The chapter has a buddy system as part of their scholarship program. Two members are paired together based on class schedule and push the other to attend class.

ID2 - The chapter has created a tutoring program where initiated members tutor candidates to help assist candidates with raising their GPA.

ID3 - The Scholarship Chairman has used a third-party platform like GroupMe to group all candidates and brothers in similar majors together. There is an Engineering group message, Finance group message, etc. Each semester after recruitment the Scholarship Chairman puts the new candidates in their respective group message.

ID42 - The Scholarship Chairman and Marshal do grade checks at midterms for the candidates. The candidates who have a “C” or below will be required to meet with the teacher. Each “A” grade will receive a drawing ticket for prizes. 

ID43 - The Scholarship Chairman collects all the members' syllabi for their classes and puts together a test / assignment calendar to help with mutual scholastic accountability.

ID6 - The chapter has academic mentors for candidates, who are introduced in week two of the candidate education program. Academic mentors help solidify the candidates’ academic goals and mentor them into the Fraternity scholastically.

ID7 - The chapter Scholarship Chairman has members fill out monthly grade report sheets and professors sign off the current grade for those members. The chapter can determine how a member is doing through these monthly grade reports. 

ID12 - Each academic term the Scholarship Chairman/Scholarship Committee has members fill out a simple survey, the results of which drive 1:1 coaching between members and the committee for the next term. Sample questions include: 

  • How do you feel about your current academic standing? Satisfied? Unsatisfied? How can Sigma Nu help assist you in reaching your goals academically?
  • How do you feel about study tables/study hours? Do you feel too much time is allotted? Too little?
  • What are your personal academic goals? Would meeting with the committee, advisor, etc. help you in keeping up with those goals?
  • How do you like to be incentivized? Awards? Recognition on social media or in the chapter meeting? Prizes/raffles/rewards?

ID8 - Sample Academic Assistance Plan Voucher

ID11 - Sample Midterm Self-Evaluation

ID15 - Academic Goals Sheet

ID16 - Sample Academic Mentoring Program

ID47 - During Finals Week, the chapter enacts a 24/7 quiet hours policy in the chapter facility to ensure that brothers can sleep/study without excess noise in any room of the house.

ID48 - Big Brothers must follow certain requirements once they take their Little Brother. This includes maintaining an above average GPA, holding weekly study hours with their little brother, and meeting every other week with the Mashal to discuss their Little Brother’s performance. This allows Big Brothers to model the way and show the chapter’s serious commitment to academic success.

ID49 - The chapter uses an application called GreekStudy to help keep track of and hold members accountable to study hours, as well as indicate study hubs around their campus.

Campus Resources

ID18 - The chapter entered into 'Grade Wars' with a sorority on campus to encourage brothers to achieve high GPA. The losing organization will prepare spaghetti dinner for the winning one.

ID19 - The Scholarship Chairman coordinates with campus' Career Services and Study Abroad Departments to make presentations to the chapter at least once an academic term. This is also helpful when working with the LEAD Chairman who is finding guest facilitators. 

ID25- Sample Academic Scholarship Application

Academic Incentives and Recognition

ID51 - The chapter makes use of raffle tickets for incentive prizes for high GPAs at the end of each semester. The higher your GPA, the more raffle tickets you earn that you can use to gain better prizes, such as Sigma Nu gear. For example, any GPA above a 3.0 is one ticket, above a 3.25 is two tickets, above a 3.5 is three tickets, and above a 3.75 is four tickets. This helps to incentivize a larger percentage of the chapter rather than only rewarding the highest or most improved GPA.

ID20 - The chapter passes out gift cards to chapter members based on their GPA for the previous semester. The highest gift card is $25 for 3.75 or above and the lowest is a $10 gift card for those above a 3.0.

ID21 - The chapter recognizes a "Scholar of the Week" each week at chapter which recognizes a brother with strong academic performance. At the end of the month the chapter votes on a "Scholar of the Month" from the weekly winners that month. At the Formal at the end of the year the chapter votes beforehand from the monthly winners to select a "Scholar of the Year". Recipients of the weekly award receive a $20 gift card to a popular restaurant. The monthly winner gets a $40 gift card. The winner at the end of the year gets a $100 gift card and his name on a plaque in the living room with all past winners. Qualifications are not so much based on just a high GPA but on positive academic habits and helping other brothers when possible, with their academic pursuits. 

ID22 - Chapter hosts an event called the "Dean's List Dinner" where all members who made the Dean's list during the previous academic term receive an invitation to dinner at a nice restaurant at the expense of the chapter.

ID23 - Chapter has a "fantasy academics" competition every semester. The brothers with the top 4 GPAs serve as team captains and take turns "drafting" the other members of the chapter. At the end of the semester, the team with the highest cumulative GPA wins and is rewarded with gift cards, money off dues the next term, or other prizes.

ID24 - The chapter sets a chapter-wide GPA goal and if met the chapter purchases something to improve the house. In the past this has been a new set of branded cornhole boards, a branded pop-up canopy for recruitment, a new TV for the living room, etc.

ID45 - Members who miss a class must add $1 to the chapter's scholarship bucket at the next chapter meeting. The Scholarship Chairman brings the bucket to each chapter meeting. It is based on the honor system and the bucket is passed around each week during chapter. Funds are used at the end of the term to reward brothers who have significantly improved their GPA (10% to the top 10 brothers who improved their GPA from the prior academic term).

ID50 - The chapter allows brothers to submit coursework assignments that scored an A to obtain raffle tickets (one per assignment that scored an A) and a biweekly raffle of a gift card is done at chapter meetings. 

Scholarship Plans

ID10 - Sample Academic Social Probation Agreement

ID44 - Brothers not completing study hours are brought before the Scholarship Chairman/Scholarship Committee to produce a personalized plan including increased hours and use of university academic resources (writing center, tutoring, etc.)

ID45 - Members who miss a class must add $1 to the chapter's scholarship bucket at the next chapter meeting. The Scholarship Chairman brings the bucket to each chapter meeting. It is based on the honor system and the bucket is passed around each week during chapter. Funds are used at the end of the term to reward brothers who have significantly improved their GPA (10% to the top 10 brothers who improved their GPA from the prior academic term).

ID46 - The Chapter uses the campus roster software to track grade reports. Faculty input midterm grades and members are assigned into the scholarship support program based on class-by-class GPA. The Scholarship Chairman conducts 1:1 meetings with everyone who has a C grade or lower in any class and those members must meet with their professors/academic advisor, attend tutoring sessions, and show progress every two weeks by sharing test/quiz/assignment grades with the Scholarship Chairman and tracking study hours. Study hour tracking requires specific input of not only time spent, but for which class and a description of the study activity (e.g., 2 hours working on essay for English 101). The Scholarship Chairman then adjusts expectations for members in the program every two weeks based on this reporting.

ID26 - Sample Scholarship Point System

ID27 - Sample Scholarship Plan 1 

ID28 - Sample Scholarship Plan 2

ID29 - Sample Scholarship Plan 3

ID30 - Sample Scholarship Plan 4

ID31 - Sample Scholarship Plan 5

ID32 - Sample Scholarship Plan 6

General Fraternity Resources

GFID1 - Scholarship Key Application - Provided by the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation

GFID2 - Scholarship Plan Components Guide 

GFID3 - Role of A Faculty Advisor Guide

GFID4 - 10 Ways to Improve Grades

GFID5 - Effective Study Behavior Model

GFID6 - Tips for Better Lecture Note Taking

GFID7 - Chapter Scholarship Audit 

GFID8 - Guide for Time Management and Effective Studying

GFID9 - Intellectual Development Action Plan

Call for Practices

If you have a great example or resource that you think should be included in the Best Practices Library, we want to know about it. Send your examples and resource to Austin Lloyd, Director of Chapter Services, at austin.lloyd@sigmanu.org.

Additional Officer Resources

The perfect complement to the Best Practices Library is the specific chapter officer resources page. Here you can access additional resources and the chapter officer manual for each officer. Also be sure to check out the following pages on the Fraternity's service and philanthropy related resources: 

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9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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