Delta Sigma Phi has launched a new assessment model for the 2015-2015 academic year called the Pyramid Program.
The new model is designed to incorporate suggestions taken from students, staff, volunteers, and professionals working with fraternities and sororities, and works to streamline the collection and organization of information in a manner that will enable more relevant coaching for all chapters of Delta Sig.
The 20 components are organized into a pyramid, with the most foundational elements in the base and a new opportunity for chapters to tailor their coaching, called Elevation, at the top. Chapters that come closest to completing 20 components will be considered for a Pyramid of Excellence, the Fraternity’s top honor for an undergraduate chapter.
However, there is more to this new assessment than how the components are organized. Here are some changes that will make the Fraternity’s assessment process simpler and more dynamic than in years past:
Information Collection: As opposed to chapters submitting a comprehensive Accreditation report at the end of the school year, with the Pyramid Program, Fraternity Chapter Support Specialists (CSS) and New Chapter Support Specialists (NCSS) will mark off and collect documentation for as many components as possible while visiting each chapter. Chapters may also submit documentation to their CSS or NCSS throughout the year. Then, at the end of each academic year, chapters will have the opportunity to submit any missing documentation. Most importantly, Delta Sig will be able to better give chapters credit for what they do, rather than for just what is reported.
Awards: In addition to submitting additional documentation at the end of the year, chapters will also have the option to apply for any of the Fraternity’s awards. More information on our award application and new awards will be announced this fall. The award packet will be available for download and from our staff on Sept. 25, 2015.
Assessment: In our old model, two chapters with a 70% score could be at completely different performances levels simply based on which points they missed.
The work of each chapter’s Chapter Support Specialist or New Chapter Support Specialist will be to help the chapter complete all of the components of the program. As such, our focus is to work from the base of the pyramid to the top, ensuring that each chapter works off of a solid foundation, is a solid contributor to the community and has a solid support system for its members.
New Components: Most of the components in the Pyramid Program were transferred from the prior assessment tool with minor changes for clarity. Three new components outside of the Elevation Section were added to the new model and include:
- Chapter Advisor Component – The value of volunteers is incomparable. The new assessment includes some simple expectations regarding communication between a chapter and its advisor(s).
- Ritual Education/Training Component – The Ritual is a defining quality of the Delta Sig experience. The Pyramid Program includes expectations on regular education regarding the Ritual and the rehearsal of ceremonies.
- Officer Transition Component – The key to consistent success for any chapter is a strong annual transition between officers. A component has been added with guidelines to encourage better, more consistent officer transitions.
Elevation: The top section of the Pyramid is called Elevation. This section is composed entirely of new components that have been regularly requested or demonstrated by chapters of Delta Sigma Phi. Chapters choose four of the seven components in this section to complete based on the chapter’s personality and goals. More components may be added to this section in the future to allow for even greater choice in the coaching and assessment each chapter receives.
Resources: The following will be made available to all chapters, volunteers and fraternity/sorority professionals:
- A PDF with a visual display of the Pyramid Program and a list of the components
- A packet with one page dedicated to each component. These one-pagers will include the required documentation, notes about the component and some best practices from chapters across the country. They will be available online or through the Chapter Support and New Chapter Support Specialists on Sept. 21, 2015.
- Nik Koulogeorge, Director of Fraternity Growth & Support, hosted a webinar on Sept. 21, 2015 at 7 to walk through the program and answer questions. Couldn’t make it to the webinar? Watch a recoding of the webinar here.
In 2005, Delta Sigma Phi launched Vision 2025, a bold plan to become America’s Leading Fraternity. The Fraternity’s assessment model has gradually adjusted to the metrics laid out in Vision 2025, and the Pyramid Program continues that trend and offers new ways to simplify and personalize how chapters are assessed and coached.
In the coming years, components may be adjusted, added or replaced, and new options will be added to the Elevation section to provide chapters with even more choice!
As the Fraternity builds upon partnerships such as utilization of GreekLifeEDU, the participation in the Sexual Assault Coalition and the development of the Transition Experience, and as the Fraternity continues its aim to become America’s Leading Fraternity, The Pyramid Program will grow and adapt to fit new expectations for an ever growing fraternity.
If you are an undergraduate chapter member and have questions about the Pyramid Program, please contact your Chapter Support Specialist or New Chapter Support Specialist.
If you are a volunteer, alumnus or fraternity/sorority professional and have questions about the Pyramid Program, please contact Nik Koulogeorge, Director of Fraternity Growth & Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.