Sigma Phi Epsilon is committed to "Building Balanced Men" as they navigate the most transformative time in their lives, their college years. Establishing, sustaining and expanding SigEp’s vital partnership with its host institutions is the key to creating an educational experience that enables our brothers to be their best. SigEp strives to:
- Complement the classroom and campus experience
- Engage academic faculty and professional staff in the experience
- Prepare young men for life after college
Complement the classroom and campus experience
A college man will spend approximately 19,200 hours, the equivalent of 800 days, outside of the classroom during four years on campus. And it increases from there for those who need more time to complete their degree. That unstructured, out-of-classroom time has become a challenge for today’s young men who leave a highly structured and supervised high school lifestyle to face the many distractions and tough choices that college can bring. A number of trends show that college men are falling behind in taking advantage of their college experience.
- College men study less, miss class more, and complete homework less often than women (Kellom, 2004; Sax & Arms, 2004).
- Women now earn the overwhelming majority of campus academic honors and do better on standardized tests than their male counterparts (Kimmel, 2004).
- Men have a higher probability to be dismissed from college for academic reasons, and are less likely to graduate than women (Evelyn, 2000; Adebayo, 2008).
- College men are less likely to participate in extracurricular activities or volunteer in their community (Kimmel, 2004).
- College men engage in more risky behaviors than college women do, such as alcohol abuse, driving, sex, drug abuse, carrying weapons, and fighting (Courtenay, 2004).
- Among depressed college students, men are more likely to withdraw socially, try to talk themselves out of depression, and/or commit suicide (Courtenay, 1998).
The research suggests that college men, on the whole, are not making the most of the resources available to them and may be missing critical opportunities to learn vital personal and professional life skills. Skills like critical thinking, time management, cultivation of relationships, identity formation, ethical decision making, self-awareness, conflict resolution, leadership, and perseverance need attention.
This trend has not escaped the higher education community. While colleges and universities are doing what they can to provide an extra-curricular experience, dramatic cuts in federal and state funding have forced campuses to curtail the kind of outside-the-classroom programming that helps ensure a graduate’s future success.
Now, more than ever, SigEp has the ability to impact the college male experience. As a Fraternity, we must embrace this opportunity to complement the learning offered in the classroom and on campus to create an experience where:
- a brother’s grades are higher
- a brother’s leadership and social skills are more honed
- a brother’s problem-solving skills are sharper
- a brother’s commitment to community is deeper
- a brother’s persistence to graduate is greater
- a brother’s capacity to confidently transition into adult life is better
SigEp offers an experience that integrates academic excellence and personal development to prepare members for life after college. Our Balanced Man Program, Residential Learning Communities and relentless focus on academics make that experience uniquely effective in a higher education setting.
Engage academic faculty and professional staff in the chapter experience
SigEp chapters are involving campus professionals in multiple ways. Every chapter is encouraged to engage campus faculty in the SigEp experience. These faculty fellows attend chapter meetings, support academic endeavors, and promote involvement in campus activities. A number of our faculty fellows even teach for-credit classes at the chapter house. Graduate students also support the SigEp experience as resident scholars who live in the chapter house and provide daily guidance on programming and academic matters.
University staff members often serve as volunteers. In addition, chapter officers and volunteers work with university officials to deliver the best possible college experience to SigEp brothers. Direct involvement with campus staff also assures that our chapter brothers take full advantage of the resources and services offered on their campus.
Prepare young men for life after college
Colleges and universities want their students to graduate with not only the highest grades possible in four years, but also with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be successful upon graduation. So does SigEp. Our programs and network of alumni support exist to prepare brothers for a lifetime of success while they make the most of their college experience.