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Chapter Recognition and Standards of Excellence Program

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has established the Chapter Recognition and Standards of Excellence Program as the means by which social fraternities and sororities will be recognized as official student organizations and will comprise a nationally recognized premier fraternity and sorority community.

The Standards of Excellence includes a rubric of expected standards. There are ten focus areas we evaluate – Excellence in Academic Achievement, Alumni Engagement, Campus and Community Involvement, Civic Engagement, Council Involvement, Education and Learning, Financial Stewardship, Health and Safety, Leadership Development, Membership Development. Students can access the rubric and forms through SharePoint.

Chapter Recognition and Standards of Excellence Program

Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Support

The OFSL is dedicated to supporting organizations to meet the recognition requirements and achieve the Standards of Excellence targets. Toward that end, the OFSL will provide the following:

Programming

  • New member education programs to acclimate new members to the fraternity and sorority community and communicate expectations and aspirations of fraternity and sorority membership
  • Leadership programming to provide aspiring leaders with vital skills and knowledge to become a positive impact on Penn State and beyond
  • New officer training to provide foundational knowledge and expectations to better prepare new officers to lead their chapters and councils

Guidance and Accountability

  • Advising, support, and guidance for the four governing councils, Order of Omega, Greek Sing, Greek Week, and other community initiatives, as appropriate
  • Advising and support for individual organization success, in partnership with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Compliance
  • Oversight of the organizational conduct process of each of the four governing councils, in collaboration with the Office of Student Conduct
  • Annual review of chapter recognition and evaluation of achievement of Standards of Excellence

Resources

  • Liaison and referrals to other campus offices that may assist chapters in providing programming and developmental opportunities for their members
  • Communication regarding programming, outreach, service, and philanthropic opportunities throughout the year

Promotion and Recognition

  • Recognition of chapters who are meeting or exceeding target areas, as well as implementing improvement plans to support those who are not
  • Publicizing a report each semester highlighting important aspects of each organization at Penn State and its alignment with the Standards of Excellence
  • Advertising the collective accomplishments of the community, as well as individual initiatives, as appropriate
Review of Standards of Excellence

At the end of each semester, chapter activity will be reviewed and evaluated by the OFSL. The OFSL will determine the progress and standing of each chapter in all focus areas at the end of each spring semester, as well as the overall standing of each chapter at the end of each fall semester. OFSL and OFSC coaches will meet with each chapter president and chapter advisor to discuss the organization’s successes, areas for growth, and recovery measures. You can read our rubric here.

Process
  • All chapters are responsible for reporting the Recognition Requirements and their activities by the deadlines established in the Standards of Excellence document or communicated by the OFSL. Chapters are encouraged to report their activities as they occur to ensure all activities are reported accurately. However, at minimum, reports must be submitted by the deadlines articulated.

 

  • Chapters must comply with all provisions of the Recognition Requirements articulated in this document to be considered recognized student organizations. In addition, chapters that meet or exceed all targets in any of the ten focus areas will be considered for recognition of excellence in that area.

 

  • Chapters that meet standards across all ten focus areas will be recognized for Standards Achievement.  Chapters that exceed standards across all ten focus areas will be recognized as Chapters of Excellence. Conversely, chapters that fail to meet the majority of targets in one or more focus areas will meet with staff from the OFSL and the OFSC to evaluate and enact appropriate improvement and accountability measures.
Focus Area 1: Excellence in Academic Achievement

Members of the fraternity and sorority community at Penn State will strive for excellence in their academic endeavors. Organizations will provide support for the academic achievement of chapter members to ensure their individual and collective intellectual development and academic success. The following standards will be used to evaluate each chapter's progress toward excellence in academic achievement.

  • Statistics:
    • Previous Year % Community Meets/Exceeds: 75.4%
    • Exceeds Standard: Zeta Tau Alpha
    • Previous Year % Each Council Meets/Exceeds
      • Interfraternity Council (IFC): 77.1%
      • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): 62.5%
      • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): 33.3%
      • Panhellenic Council (PHC): 90%
Focus Area 1
Standard Method of Submission Deadline
Chapter GPA at or above peer group average Reported by the OFSL End of Each Semester
Chapter New Member GPA at or above peer average Reported by the OFSL End of Each Semester
Chapter GPA at or above Council average Reported by the OFSL End of Each Semester
Academic Achievement Plan OrgCentral Form March 1

 

Focus Area 2: Excellence in Alumni Engagement

Fraternities and sororities are most successful when the maintain an active and positive relationship with their respective alumni and graduate chapters. The University believes that fraternities and sororities should discover and implement opportunities for alumni and graduate chapter members to remain involved in and informed of chapter activities. The following standards will be used to evaluate each chapter's progress toward excellence in alumni engagement.

  • Statistics:
    • Previous Year % Community Meets/Exceeds: 37.7%
    • Exceeds Standard: Delta Zeta
    • Previous Year % Each Council Meets/Exceeds
      • Interfraternity Council (IFC): 22.9%
      • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): 37.5%
      • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): 16.7%
      • Panhellenic Council (PHC): 70%
Focus Area 2
Standard Method of Submission Deadline
Alumni Engagement Plan OrgCentral Form March 1
Chapter provides alumni members opportunities to engage in chapter activities or remain informed of chapter life and events OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10

 

Focus Area 3: Excellence in Campus and Community Involvement

Members in the fraternity and sorority community will participate in activities that help them to build positive relationships and learn about various areas and individuals throughout the Penn State and State College community. The following standards will be used to evaluate each chapter's progress toward excellence in campus and community involvement.

  • Statistics:
    • Previous Year % Community Meets/Exceeds: 15.9%
    • Exceeds Standard: Delta Zeta, Lambda Theta Alpha, Sigma Alpha
    • Previous Year % Each Council Meets/Exceeds
      • Interfraternity Council (IFC): 8.6%
      • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): 0%
      • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): 0%
      • Panhellenic Council (PHC): 40%
Focus Area 3
Standard Method of Submission Deadline
Chapter engages in University or State College community events focused on campus pride and traditions, career and academic enhancement, and diversity and inclusion OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10
Chapter members participate in student organizations, campus leadership opportunities, or challenging academic activities outside of their fraternity or sorority (ex. new student orientation, housing and residence life, honors college, undergraduate research) OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10

 

Focus Area 4: Excellence in Civic Engagement

Members in the fraternity and sorority community will participate in activities that allow them to become positively engaged in and give back to their local, state, national, and global communities. This includes involvement in community service, service-learning, and philanthropic activities. The following standards will be used to evaluate each chapter's progress toward excellence in civic engagement.

  • Statistics:
    • Previous Year % Community Meets/Exceeds: 5.8%
    • Exceeds Standard: Delta Zeta
    • Previous Year % Each Council Meets/Exceeds
      • Interfraternity Council (IFC): 0%
      • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): 0%
      • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): 0%
      • Panhellenic Council (PHC): 20%
Focus Area 4
Standard Method of Submission Deadline
Chapter members participate in hands-on community service opportunities OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10
Chapter collectively engages in community service projects OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10
Chapter members raise money or goods to donate to worthwhile causes OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10
Chapter collectively implements philanthropic events and develops goals for funds raised OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10

 

Focus Area 5: Excellence in Council Involvement

Fraternities and sororities are most successful when they maintain positive and supportive relationships with chapters across all four fraternity and sorority governing councils at Penn State. The University believes that fraternities and sororities should collaborate with their inter/national organizations and actively participate in their respective governing council. The following standards will be used to evaluate each chapter's progress toward excellence in council involvement.

  • Statistics:
    • Previous Year % Community Meets/Exceeds: 2.9%
    • Exceeds Standard: Delta Zeta
    • Previous Year % Each Council Meets/Exceeds
      • Interfraternity Council (IFC): 0%
      • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): 12.5%
      • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): 0%
      • Panhellenic Council (PHC): 5%
Focus Area 5
Standard Method of Submission Deadline
Chapter is recognized and maintains good standing with a governing council (IFC, MGC, NPHC, PHC) Reported by Governing Council End of Fall Semester
Chapter participates in events with each governing council and/or chapters from each governing council OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10

 

Focus Area 6: Excellence in Education and Learning

Fraternities and sororities at Penn State will enhance their members' individual and personal development by providing high-impact experiences and learning opportunities. These activities should promote leadership, self-awareness, teamwork, critical thinking, cultural competence, creativity, and intellectual growth. The following standards will be used to evaluate each chapter's progress toward excellence in education and learning.

  • Statistics:
    • Previous Year % Community Meets/Exceeds: 15.9%
    • Exceeds Standard: Lambda Sigma Upsilon, Sigma Alpha
    • Previous Year % Each Council Meets/Exceeds
      • Interfraternity Council (IFC): 0%
      • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): 25%
      • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): 0%
      • Panhellenic Council (PHC): 45%
Focus Area 6
Standard Method of Submission Deadline
Chapter engages in educational programs addressing healthy relationships, diversity and inclusion, alcohol and other drugs, hazing, mental health, values alignment, accountability, or bystander intervention OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10
Engagement in required First Semester of Membership Experience education programs sponsored by the OFSL (ex. New Member Academy, Sexual Violence Prevention Education, Alcohol Skills Training Program) Reported by the OFSL End of Each Semester

 

Focus Area 7: Excellence in Financial Stewardship

Fraternities and sororities are most successful when they employ sound financial practices that reflect stewardship and create transparency. As a result, members are able to evaluate their membership experience and return on investment. The following standards will be used to evaluate each chapter's progress toward excellence in financial stewardship.

  • Statistics:
    • Previous Year % Community Meets/Exceeds: 18.8%
    • Exceeds Standard: Delta Zeta
    • Previous Year % Each Council Meets/Exceeds
      • Interfraternity Council (IFC): 2.9%
      • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): 25%
      • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): 0%
      • Panhellenic Council (PHC): 50%
Focus Area 7
Standard Method of Submission Deadline
Chapter prepares a budget to present to its membership and advisor for approval OrgCentral Form March 1
Chapter conducts a mid-year assessment, evaluating its financial successes and failures OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10
Chapter conducts a year-end assessment, evaluating its financial successes and failures OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10
Chapter hosts fundraisers to supplement chapter finances and increase member accessibility OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10

 

Focus Area 8: Excellence in Health and Safety

Members of the fraternity and sorority community at Penn State shall comply with risk management policies set forth by the University and their inter/national organization. Fraternities and sororities have a responsibility to create and maintain safe, constructive, and positive spaces for their members and guests. Organizations that are placed on conduct probation during the calendar year due to misconduct or policy violations will automatically be issued a 'needs improvement' rating for the health and safety focus area. The following standards will be used to evaluate each chapter's progress toward excellence in chapter health and safety.

  • Statistics:
    • Previous Year % Community Meets/Exceeds: 75.4%
    • Exceeds Standard: Delta Zeta, Phi Sigma Sigma
    • Previous Year % Each Council Meets/Exceeds
      • Interfraternity Council (IFC): 80%
      • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): 37.5%
      • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): 33.3%
      • Panhellenic Council (PHC): 95%
Focus Area 8
Standard Method of Submission Deadline
Risk Management Plan OrgCentral Form February 1
Engagement in required Risk Management/Event Planning programs sponsored by the OFSC Reported by the OFSL/OFSC End of Each Semester
Chapter encourages members to participate in cumulative programs or serve as peer educators for health and safety prevention efforts (ex. Greeks Care, Stand for State) Reported by the OFSL/Gender Equity Center/Greeks Care End of Each Semester

 

Focus Area 9: Excellence in Leadership Development

Fraternities and sororities at Penn State will foster leadership potential within their members throughout all stages of their academic career by providing and encouraging meaningful experiences locally and inter/nationally. These activities should promote integrity, responsible and ethical decision-making, and setting an example for others. The following standards will be used to evaluate each chapter's progress toward excellence in leadership development.

  • Statistics:
    • Previous Year % Community Meets/Exceeds: 11.6%
    • Previous Year % Each Council Meets/Exceeds
      • Interfraternity Council (IFC): 8.6%
      • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): 12.5%
      • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): 0%
      • Panhellenic Council (PHC): 20%
Focus Area 9
Standard Method of Submission Deadline
Officer Transitions OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10
Engagement in leadership programs or business meetings sponsored by the chapter's inter/national or regional organization OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10
Engagement in required Leadership Development programs sponsored by the OFSL (ex. officer trainings, UIFI, Emerging Leaders Program, Brave and Bold Dialogues, Second Semester of Membership Experience, Recruitment/Intake Strategy Training, Caring/Mindfulness Training Reported by the OFSL End of Each Semester

 

Focus Area 10: Excellence in Membership Development

Members of the fraternity and sorority community will participate in activities that allow them to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to become well-rounded and civically-engaged. Chapter leadership will work with their members to identify appropriate opportunities for growth and development. The following standards will be used to evaluate each chapter's progress toward excellence in membership development.

  • Statistics:
    • Previous Year % Community Meets/Exceeds: 66.7%
    • Exceeds Standard: Delta Zeta
    • Previous Year % Each Council Meets/Exceeds
      • Interfraternity Council (IFC): 62.9%
      • Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): 62.5%
      • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): 16.7%
      • Panhellenic Council (PHC): 90%
Focus Area 10
Standard Method of Submission Deadline
Recruitment Plan OrgCentral Form December 11 (2020), April 30
First Semester of Membership Plan OrgCentral Form January 19/August 23
Membership Development Plan OrgCentral Form March 1
Chapter hosts or supports activities that promote brotherhood/sisterhood and spending quality time with other members (ex. intramural teams, chapter retreats, movie nights) OrgCentral Form April 30/December 10

 

Chapter Recovery Measures

Recovery measures are intended to provide support and guidance for chapters that are not meeting a majority of the targets in one or more of the focus areas. The following table provides an overview of the action a chapter should expect:

Target Deficiency Corrective Action
Deficiency in 1-4 focus areas Chapter works with OFSL to create a recovery plan addressing area(s) of deficiency
Deficiency in 5 or more focus areas Chapter made insufficient progress toward minimum standards and works with OFSL to create a recovery plan addressing areas of deficiency
Deficiency in 5 or more focus areas (consecutive years with no improvement Chapter made insufficient progress toward minimum standards and must participate in a conversation with the OFSL, respective governing council president or designated officer, chapter advisor, inter/national organization representative, and any other relevant stakeholders to demonstrate commitment to remain recognized at Penn State. Following the conversation, the OFSL and respective governing council president or designated officer will determine the status of the chapter moving forward. University recognition may be withdrawn. If recognition is not withdrawn, specific requirements will be developed that are designed to help the chapter address the most significant deficiencies. Failure to adhere to these requirements will result in loss of recognition.

 

Overall Achievement and Excellence Awards

Standards Excellence Award (Meets/Exceeds 6+ Focus Areas)

  • Delta Zeta (10)
  • Sigma Alpha (8)
  • Lambda Sigma Upsilon (8)
  • Lambda Theta Alpha (7)
  • Phi Sigma Sigma (7)

Standards Achievement Award (Meets 6+ Focus Areas)

  • Sigma Sigma Sigma (8)
  • Alpha Delta Pi (7)
  • Alpha Xi Delta (6)
  • Chi Phi (6)
  • Delta Phi Epsilon (6)
  • Kappa Delta (6)
  • Omega Phi Alpha (6)