Membership Education: A Silver Lining of the Pandemic
When I joined the Zeta Psi staff team in January, I was walking into an unknown; and I was doing so with a team who was also in the middle of the unknown. We were still (and are still) in the middle of a pandemic, yet we had a commitment to provide education to our membership. As much as we wanted to jump back into in-person education, the world was still in too much of a grey area. So, we continued to operate out of an abundance of caution and care for our members and proceeded to offer all our Leadership Training Institutes (LTIs) virtually.
In the fall of 2021, Zeta Psi made an incredible advancement for their membership and launched a new learning management system (LMS). This system will allow our organization to take education to new heights. We will be able to offer training to all chapter leaders, both undergraduate and elder very soon. We saw an astonishing number of new members complete a virtual new member education course (Foundations) which not only gives them a more well-rounded view of the international fraternity, but also helps provide a more consistent new member experience for all new members across the board.
The pandemic has caused so much loss, grief, and disappointment and it would be easy to get stuck in that. However, one thing I have challenged us all to do is to try to find good in the worst. No matter how bad a situation is, there is always something that can be learned. As far as the pandemic goes, there was a huge silver lining shown to fraternal organizations: we can provide education virtually, and we can do it well. We were able to offer educational content from high quality presenters to more of our members than ever before. By removing the cost and travel prohibitions, more members were able to learn real skills, meet other brothers from across the globe, and connect when we had limited means to do so.
I am thrilled with the numbers you will see below that highlight some incredible accomplishments in membership education.
Leadership Training Institutes (LTIs)
- Zeta Psi hosted 16 virtual LTIs (7 in the fall, 9 in the spring) covering topics from networking and job preparation to intentionality and ritual.
- 712 undergraduate members attended one or more virtual LTI during the 21-22 academic year, which is about 63% of the undergraduate membership.
- Fall virtual LTIs saw 442 attendees overall while spring virtual LTIs saw 419 attendees overall. These numbers do include members who attended more than one LTI during that semester.
- 82 members completed optional LMS courses to satisfy the LTI requirement.
Learning Management System (LMS)
- Currently there are 1,011 members with accounts in our LMS.
- There are 1,180 total course enrolments across 15 separate courses.
- In spring 2022, 277 new members completed the Foundations course, which is 73% of all new members in Zeta Psi.
I am excited to continue to enhance membership education moving forward. Taking the lessons we’ve learned over the past two years and combining them with best practices we know work well, we will continue to provide exceptional educational experiences to our members in Zeta Psi.
Caitlyn Westfall, Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority
Director of Membership Education