LSU Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Awards First Ever Scholarship For Highest Improvement In Grades

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Improvement Scholarship Part of a New Innovative Incentive Program To Increase Grade Point Averages

Gone are the days of fraternities depicted in the movie “Animal House”. Today’s fraternities are serious about grades and are implementing innovative strategies to have the highest GPA’s on campus. The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge is setting the standard for on-campus organizations, with a comprehensive plan to help members achieve the highest grade point average ever. The plan includes a series of cash scholarships for achievement, a mentoring program with seniors counseling younger members, and expert tutors holding regular online sessions in difficult subjects such as engineering. The program is the brainchild of Education Chairman, George Owen, a junior majoring in math.

Owen says, "Our organization is like any other business, in that we want to align incentives with our goals. We provide positive incentives for achievement as well as disincentives for underperformance". With funding by the PIKE Parents’ Association, the fraternity offers several scholarships, including a $500 cash award to the member with the highest improvement in grade point average, a scholarship for the highest total grade point average, and a scholarship for the highest GPA to a new member. Disincentives include posting names of underperforming students to a highly visible bulletin board. There are also positive incentives for the organization as a whole: if the fraternity GPA reaches a set benchmark, they earn a social function of their choice, and if they reach the top GPA on campus, then the entire fraternity earns a snow-skiing trip in the winter or white-water rafting trip in the summer. Owen says this teaches teamwork which is a vital skill needed when the members graduate and are interviewing for jobs. “We want PIKE members to be able to tell future employers in a job interview how they were a part of a special organization that achieved great things together”, says Owen.

The LSU Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, also known as PIKE, is also implementing a mentor program where the older students counsel the newer members, helping them with homework in difficult classes such as Thermodynamics and Differential Calculus. The LSU PIKE Parents’ Association is also building a national database of tutors who can work one-on-one with members. Owen says the fraternity can connect with tutors in engineering, math and finance anywhere in the world, using the latest technology to provide online learning to members in the comfort of their dorm room and all they need is a laptop or iPhone and a good Wi-Fi connection.

The Alpha Gamma Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at LSU is the oldest on-campus fraternity, dating back 113 years to 1902. The LSU mascot, Mike the Tiger, was named after chapter member Mike Chambers.

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George Owen
Education Chairman, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity
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