Bridge to Brotherhood
About Bridge to Brotherhood
Bridge to Brotherhood, also known as “The Bridge,” is Alpha Kappa Psi’s pledge education program focused on fraternal traditions, key educational skills, and local contexts. Bridge to Brotherhood is a highly-customizable five to eight-week program comprised of six educational modules, as well as Induction, the Fraternal Exam, Mid-Term Interview, Court of Honor Presentation, Initiation, and New Brother Orientation.
Over the course of Alpha Kappa Psi’s pledge education program, pledges are introduced to the key skills and practices of the Fraternity. Bridge to Brotherhood is designed to target areas of personal and professional development regarding how to become a principled business leader, as well as build an awareness and appreciation for the history, values, and vision of Alpha Kappa Psi.
Fall 2018 Chapters
The following chapters will be trailblazers for the Bridge to Brotherhood roll-out this fall. Check the list to see if your chapter will be among the first to begin this program.
Area I Chapters
Chapter California Polytechnic State University – Pi Rho
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona – Chi Epsilon
California State University, Fresno – Gamma Lambda
California State University, Monterey Bay – Chi Kappa
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology – Chi Phi
San Francisco State University – Psi Kappa
San Jose State University – Omega Phi
Santa Clara University – Psi Omega
Stanford University – Pi Tau
University of California, Berkeley – Alpha Beta
University of California, Davis – Upsilon Psi
University of California, Merced – Psi Upsilon
University of Nevada, Reno – Psi Phi
University of California – Santa Cruz – Chi Gamma
Arizona State University – Iota Xi
California State Polytechnic University – Pomona
California State University, Long Beach – Delta Omicron
California State University, San Marcos – Pi Upsilon
Chapman University – Rho Chi
Loyola Marymount University – Psi Epsilon
Pepperdine University – Omega Epsilon
San Diego State University – Mu Sigma
University of Arizona – Alpha Nu
University of California, Irvine – Pi Psi
University of California, Los Angeles – Alpha Upsilon
University of California, Riverside – Rho Phi
University of California, Santa Barbara – Omicron Omega
University of Southern California – Alpha Zeta
Northern Rio Grande
Baylor University – Epsilon Eta
Lamar University – Kappa Tau
Sam Houston State University – Iota Sigma
Southern Methodist University – Alpha Pi
Texas Lutheran University – Lambda Mu
Texas Tech University – Eta Theta
Trinity University – Nu Pi
University of Houston – Tau Psi
University of North Texas – Chi Omega
University of Texas at Austin – Iota
University of Texas at Dallas – Mu Rho
University of Texas at San Antonio – Xi Omicron
Boise State University – Theta Omicron
Central Washington University – Kappa Xi
Eastern Washington University – Eta Phi
Gonzaga University – Phi Omega
Oregon State University – Theta
Portland State University – Epsilon Omega
Seattle University – Gamma Omega
Simon Fraser University – Chi Theta
Southern Oregon University – Psi Theta
University of British Columbia – Omega Gamma
University of Calgary – Omega Chi
University of Oregon – Kappa
University of Portland – Gamma Kappa
University of Washington – Rho
Washington State University – Beta Lambda
Western Washington University – Omega Beta
Area IV Chapters
Atlantic Gulf Coast
Emory University – Alpha Chi
Florida A&M University – Omega Xi
Florida Atlantic University – Sigma Omega
Florida International University – Xi Sigma
Florida State University – Beta Psi
Georgia Institute of Technology – Epsilon Sigma
Georgia State University – Pi
Nova Southeastern University – Omega Rho
Stetson University – Theta Mu
University of Central Florida – Nu Chi
University of Florida – Alpha Phi
University of Georgia – Alpha Epsilon
University of Miami – Beta Pi
University of South Florida – Xi Omega
Clemson University – Omega Upsilon
Coastal University Carolina – Psi Zeta
East Carolina University – Eta Omicron
Elon University – Mu Pi
High Point University – Chi Rho
North Carolina State University – Lambda Omicron
South Carolina State University – Kappa Upsilon
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Alpha Tau
University of North Carolina at Charlotte – Eta Omega
University of North Carolina at Greensboro – Psi Sigma
University of South Carolina – Beta Upsilon
Wake Forest University – Gamma Delta
Winthrop University – Iota Phi
Austin Peay State University – Zeta Phi
Lipscomb University – Delta Kappa
Middle Tennessee State University – Zeta Psi
Murray State University – Eta Iota
Southeast Missouri State University – Zeta Omicron
Southern Illinois University – Epsilon Kappa
Tennessee State University – Chi Psi
Tennessee Technological University – Zeta Upsilon
University of Kentucky – Omicron Psi
University of Southern Indiana – Theta Phi
University of Tennessee at Martin – Zeta Chi
University of Tennessee, Knoxville – Zeta Lambda
Vanderbilt University – Omega Nu
Western Kentucky University – Zeta Tau
Auburn University – Mu Omega
Henderson State University – Iota Chi
Jacksonville State University – Psi Chi
Louisiana State University – Beta Chi
Louisiana Tech University – Eta Tau
Loyola University New Orleans – Sigma Psi
Tulane University – Pi Chi
University of Alabama – Alpha Rho
University of Alabama at Birmingham – Omega Tau
University of Mississippi – Rho Tau
University of Southern Mississippi – Tau Omega
COLONY – University of South Alabama
Chapters Formerly on the Pilot
Case Western Reserve University – Omicron Chi
Marshall University – Zeta Rho
Missouri State University – Lambda Rho
University of Denver – Beta
University of Iowa – Alpha Xi
University of Michigan – Dearborn – Eta Nu
University of Missouri Kansas City – Chi Nu
University of Nebraska – Lincoln – Zeta
University of Northern Colorado – Xi Phi
University of Wisconsin-Madison – Alpha Mu
American University – Lambda Nu
Baruch College – Psi Nu
Bentley University – Psi Lambda
Clarkson University – Delta Chi
Drexel University – Eta Psi
New Jersey Institute of Technology – Chi Zeta
Queen Mary University of London – Chi Eta
Sacred Heart University – Chi Mu
Saint Joseph’s University – Chi Delta
Seton Hall University – Gamma Pi
Shippensburg – Xi Tau
University at Buffalo, State University of New York – Beta Iota
University of Connecticut – Psi Rho
University of Virginia – Alpha Gamma
A Brother’s Take on the
Pledge Program Philosophy
Frequently Asked Questions About Bridge to Brotherhood
Why are we changing pledge education?
Alpha Kappa Psi is constantly reviewing its programs and events to ensure the quality of the programming and education is suiting the needs of its members and keeping up with the changing needs of higher education and corporate industry. As the start of the member experience, pledge education is no exception.
To enhance the overall member experience and ensure all student members are provided with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to stay competitive in the workplace and ever-changing higher education environment, the Fraternity Board of Directors instructed the Heritage Center and Management Team to review Alpha Kappa Psi’s pledge education program after the ratification of a resolution at 2015 Convention. Fraternity staff and volunteers spent nearly two years researching and developing the program before piloting for a year to get additional feedback on implementation.
What is the benefit of this program?
For pledges, the benefit of the program is the educational content and the integration to the Brotherhood. Through the program, pledges are introduced to several key skills the fraternity researched and noted as important to excelling the workforce. The specific activities in the educational modules and elective activities introduce the key skills and professional development so pledges have a strong foundation to build upon in membership. In addition to the skill development, pledges begin to develop a fraternal network through engaging with members of the chapter, participating in chapter events, and developing personal connections with the Brotherhood.
For chapters, the benefit of the program is more flexibility in other chapter programming. As chapter officers no longer need to reinvent the wheel for each new pledge class, members have the time and capacity to dedicate more energy into their chapter events outside of pledging. This will enhance the overall experience for the entire brotherhood. With more time dedicated to the growth and development of all members, a stronger, more engaged brotherhood will emerge.
What is the time commitment of the program?
For the five to eight weeks of pledging, the program should require no more than five (5) hours a week of time in total. This includes meeting and elective attendance and preparation, as well as time spent interviewing and networking with brothers. As each individual requires a different amount of preparation, time spent studying for the Fraternal Exam may be in excess of this time frame.
What are the requirements of the program?
The requirements for the pledge process include:
- Attending the educational modules of the pledge class
- Completing a personal development plan
- Creating a résumé
- Conducting an industry interview
- Completing the Mid-Term Interview
- Delivering the Court of Honor Presentation
- Passing the Fraternal Exam with at least a 76%
- Recite the Anthem and Creed with a member of the pledge education committee
How can we add additional chapter-specific requirements?
Chapters have the ability to tailor the program with supplemental elective activities based on the needs of the chapter and university. The program provides a bank of elective activities serving personal, professional and fraternal development options the chapter can choose from. Like selecting electives to earn a degree, each elective is assigned a number of credit hours based on the amount of time required for the activity. Depending on the length of the pledge process, chapters have a predetermined number of credit hours they may add to the program. Selection of these electives per the fraternity guidelines includes them as chapter-specific requirements. Should a pledge not be able to complete an elective for any reason, the chapter should provide accommodations.
How can chapters submit ideas to enhance the elective bank?
Chapters will have the ability to provide feedback and submit ideas for enhancements at the end of each term. On an annual basis, the program will be reviewed, including the proposed suggestions, to ensure the fraternity is still meeting the needs of its chapters and incoming members.
How will this affect our recruitment process?
The general way that you recruit members should not be impacted by this change. If your chapter sold your pledge program as a key feature, you will be able to do the same with the new program. Student chapters should still hold informational sessions and events to promote the chapter as they always have, and they will still need to follow all risk management policies. Chapters should be open about the pledge process and its expectations, but should not just aim to sell the benefits of pledging. Chapters should focus its efforts on selling the benefits of membership in the chapter and fraternity.
How can we ensure the quality of members with the new pledge process?
During recruitment, your chapter should hold sufficient opportunities to meet all potential new members. Through these interactions, brothers should get to know the potential new members well enough to understand their intentions for joining and if they will uphold the values of our fraternity.
It is important to remember that individuals joining our organization do not need to have all the qualities of a strong member to start, but merely the desire and drive to becoming a principled business leader. The path to principled business leadership does not end when you complete the pledge process. The quality of membership stems from the ability of chapters to provide continual learning and growth opportunities throughout the entire membership experience. As always, a chapter should not offer bids to individuals which they are not confident will positively represent the fraternity, but those individuals who demonstrate the qualities we aspire to be as brothers of Alpha Kappa Psi.
How are rituals utilized in the program?
During the program, pledges go through a number of fraternity rituals based in fraternity history and practice professional development skills gained from the pledge program. The first ritual, Induction, signifies pledges have been accepted into the pledge program. About half-way through the program, pledges go through the Mid-Term Interview. This is a professional interview that allows pledges the ability to practice interviewing skills in a low-stress environment, and be provided with feedback on their performances. The Court of Honor Presentation is the last ritual prior to Initiation where the pledge class is split into groups to provide a reflective presentation on their experiences in the pledge program.
What leadership opportunities exist in the program for the pledges?
Pledges can take leadership opportunities through project lead roles. Certain elective options require a number of project leads, and additionally each group for the Court of Honor presentation requires a project lead. Therefore, the number of leadership roles available depends on the size of the pledge class and elective options selected by the chapter.
What opportunities exist for members to engage in the pledge program?
Each pledge will be assigned a big brother to serve as their mentor throughout the program. Members in good standing who have the time commitment to serve as a role model and guide throughout the process can fulfill this role. There are specific points throughout the process where Big/Little pairs are expected to meet, but beyond that relationships can be determined by each individual pair. There is no expectation that gifts are provided to either big brothers or little brothers at any point in the process, but can be given if desired.
Additionally, as the pledges will be future members of the chapter, all pledges, current members and alumni are encouraged to interact and start building relationships from the moment they begin the process. Chapters can add in a Formal or Informal Interview requirement to assist in this process, though the number of interviews is limited based on the length of the program. To maximize relationship building and engagement with pledges, members should reach out and interact freely with pledges based on common interests and the desire to build a fraternal network.
How does the program incorporate chapter and fraternal history?
To demonstrate knowledge of the fraternity, all pledges are required to pass the Fraternal Exam. This is an online exam that tests their knowledge of fraternity history, structure and policies. Pledges are also asked to recite the anthem and creed to a member of the pledge education committee. There is a study guide, practice quizzes and additional study materials available that pledges can use as study tools to feel prepared for the exam. Pledges will not be required, however, to use any of the quizzes or materials and can prepare using their study method of choice.
When providing pledges with the Fraternal Exam Study Guide, chapters should also include information on local chapter history and information. While it will not appear on the Fraternal Exam, pledges will be expected to know the information and could be asked about it during a ritual. The chapter may also choose an elective activity that allows for a deeper dive into a specific chapter topic or subject.
How are pledges integrated into the chapter?
As future members of the chapter, pledges are encouraged to interact with current members and alumni to start building relationships from the moment they begin the process. Chapters can add in a Formal or Informal Interview requirement to assist in this process, though the number of interviews is limited based on the length of the program. To maximize relationship building and engagement with members, pledges should reach out and interact freely with members and alumni based on common interests and the desire to build a fraternal network.
Can we invite pledges to chapter events?
Yes! Chapters are strongly encouraged to invite pledges to attend chapter events as they are able. Chapters are already putting a great deal of work into planning these events such as fundraisers, professional development opportunities, and service events that brothers as well as pledges can benefit from. To further enhance their development, chapters can allow pledges to join chapter committees to start planning these events as well as attending them. They are not a requirement of the program, but pledges should strongly be encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities to enhance their own experience. The opportunities to interact with members during chapter events can help pledges find their fit in the chapter and learn more about positions they might like to hold as a member.
When will my chapter be expected to join this program?
All chapters in the fraternity will transition to the program on the following schedule:
- Areas I and IV – Fall of 2018
- Areas II and III – Fall of 2019
* Chapters who participated in the pilot program will also continue to utilize the new program regardless of area.
* Chapters in Areas II and III may opt to begin Bridge before they are expected to begin in Fall 2019.
What if a pledge wants to drop or we find them not upholding our values?
Alpha Kappa Psi understands that sometimes what looks like a good fit may not be so on both sides of the spectrum. Therefore, pledges may choose to drop at any time if they are not receiving the benefits they anticipated. If it is more than 10 days from their Induction date, however, they will not receive a refund of the dues paid to the Heritage Center.
If the chapter finds a pledge is not upholding the values of the fraternity, removing a pledge should not be the first instinct. Members must do their due diligence in educating and coaching the individual. The Regional Management Team should always be consulted on the proper procedure to remove a pledge from the process.
What happens if a chapter conducts activities or requirements outside of the pledge program?
Bridge to Brotherhood is the official Fraternity Board of Directors approved pledge education program. Holding any pledge activities or requirements outside the prescribed process will be considered a policy violation and potentially hazing.
If implemented correctly, how will our fraternity change?
Alpha Kappa Psi’s goal is always to enhance the membership experience. If implemented correctly, the fraternity will continue to push the boundaries of the value offered to our members and continue to meet its vision of being the premier developer of principled business leaders.
With a focus on Alpha Kappa Psi’s key practices and skills, the new pledge education program starts to close the skills gap and prepare our members for a successful life beyond college. The introduction to the key skills will allow pledges to start their membership a step ahead of the game, ready to use their new knowledge and engage in chapter activities to further their professional development.
By following the program, the opportunity for hazing, over-programming and other risk management issues is greatly reduced. Minimizing these opportunities will decrease early burn-out which will increase engagement and retention in the chapter. With better retention, combined with the knowledge of our key skills, members will be better prepared to focus on stronger chapter programming and education. With more time and better resources to focus on the member experience at the chapter level, the hope is that the student experience will hold a deeper value which will create a stronger bond to the organization as a whole.