Changes to Theta's ELC Program

Category: Fraternity

Madison Cannon

Zeta Tau, Delaware

If you were college chapter member or advisor before March 2020, you probably know about educational leadership consultants (ELCs) and what their visits to your chapter entailed. Since 1959, the ELC program has provided customized support and resources for students to enhance and add value to their college experience. ELCs are recent college graduates who serve in a visible role for Theta through in-person and/or virtual visits. In April 2020, Kappa Alpha Theta had to temporarily cancel the program due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the ELC program is returning, but it looks very different. Changes to this program are intended to allow the ELCs to focus even more on education and leadership initiatives.

What will the ELC program look like in 2021-2022?

ELCs will focus on providing leadership workshops to chapter members and officers. As a result of these workshops, they can host individual coaching sessions on the topic they presented with any individual. Types of workshops could include CliftonStrengths; teamwork; conflict resolution; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); and belonging. ELCs will be trained to facilitate workshops both in-person and virtually depending on the needs of the chapter and/or any health and safety regulations on campus. In-person visits will be a little bit shorter, anticipated about three days.

What will ELCs do on a visit?

We anticipate the ELC may be facilitating multiple workshops on each visit. It is possible that there would be an all-member workshop, a workshop for all cabinet officers, and a workshop for the executive committee. Depending on the needs of the chapter, the ELC could present workshops for other committees to provide knowledge and skills to address problems, offer general DEI training, or perform small group activities related to CliftonStrengths.

What will ELCs not do on a visit that they used to do?

ELCs will not have meetings specific to Theta or chapter operations (i.e., officer, advisor, or fraternity/sorority life advisor meetings) on visits. Committee meetings will be about workshops or training on other general topics. ELCs will not be trained on Theta operations and therefore will not be able to provide guidance and assistance to chapters in these areas.

What if a chapter has a Theta-specific need?

Chapters will absolutely have organization-specific needs. With the absence of the ELC program this past academic year, chapters have been working with HQ staff and volunteers (something that ELCs previously would have done) to address their Theta-specific questions. We will have ways to determine these chapter needs and to connect staff or volunteers to chapters to help consult and provide guidance and suggestions. The ELCs will be prepared to direct Theta-specific questions to the designated staff member or volunteer.

How are chapter visits determined and prioritized?

We will base our chapter visit determination on a few types of data: annual chapter survey findings, chapter officer and advisor surveys, and volunteer input. We have already sent out a survey to college chapter officers and advisors with potential topics, workshops, and programs they would like covered in a visit. If you would like to request a visit, please let your chapter officers or advisors know.

Will there be different visits for different needs?

Yes; each visit will be based on what the chapter would like to work and/or suggestions from staff and volunteers. In an effort to align with Kappa Alpha Theta’s strategic plan, we are customizing support to each chapter rather than having different “types” of visits like years past (i.e., recruitment, elections, risk management, etc.). This means that a visit could include a chapter-wide DEI presentation, a CliftonStrengths workshop for the cabinet, a conflict management training for the member development committee (MDC), or a mix of all three. Each visit will depend on what the chapter, staff, and volunteers think would be most beneficial.

When will ELCs begin visits?

ELC visits could start as early as the week of Sept. 7, 2021, depending on the campus and situation. Chapters will hear at least three weeks in advance if they are receiving a visit and no later than Sept. 3.

How does a chapter prepare for an ELC visit?

The chapter should prepare to host the ELC for a three-day visit and should include housing, meals, and transportation from the nearest airport. Officers will receive resources to prepare for the visit and members may also receive pre-visit materials. For example, members might receive a CliftonStrengths code to take the online assessment before the workshop.

2021-2022 Educational Leadership Consultants

Who are this year’s ELCs?

We’re pleased to announce the 2021-2022 ELCs! All three consultants will be making virtual and in-person visits this fall.

  • Christine Keylian is a 2021 graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and a member of the Beta Mu chapter. Christine has a background in English and Education.
  • Gigi Gaultier is a 2019 graduate of the University of Washington. Gigi has a background in Marine Biology and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Student Development Administration from Seattle University.
  • Stephanie Mitchener is a 2019 graduate of UC San Diego and a member of the Zeta Rho chapter. Stephanie has a background in Cognitive Science Design & Interaction.

The ELC program is funded by Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation.

If you have any questions about the ELC program, please contact elcprogram@kappaalphatheta.org.