As the president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) chapter for American Public University (APU), I am faced with the challenge of engaging a membership that is located all over the world. NSCS is an honor society that is committed to recognizing and elevating high achievers. Only freshman and sophomores that have a 3.4 GPA or higher and are in the top ten percent of their classes are eligible to join. NSCS offers scholarships, career placement, and service opportunities to all of its members.
I work with an eight member officer board that meets weekly. This keeps everyone working together and informed about society business. Engagement has proven to be a rough task but we have found success.
Our first attempt to engage our members was in the fall of last year. We looked for something that members of the society would rally around and we succeeded when we partnered with the USO and their United Through Reading Program. After emailing our members and using our chapters Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin accounts, we had an extremely successful campaign. Our chapter collected 154 books and we were recognized by the university, NSCS, and the USO for our efforts. Walmart, the Site to Store shipping method, and Amazon shipping were amazing assets that allowed our members to participate from all over the world and save money in the process. In the spring we plan to team up with another group to support another cause.
In the fall our chapter at APU inducted 1,275 members. This was done online through a Webex forum so that all of our members could participate. We planned out the meeting six months in advance and gave our members plenty of notice on the logistics. This is key for our chapter because it is a collaborative group of military personnel and working adults from all aspects of life and time zones. Planners in the Eastern time zone must think about people on the West coast and plan later meeting times so that everyone can be included.
Overall we understand that some people are able to help, and that others do not have the time. The best way to engage members is to keep them informed so that they know what is going on. If they want the opportunity, it is there for them to be active members. Our chapter has given out two scholarships to our members and is in the process of awarding a third. Our chapter is now one year old and growing fast and has some of the best college students across the country supporting all of our efforts.
About the Author:
Thomas Rasbach and is currently pursuing a degree in business administration at American Public University. He is the current President of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars or NSCS. This is an honor society for high performing freshman and sophomores that helps to motivate them through their collegiate experience.