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Introduction | Pledging | Candidature | Initiation | Development

A strong Candidate Education Program can lay the foundation for a successful and healthy chapter. Unfortunately, most such programs do not address the issues facing the typical Greek organization but instead amount to little more than trivia contests on history and symbols that have changed little in fifty years.

We're doing something different at the Teke House, beginning with considering what would be worthy purposes of a program.

Purposes of the Candidate Education program at TKE Beta-Pi

  • Indoctrinate candidates to TKE culture and values and those of the Chapter.

  • Create clear expectations of behavior.

  • Reduce the risk exposure of individuals and the Chapter through education, especially regarding alcohol consumption. Enable candidates to identify and respond to risk management issues before they become issues and to be part of a solution if an event occurs.

  • Ensure that all candidates are academically eligible for initiation.

  • Equip candidates with time management, study skills, and money management skills to increase their personal effectiveness and member retention.

  • Create situations and evidence by which the Chapter and candidate can judge whether they are compatible with each other.

  • Begin the formation of lifelong friendships among candidates and members.

  • Introduce candidates to the history, traditions, and workings of the Chapter, the Fraternity, and the IFC to the extent that time allows.

Our program differs from typical Greek programs in several ways:

  • Not everything we would like a member to know has to be addressed in the candidate program. It is possible, for example, to present additional material as part of the initiation experience or in continuing member education.

  • "Pledge class unity" is not an issue. This goal has become a cliché in candidate programs, probably because it is so easy to accomplish. But it is easy because it will occur naturally if candidates are doing things together. More important is the integration of the candidates with the existing membership. In the end, that is far more important than "pledge class unity" that can serve only to create a clique in a chapter.

  • Knowledge of the fraternity organization, history, symbols, and traditions, while not ignored, takes a back seat to programming designed to increase candidate retention and the likelihood of their ultimate graduation. This does not mean that this knowledge is unimportant. However, chapters generally don't fail to initiate otherwise qualified candidates or lose members because they can't recite the Greek alphabet or do not know the significance of fraternity symbols.

Weekly Meetings

This program is designed in eight segments, one for each week of the TKE candidate period. Note that the weeks of the program may not fall together due to to mid terms, breaks, etc.

Each week begins with a candidate meeting that will last approximately two hours, which includes time for evaluation (quizzes.) Meetings are primarily for education and are not intended to be "junior versions" of fraternity meetings. Candidate quizzes are designed to test recall and recognition of information. On the other hand, functional comprehension is exercised and tested through activities during meetings and by assignments to turn in.

The emphasis during meetings is not on presenting material that can be read anytime but on interactive group discussions, activities, and evaluation that can best be accomplished while the entire candidate class is assembled. At the discretion of the Hegemon (candidate trainer), each meeting may end with a gavel pass if time permits.

The presentation and activities part of each meeting are open to all interested members. Members may be useful as facilitators, for example. Big Brothers are encouraged to attend to assist the Hegemon or his guests, to emphasize the importance of the program, and to remain aware of what has been covered.

Measurements of Success of Candidate Education

We are evaluating the success of our program in the long run using objective (except for #4) criteria:

  1. All candidates are academically eligible for initiation.
  2. All candidates are financially eligible for initiation.
  3. No candidate is party to a risk management incident, whether reported or not.
  4. No initiate turns out later to be an "oops".
  5. In the long run, no Teke is dismissed from the university or the Fraternity for academic, financial, or disciplinary reasons or is party to a risk management issue, whether reported or not.

The Legalities

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Write: "TKE House", 159 5th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313-2511
E-mail: contact "at" betapitke.org