Officer Academy, one of Alpha Sigma Tau’s cornerstone educational events, is back January 6-8, 2021. Normally, our chapter officers would gather in-person for this invaluable leadership program, but Officer Academy 2021 will be virtual due to the global health crisis.
Throughout the days, collegiate Executive Committee officers will take part in EQUIP: Officer Skills Training. Developed by RISE Partnerships, an industry-leading organization, this curriculum combines research, evidence, and best practice to find new and better ways to equip student leaders with the tools they need to advance their communities.
Officer Academy Overview
What’s the schedule for Officer Academy?
Officer Academy 2021 will take place virtually January 6-8, 2021. Programming will take place during the following times:
Wednesday, January 6
- 6:30 p.m. ET – Welcome and Officer Academy Overview (Large Group)
- 7:00 p.m. ET – Motivation and Power Law Webinar (Large Group)
- 8:00 p.m. ET – Break
- 8:15 p.m. ET – Small Group Meet & Greet
Thursday, January 7
- 2:00 p.m. ET – Delegation & Know Your Team (Large Group)
- 2:15 p.m. ET – Delegation & Know your Team (Small Group)
- 3:15 p.m. ET – Break
- 3:45 p.m. ET – Shaping Norms (Large Group)
Friday, January 8
- 2:00 p.m. ET – Accountability & Positive Reinforcement (Small Group)
- 3:15 p.m. ET – Break
- 3:45 p.m. ET – Cultivating Alignment (Large Group)
- 4:00 p.m. ET – Redirecting Behavior (Small Group)
- 5:00 p.m. ET – Closing
What will I gain from taking part in Officer Academy?
Officer Academy 2021 is designed to equip all participants with the leadership skills necessary to be an effective leader. While we focus on your leadership role in Alpha Sigma Tau, the skills you learn and develop throughout the program translate to any role leading or being on a team. We will help you establish your voice and leadership style when it comes to solving these common challenges:
- Redefining leadership
- Motivating and engaging members
- Delegating tasks and responsibilities
- Shaping chapter norms and expectations
- Holding members accountable
- Confronting others in a caring manner
An Officer Academy 2021 course will be available in the Alpha Sigma Tau Learning Lounge and chapters from the course will be assigned as pre-work prior to each “live” session. The program will also include large group sessions via Zoom to debrief content and answer questions, and smaller group sessions via Zoom for practicing new skills. Participants will also be expected to complete pre-and-post program surveys.
It’s important to note that Officer Academy curriculum is not designed as position-specific training. Position-specific training courses and resources are continuing to be developed and added to the Learning Lounge. In addition, Headquarters Staff will be offering various position-specific coaching calls throughout the Spring 2021 semester.
How does this program work?
To ensure the safety of our members and facilitators, Officer Academy will be conducted in a completely virtual format. We will keep it interesting and fresh by blending how participants learn throughout the weekend. We’ll have self-guided work, large group debriefing sessions, small group practice sessions, and instruction from our experts.
The self-guided course will be accessible via the Alpha Sigma Tau Learning Lounge beginning January 4, and all other sessions will be conducted live via Zoom.
Who can participate in Officer Academy?
All Executive Committee officers (Chapter President and Vice Presidents) are invited and encouraged to participate in Officer Academy. Regardless of which position she holds in the chapter, each participant will leave Officer Academy with new skills, ideas, and resources related to leadership, accountability, delegation, and more.
How much does it cost?
Alpha Sigma Tau is proud to offer Officer Academy 2021 free for participants that attend the entirety of the program. Chapters that have attendees register but fail to attend all scheduled programming will be billed $75 per attendee after the event. Completion of the Officer Academy 2021 course and attendance at all virtual group sessions will be tracked to determine if registration fees need to be assessed.
How can I register?
Executive Committee officers can register for Officer Academy via Officer Portal under “Submit a Form.” The form will be located under the “Forms that Can Be Completed at Anytime” section. All registrations must be submitted by December 18, 2020.
Note: participants must be reported as an officer in MCR, with the update reflected in Officer Portal, before registration will be available. So if your chapter elected new officers but hasn’t updated your officer listings yet, you’ll need to do that first.
What will I need to prepare?
Each participant will need to complete the following:
- Register individually via Officer Portal no later than December 18, 2020.
- Complete the Officer Academy pre-survey no later than January 3. The survey link will be included in the confirmation email you will receive after registering.
- Complete the assigned chapters of the Officer Academy 2021 course in the Learning Lounge by the established dates/times. The course will be available beginning January 4, 2021.
- Attend all sessions of the Officer Academy 2021 program.
In addition, it is strongly recommended that all participants have access to a laptop or desktop computer to optimize the participation experience. In addition, participants should have a device with a web camera and microphone and/or headphones to be able to participate fully.
Questions about Officer Academy 2021? Contact Angie Bong, Associate Executive Director of Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-613-7229.
Officer Academy and EQUIP: Officer Skills Training were made possible by a generous grant from the Alpha Sigma Tau National Foundation. Invaluable leadership opportunities like this are only possible thanks to donors who support the Foundation. Thank you for empowering the next generation of women to excel in life. Click here if you would like to support leadership programs like Officer Academy.
Participants kicked off their Officer Academy experience by completing a dashboarding activity in which they evaluated and then depicted their chapter’s current state on a number of dimensions of chapter health, including sense of sisterhood, health and safety, operations, academic performance, affinity and pride, and member engagement, among others. Participants then crafted a vision for their desired chapter state and developed goals for how to get from the current state to the desired state.
Leading Your Team: Engaging Members
Participants learned about how to involve and motivate members in meaningful ways through examining the “Power of Law”—a realistic and achievable theory of getting members to give just 5% more. Participants “worked their roster” to identify members with untapped talents and gifts that need to be reengaged through relationship building and then role-played asking those members for help in ways that were specific and personal.
Leading Your Team: Aligning Members
Participants explored the three keys to accountability: setting expectations, communicating expectations, and reinforcing expectations. They examined their own chapter’s cultural norms and evaluated the degree of alignment with desired expectations or behaviors. Participants then brainstormed ways to reward and encourage the more desired behaviors, while reducing reinforcement of undesired behaviors. Participants also discussed member personalities that might prove challenging, and practice skills for caring conversations using a confrontation framework.
Planning and Execution
Participants were challenged on the assumption that “members just aren’t engaged” and asked to consider that engagement is directly correlated to the energy-level and desirability of the events and activities we do. Participants were tasked with thinking through what turns an event from an “energy-suck” to an “energy-boost” and learned specific skills for event prototyping, breaking down the work into manageable parts, building and assigning the task list, and planning the calendar. Put it all together, and you have a recipe for a well-thought-out, engaging, and well-organized event.
Alpha Sigma Tau Leadership: Tools and Resources
Participants received an overview of important Alpha Sigma Tau tools and resources available to help support their success during their officer term. The program reviewed what, where, and why of the Chapter Support Team, Basecamp, Officer Portal, MyChapterRoom (MCR), Billhighway, CrowdChange, Parson-Bishop Services, and the Brand Toolkit.