As Triangle’s National Organization began to develop its leadership training initiatives, a challenge was made to the Brothers who were benefiting from the training we were providing. That challenge was for the members to take the knowledge, skills and abilities they had learned and apply them to their chapter and campus community. A group of Iowa State students accepted this challenge and created Leadership Advantage.
Originally designed to help aid a struggling chapter with recruitment, Leadership Advantage has evolved into an intensive leadership seminar designed by students for students. The concept for the creation of Leadership Advantage was simple; because of the intense nature of engineering, architecture and scientific study, students pursuing these majors may miss out on opportunities for leadership and social development.
Leadership Advantage allows students to start developing their leadership skills and knowledge about collegiate opportunities before they are fully engaged in the rigors of college life. The program focuses on developing personal skills, teaching awareness of leadership opportunities, and introducing the university. Additionally, participants have opportunities to explore the campus, spend time with older students and professors in their fields, visit classrooms, and learn valuable tips about campus resources. All of this information, plus the experience of staying at the university for several days, greatly helps incoming students prepare for the adjustments they will make as they continue their education.
Individuals are selected to participate in Leadership Advantage through an application process. Information is sent out to all incoming students in the applicable majors. To be considered for the program, one must submit an application, essays, letters of recommendation, and transcripts.
The Leadership Advantage Curriculum consists of:
In addition to the large group activities, participants are also grouped into small teams of 5 or 6. Each team is led by two upper class facilitators who help run the activities and serve as valuable information resources (and friends) for the new students. The participants usually stay at the chapter house or another facility arranged by the chapter.
So far, Leadership Advantage has generated tremendous results at the chapters where it has been implemented. Iowa State transformed from a chapter below 20 members with barely a 2.0 GPA to a 45-man chapter earning over a 3.0. The Louisville Chapter has recruited 48 new pledges in the past two years, and just this year the Nebraska Chapter had a 31-man pledge class.
These achievements are only the beginning. As Leadership Advantage expands to more chapters, Triangle will continue to recruit the cream of the crop, our chapters will grow, and our members will demonstrate high standards.