Theta Foundation takes pride in and believes in the possibility and opportunities Kappa Alpha Theta offers each of her members, which is why our annual grant to the Fraternity for educational, leadership, and charitable programming is one of our highest priorities. These programs not only have the potential to reach every member of the Fraternity, but they also have the potential to reach well beyond Theta.
Theta Foundation was created by Thetas for Thetas, and we will always work to provide our leading women with opportunities that instill pride in our Fraternity and inspire possibility. Thanks to the collective power of our donors, we have been able to partner with the Fraternity to offer the following programs that keep Theta at the forefront of women’s leading and learning.
Educational Leadership Consultants
Kappa Alpha Theta is committed to providing chapters and collegians with strong, informed, peer-level guidance through the Educational Leadership Consultant (ELC) program. Since 1959, the Fraternity has selected teams of recent college graduates to serve as ELCs. Because these young professionals are fresh out of college themselves, they are uniquely qualified to establish long-lasting connections between undergraduate members, the Fraternity, and the Theta experience.
Trained in leadership development, academic success strategies, professional/career development, overall wellness, and enhanced student learning techniques, ELCs create transformative experiences. Each ELC facilitates programming designed to be interactive, reflective, and inspiring in an effort to preserve the shared Theta experience of more than 250,000 members and to support each member in her academic, leadership, personal, and professional development journey.
Giving to Lead
Theta Foundation recognizes that ELCs are essential to positioning Theta women, chapters, and the Fraternity to thrive in the years to come, which is why we invest in this critical program. Because the program’s administrative costs are not covered by Fraternity per capita dues, our financial support (typically less than 35 percent of the program’s total cost) is vital to its continuation.
Until 2016, the Foundation’s grant for the ELC program had been funded almost entirely by annual contributions from loyal Thetas and friends. Because that model was not sustainable, the ELC program was the focus of the Foundation’s Give to Lead, Give to Learn Campaign. At the conclusion of the Campaign in 2016, $4 million was secured for an endowment designated for the ELC program to establish a more reliable annual funding source. Give to Lead, Give to Learn was an investment in the women of Kappa Alpha Theta and a commitment to ensure our Fraternity stays at the forefront of women’s leadership and learning. Learn more about this Campaign at www.GivetoTheta.org.
Kappa Alpha Theta believes all women have the capacity to lead and that leadership education and development are ongoing, dynamic processes. To reinforce its commitment to these principles, the Fraternity has expanded its leadership development offerings among both alumnae and collegians with support from Theta Foundation.
Alumnae StrengthsQuest Workshops
The Fraternity annually hosts a series of leadership development workshops in cities across the United States exclusively for Theta alumnae. More than 120 women participate in the workshops each year, which are based on the StrengthsQuest assessment tool, helping participants discover their strengths and how to use those talents to achieve academic, career, and personal success.
CEO Leadership Academy
The CEO Leadership Academy provides leadership education and development to newly elected chapter chief executive officers. Using the social change model of leadership, curriculum focuses on understanding effective leadership and offers opportunities to practice applying this knowledge to the CEO role and beyond Theta.
Participants have the opportunity to learn and practice leadership concepts, engage with other students, and have access to professional facilitators to support, challenge, and aid in reflection. The overall goals of the program are:
- Participants will be able to describe the components of the social change model and how it applies to their work as a student leader.
- Participants will be able to identify their personal strengths as well as how to use those strengths in their leadership.
- Participants can create and implement a strategy to lead positive change in an organization.
Emerging Leaders Institute
Theta Foundation grant funding also supports the Fraternity’s annual Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) for collegians. Each year, 100 members participate in two four-day sessions at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Using the relational leadership model, ELI curriculum focuses on increasing emerging leaders’ potential through five main educational areas:
- Developing a general understanding of leadership, including the idea that leadership is a process, not a position.
- Identifying personal strengths and values as the first step in leadership development.
- Learning about the concepts of values-based and ethical leadership.
- Understanding difference and inclusivity to help leaders engage diverse groups of people.
- Providing a framework for identifying issues and facilitating change.
Service and Philanthropy
Kappa Alpha Theta has a rich history of philanthropic efforts and promoting the widest influence for good. Two key components of Theta’s service and philanthropy programming are the Service Trip and support of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
The Fraternity partners with the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV) to organize this annual service immersion experience. Service trips to New Orleans have provided Theta collegians and alumnae with opportunities to make a tangible impact with ARC of Greater New Orleans, KIPP Leadership Primary & Academy, and local CASA programs.
National CASA Awareness and Advocacy
Since adopting Court Appointed Special Advocates as its national philanthropy in 1989, Kappa Alpha Theta has leveraged support from Theta Foundation, individual members, and alumnae and college chapters to exercise the widest influence for good and provide millions of dollars and countless hours of volunteer support to local CASA and Guardian ad Litem programs and National CASA.
Theta Foundation supports Kappa Alpha Theta’s efforts to advocate for CASA at the annual National CASA/GAL Conference. Representatives from Kappa Alpha Theta attend educational sessions focused on the issues facing foster children and best practices for ensuring every abused and neglected child can be safe, establish permanence, and have the opportunity to thrive.
Theta’s Million-Dollar Commitment
At Grand Convention 2016, Kappa Alpha Theta announced that the Foundation will work with local chapters to raise an unprecedented $1 million over three years to support National CASA in its launch of a rigorous performance measurement initiative. This groundbreaking investment sets National CASA on the path to becoming an evidence-based practice and generating new evidence-based knowledge about outcomes for youth in foster care and in the court system.
With financial backing from Theta Foundation, National CASA will create and distribute a new annual publication highlighting the most innovative and effective practices from its network of nearly 1,000 programs serving children in 49 states and from other leaders in the child welfare arena. The first-of-its-kind best practices guide will be a go-to resource for policymakers and practitioners to help generate better and more predictable outcomes for America’s most vulnerable children.
Sisters Supporting Sisters
Sisters Supporting Sisters is Theta’s award-winning mental health education and awareness effort. One of the first programs of its kind in the interfraternal community, the program was first implemented in the fall of 2010 to proactively address the prevalence of mental health issues among college-age women. The initiative is unique in its focus on members’ mental health and overall well-being and is based on holistic theories of student development.
Alcohol Abuse Prevention Education
Many college campuses today struggle with alcohol issues and the negative consequences associated with binge drinking. Prevention programs that address the dangers of increased alcohol consumption are shown to be effective in reducing those consequences by promoting protective behaviors.
Kappa Alpha Theta is committed to providing new members with the resources and education required to foster personal excellence and set expectations associated with membership in Theta and the fraternal community. New member education features GreekLifeEdu, the premier online learning platform addressing the critical issues of alcohol awareness, sexual assault, and hazing. By leveraging the latest research and trends and incorporating multiple evidence-based learning theories, GreekLifeEdu achieves behavior change objectives and helps students practice safe decision-making.
Alcohol Skills Training Program
The Alcohol Skills Training Program (ASTP) helps college students reduce the risks associated with drinking alcohol. The goal of ASTP is to educate on alcohol-related behavior while increasing participants’ interest in critically examining their drinking patterns and eventually implementing the skills they learn. In doing so, students can minimize the potential negative consequences through prevention, reduced consumption, or abstinence. Presenters use cognitive-behavioral self-management strategies and motivational interviewing techniques to help facilitate discussion regarding harm reduction. This program is facilitated in person for entire chapters, not just new members.
The Fraternity’s founding in 1870—at a time when women were not admitted to or welcome on most college and university campuses in the United States—places it in a unique position in the history of post-secondary education and broader women’s history. Documenting Theta history within broader social and historical contexts, the Fraternity’s archive collection enriches the study of women’s history through its exploration of the culture and values of college women and college-educated women. Theta Foundation grant funding supports the staff archivist’s efforts to bring awareness to the general public about the Fraternity’s collection through membership in professional organizations and associations, including the National Women’s History Museum, the National Women’s History Project, and the Society of American Archivists.
If you have questions about Theta Foundation’s Fraternity Grant, please contact:
Gaylena Merritt, Director of Programs