Tau Kappa Epsilon expects serious attention to academic performance. A strong academic record not only prepares members for success after graduation, but it also helps them strengthen their mind to the world. TKE will help its members excel in their academic life and assist in their pursuits afterward.

While Recruitment is the lifeblood of the Fraternity, when identifying potential new members you want to make sure these men are joining for the right reasons. Academics must be one of the critical criteria to join the chapter. The Hypophetes and Scholarship Committee should keep tabs on members and candidates to ensure they are keeping up with their studies.

Use the links to the right to help establish a few programs and the scholarship committee which promote education. The TKE Educational Foundation awards most scholarships based on high marks and a commitment to excelling in your chosen field. Remember: You came to college to advance your standing for potential employment when you leave. Don’t make the mistake of taking this opportunity lightly. Frater George Halas (Founder of the NFL, Gamma, Univ. of Illinois) said it best, “Many people flounder about in life because they do not have a purpose, an objective toward which to work.”  

Evaluate Your Chapter's Academic Program

The purpose of this assessment is to help you identify weakness in your chapter's academic program. To use the assessment tool, everyone in the chapter will need to complete the following survey, answering all questions based on this scale:

* Always = 5 points

* Frequently = 4 points

* Occasionally = 3 points

* Rarely = 2 points

* Never = 0 points

Then, collect the surveys from each chapter member and compile the results by adding together the scores for each question. Once you have the totals for each question, sort the results from highest total score to lowest total score. Low scores on a question indicate weaknesses in the chapter's scholarship program. Use the assessment tool again at a later date to see if the chapter has improved.

Do you understand your scholastic responsibility?
____ Do you attend all classes?
____ Do you budget time your time such that studying is completed before engaging in social activities?
____ Do you seek academic help when needed?
____ Do you think grades are important for success in college?
____ Do you understand the chapter laws and policies pertaining to scholarship?

Do you set a personal goal for your Grade Point Average?
____ Do you determine a G.P.A. goal each term by considering a goal for each course taken?
____ Do you write it down and keep it?
____ Do you write it down for the scholarship chairman to keep?
____ Do you review progress toward this goal frequently?
____ Can you explain what must be done in order to achieve his goal?

Are there appropriate systems in operation to encourage scholarship?
____ Are there study hours in the house (or residence hall floor)?
____ Are study hours actually quiet?
____ Do members know of resources available to them for help: advisers, professors, counselors, study skills centers, tutors etc.?
____ Does your study are have adequate lighting?
____ Is there a limitation of social privileges when scholarship is unsatisfactory?

Is scholarship considered in membership selection?
____ Is consideration given to a recruitment prospect's high school academic record?
____ Is a minimum high school G.P.A. required for membership consideration?

Does your Chapter Scholarship Committee do the following (leave blank if unknown)?
____ Determine a chapter G.P.A. goal based on individual goals?
____ Check periodically with each man on progress toward his goal?
____ Regularly review progress toward the chapter goal with the chapter members?
____ Provide a program of incentive and reward for success?
____ Set up support systems to help men who are falling short of their goals?
____ Actively participate in the candidate education program?
____ Provide for the presentation of programs to help in the development of good study skills?
____ Participate in the development of the chapter calendar to ensure that time is reserved for studying?

Scholarship Committee

In many chapters, a scholarship committee already exists with few, if any, actual duties. In such chapters, the task of the chapter leadership is to:

  1. Appoint a key chapter member to the position of scholarship chairman and a group of responsible chapter members to the scholarship committee. An attempt should be made to achieve representation of various classes and colleges within the chapter.
  2. Develop a scholarship program for formal adoption by the chapter. This act puts the chapter's approval and acceptance upon the program; the chapter is more likely to cooperate with a program that it has formally adopted. Research has shown that those chapters who have a written scholarship program earn higher grade point averages than those without a program.

The Scholarship Chairman

The scholarship chairman, whether elected or appointed, is one of the most important positions in a chapter. The scholarship chairman should:

  • Be an above-average student. He need not be the Frater with the highest grades, but he should be a good example for the others.
  • Be able to command the respect of all fraters and be able to relate to the other men.
  • Be an upperclassman with some organizational and leadership experience.
  • Believe in the importance and purpose of a chapter scholarship program.
  • Display qualities of perseverance and determination.

The Scholarship Committee

The scholarship committee is composed of a group of responsible chapter members and, whenever possible, should be assisted by a campus or faculty advisor. The duties of the scholarship committee are:

  • Evaluate the chapter scholarship program and modify or improve as necessary.
  • Assist the Hegemon in developing a candidate scholarship program.
  • Arrange for suitable presentation of academic awards.
  • Interview and analyze Fraters who are having scholastic problems and offer suggestions for improvement.
  • Become acquainted with the services of the university or college to which men in need of assistance may be referred.
  • Assist the recruitment committee in examining the scholastic potential of prospects.
  • Maintain a healthy chapter attitude toward scholastic attainment.
  • Assist the chapter officers in establishing and maintaining rules and regulations which provide proper study conditions in the chapter house.
  • Serve as a liaison with members of the faculty, administration and deans.

Tips for Maintaining a Climate for Learning

One of the most important ingredients for a program which leads to a tradition of high scholarship is that of a chapter atmosphere that is conducive to learning. The type of chapter environment where good study habits can develop and be effective involves a consideration of both chapter policy and the physical facilities available:

  • Plan the activities of the chapter so that they do not infringe upon study time. This necessitates planning in advance so that undue demands are not placed upon Fraters in order to meet a deadline, such as Homecoming projects, spring weekends, etc.
  • Consider compensating a graduate student who could serve as a counselor in residence. This man may or may not be an alumni member of the Fraternity. He could render guidance in maintaining an academic atmosphere and providing individual assistance through regularly scheduled office hours..
  • Make the goal of sound scholarship the first emphasis of all chapter publications, including membership recruitment information.
  • Remember that extracurricular activities have meaning for the individual and the chapter only if they are chosen freely by the individual. Forcing individuals into campus activities is inconsistent with the basic objectives of the Fraternity.
  • The chapter scholarship plan should include quiet hours and a means of enforcement. Remember that the chapter should formally adopt this scholarship plan.
  • Minimize the possibility of distracting noises and interruptions of study from television, radio, stereo, card games and bull sessions through a program of rigid enforcement of quiet hours by the members of the scholarship committee. Make changes in the program of quiet hours if they are necessary.
  • Check to be sure that there is adequate lighting in each study room.
  • Designate, if possible, a room or area other than the library where group studying and review may occur. Keep the library separate so that Fraters living out of the house may have a quiet place to study. Alumni and parents clubs might well provide and equip the physical plant with an eye toward making it a better place in which to study.
  • In promoting a chapter library, bear in mind that the chapter library is not to be a replacement for the university or college library, but rather something useful for reference purposes of a brief nature. Such standard books might be an unabridged dictionary, some of the textbooks which have been abandoned by men in the chapter for use in courses, and some well-selected magazine subscriptions. The scholarship committee might well encourage each graduate to give to the chapter the book that he enjoyed most during his college career.

Programs of Scholastic Assistance and Improvement

The precepts of the Fraternity teach that the primary duty to self, family, college, country, and Fraternity, is to do the best job of which we are capable. Part of the value of the Fraternity experience rests in learning to live with and be of service to our fellow man. The scholarship chairman and the scholarship committee can provide an invaluable service to the Frater who requests or is in need of academic assistance through the establishment of a program to aid those who are scholastically deficient in any way.

The following is a brief discussion of a few topics which may be considered in such a program of assistance:

  • Encourage the members to seek assistance from their professors. As the number of college-going students continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important for students to attempt to maintain a close relationship with members of the faculty. The uninterested or uncooperative faculty member is the exception rather than the rule.
  • Be familiar with and utilize the services of the staff of the university's testing and reading centers. Encourage a Frater who is floundering due to vocational indecision or personal problems to seek assistance immediately.
  • Provide a system of tutorial assistance whereby those persons who are more proficient in certain fields may assist other Fraters having difficulty. Outside resources in the form of faculty members or graduate students may also provide help. Conduct reviews before examinations, particularly in the usual survey courses. Post the names of Fraters who will serve as tutors so that those who are deficient may sign up for assistance.
  • Establish a systematic method of securing weekly reports of new members and share this information with their big brothers.
  • Avoid forced study tables; these represent a negative approach to the problem of self-discipline. Too often, forced study tables are noisy, poorly ventilated, and become substitutes for concentrated individual study, and are seen as an opportunity for a good time. Rather, concentrate on a scholarship program which assists the individual in budgeting his time, in learning how to study, and in utilizing his time most effectively in an atmosphere conducive to learning.
  • Curtail the extracurricular participation of Fraters who are experiencing scholastic difficulty. When this action is taken, see to it that efforts are made to assist the individual to correct his deficiency.
  • The scholarship committee and chapter might seek money to assist students whose only deterrent from completing their academic work is financial need. This kind of scholarship program should not be hard to come by if local philanthropists, alumni, and parents are sought for their help.

Scholarship and Membership Recruitment

The Fraternity cannot act as a catalyst to the educational process unless men who have the basic ability and motivation to fulfill the academic requirements for graduation are considered and selected for membership. Few colleges admit students who do not have the basic skills to do college work. There are certain factors, however, related to the past performance and future goals of the individual which should be considered before approving a prospective member:

  • Appraise a man scholastically as you would socially or by any other measuring device.
  • Discuss with each prospective new member his high school background in scholarship as well as his activities and social life. This is important. Discuss his course programs. Inquire into his attitudes toward study, grades, teachers, and his college program. If possible, discuss these same factors with the prospective new member and his parents.
  • Consider the long-range professional and vocational goals of prospective new members. Do these reflect the thinking of someone who is fairly mature? Are these similar to the goals and aspirations expressed by other members of the chapter?
  • Examine the scholastic background of the prospective new member through as many tangible means as possible:
    • Academic subjects completed in high school and the grades achieved.
    • Rank in graduating class.
    • Test scores in admissions tests, reading and aptitude examinations. Remember this important fact: According to existing research, these factors--high school academic performance, rank in class, and college admissions scores--present the best indicate on of a man's future academic performance on the campus.
  • The chapter scholarship committee should develop from chapter records a set of information on the likelihood that a man will be initiated. One such technique might be the compilation of the high school grades and SAT scores for every man who joins. Then a table could be devised with the expected grade point as the body of the table, plotted against high school grades and SAT scores. Based on your own chapter's norms, you can develop a grade predictor for your new members, useful in deciding whether or not they are a good academic risk before offering a bid.
  • During rush, there should be an emphasis on house scholarship performance. This might include the scholarship rank and pictures of the top scholars prominently displayed, a list of membership of various honoraries, and scholarship holders specifically listed. Such lists and tabulations might be included in any rush book or on the chapter bulletin board for display.
  • Continue to be on the alert for good quality upperclassmen who have proven themselves academically. Many of the most outstanding leaders in the Fraternity joined as upperclassmen.

The New Member
In a recent study at the University of Illinois, nearly three-fourths (73.8%) of the hundreds of prospective new members to fraternities stated their foremost motive for joining a college fraternity was "to help me get better grades." The obligation for the Fraternity to serve as a positive contributor to the freshman academic experience is an obvious one. The reciprocal responsibility on the part of the new member as a probationary member of the Fraternity is also apparent. A chapter's record of high scholarship is usually the result of the type of man the chapter seeks to join.

The scholarship committee should work closely with the candidates through weekly reports to the Hegemon and Hypophetes, which are also shared with the Big Brother.

One basic question which is asked frequently is, "What is the best kind of relationship between the older and younger members?" Some insight into the best approach for the active chapter to take in working with new members in scholarship or any other area of the Fraternity is presented in a study that was conducted at the University of Kansas. The purpose of this study was to find differences in fraternities that excelled scholastically, socially and athletically as compared to those who were not successful in these areas. The differences as described by the author of the Kansas study, William R. Butler, are as follows:

  1. The chapter atmosphere in which new members were respected, accepted, and encouraged was definitely related to high scholastic achievement. In opposition, an atmosphere in which new members were belittled, embarrassed, and made to feel inferior was concomitant with low scholastic achievement.
  2. The new member programs of the high achieving fraternities were based upon a system of management and guidance rather than law enforcement. Considerable opportunities were allowed for new members to become self-directing. On the other hand, an atmosphere in which new members were given little opportunity to take self-initiated action and be responsible for those actions, usually contributed to poor scholarship.
  3. New members tended to copy the behavior of the older members in both the high and low groups. The older members of the high fraternities were constantly aware of themselves in the presence of new members and made every effort to present themselves to the new members in the best light. In the low groups, the activities generally deviated greatly from the behavior they expected of their new members.
  4. Seeing and understanding the new member as an individual who had definite physical and emotional needs was an important factor in the high ranking groups. The low groups had few provisions in their new member programs for satisfying the new members' personal and academic problems. They believed that physical and mental discipline would produce academically successful members. Results showed that attempts to control new members by using a maximum amount of punishment yielded a minimum amount of production.
  5. The high achieving fraternities used methods of controlling new member behavior which were based upon the use of reward alone, or a combination of reward and punishment. They stressed positive inter-personal relationships between non-actives and actives. The low group primarily used punishment and reproof and developed negative inter-personal relationships.

Scholarship Committee Responsibilities With New Members

  • The scholarship chairman should meet with the new members at their first official meeting and should state the chapter's view on scholarship. If the new members are made aware of scholarship emphasis from the day they are bid, the chapter climate in one college generation should improve drastically.
  • The scholarship chairman should consider the writing of a standard letter to parents of all new members explaining to them what the chapter's policy is on scholarship and how their son's academic career will be furthered by his Fraternity membership.
  • The selection of a Big Brother for each new member should be given consideration by the scholarship committee as well as the Hegemon. The person selected should be able to work well with the new member in question, both intellectually and socially.
  • A weekly report of the new member's grades should be required at candidate education meetings, with reports made to the chapter.
  • There are a number of gimmicks which might be employed to help promote good scholarship among the new members, such as steak ad beans dinners, studying with older members, and so on. Many of these are just what the name implies - "gimmicks." They may not serve any useful function. If they do and have proven to be of value, then they should be continued.

Chapter Scholarship: Additional Suggestions
There are a number of different techniques over and above those referred to earlier which have been used to develop and maintain a program of scholarship by various chapters. This list is not exhaustive but may be of some value as you consider ways to improve academic achievement:

  • Have public presentation of scholastic achievement awards such as trophies, plaques and certificates, outstanding freshman scholar, highest room award, etc. Too often the "activities man" or the athlete outdistances the scholar in terms of recognition.
  • Post grades of all chapter members through the use of a scholarship bulletin board with group and individual progress reports through graphs and charts, pair off Brother with the highest and lowest scholarship or Big Brother-Little Brother competition.
  • Give cash prizes for scholastic improvement and achievement as well as for selection to membership academic honoraries, such as Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa, or Tau Beta Pi.
  • Invite faculty members and businessmen to talk on the importance of academic achievement and its relevance to post-graduate life working in business or the professions.
  • Post notices and bulletins about university lectures, concerts and exhibits.
  • Investigate with your alumni the possibility of their sponsoring a "scholarship achievement ring" program. Specially designed rings are available through the Balfour Company.
  • Raise the academic requirements for initiation to slightly higher than the local Interfraternity Council standards.
  • Arrange an annual "Scholarship and Awards Banquet" for the chapter, or for a number of chapters in a district, with the parents and college officials in attendance.
  • Make frequent use of scholarship news in chapter, campus, and local news media.