The first Sigma Chi Leadership Training Workshop occurred at Bowling Green State University from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, 1947. There were a total of 215 delegates in attendance from 82 of our 108 undergraduate chapters. The topics covered included recruitment, pledge training, chapter accounting methods, preparation of the yearly budget, interpretation of the Ritual, campus and alumni relations, and chapter publications. This event marked the beginning of the Sigma Chi Leadership Journey, with this event evolving into the Krach Transformational Leaders Workshop we know today.
Sigma Chi began heavily investing in leadership development programming in 1998, beginning with the Horizons Huntsman Leadership Summit at the Snowbird Ski Resort in Snowbird, Utah. Horizons was originally built as a sophomore leadership program; however it has evolved into an annual six-day, intensive, interactive, values-based leadership experience for 240 sophomores and juniors. It focuses on developing emerging leaders and continues with long-distance coaching back on campus and in the community.
Sigma Chi’s educational programming began to take shape with the establishment of SCLI in 2007.
The Mission 365 character-based recruitment curriculum first launched in 2010. The current iteration provides chapter members with practical suggestions and tools to elevate recruitment efforts in the Quest for the Best on campus. Additional modules include Selecting Men of Character, Building Enduring Friendships, The Spirit of Sigma Chi, and Marketing our Differentiators.
Launched in 2015, Sigma Chi’s award-winning Preparation for Brotherhood (P4B) curriculum is a revolutionary and interactive five-week program that combines new member education, the Fraternity’s best leadership activities and literary exercises, and Sigma Chi’s core values in a blended learning approach.
For the past 25 years, Sigma Chi has deployed alcohol and drug education to its members. Created in 2019, the Values-Based Decision Making curriculum is comprised of a core learning experience and seven electives that address accountability and other challenging issues facing our Greek-letter communities (i.e., hazing, alcohol, drug use, sexual assault, etc.) from a positive behavioral approach.
Sigma Chi Leadership Institute, in direct partnership with the Sigma Chi Fraternity and Foundation, is the only Greek-letter educational institution to acquire a professional training company that helps develop the soft skills and leadership potential of young people. For more than 20 years, Sigma Chi has relied on the tried and tested leadership programming and curriculum from Footprints Consulting and Training, which has been proven effective at Fortune 500 companies like Toyota, Kimberly-Clark, American Express and General Mills. SCLI officially acquired Footprints in October 2018 and immediately inherited more than 13,000 pieces of unique curricula that cover key topics such as leading change, communication and team dynamics, facilitation and presentation skill development, strategic planning and problem-solving, and coaching and mentoring strategies, plus many more.
In fall 2017, Sigma Chi Leadership Institute and the Sigma Chi International Fraternity began researching the needs facing its 16,000 undergraduates. One of the main resources used in the creation of the Leadership Continuum was a 2017 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, titled “The Future of the Degree: How Colleges Can Survive the New Credential Economy.” The article paints a picture of what college graduates need sharpening when entering a highly competitive job market. The degree was the standard for hiring post-grad, but now the standard even for entry-level positions is a degree and experience. Advanced research came later through Strada Consumer Insights and the World Economic Forum in 2019, both featured on this site, paving the way for SCLI to develop a leadership program rooted in Self, Others, Action and Community.
In June 2019, Sigma Chi Leadership Institute adopted Transformational Leadership as its educational concept to offer its undergraduate and alumni members. Following this adoption, SCLI and the Fraternity set their sights on crafting SCLI as a separate 501(c)(3) organization, which was finalized in July 2019. SCLI began working with its educational partner, Cyanna Education Services, which helps institutions of higher education reestablish their accreditation and build a solid path toward the future. Under the charge of “Dream Big” by Chairman Michael Greenberg, SCLI provided Cyanna a unique partner with ambitious goals of daring greatly within its industry. The teams collaborated to build the foundation of the Transformational Leadership program, which features eight stackable leadership certificates.
In 2019, the next generation of SCLI leadership was selected. The board of directors elected Michael Greenberg as chairman and hired Jim Cogdal as its executive director. SCLI then recruited a team of professionals who would be tasked with achieving the unique mission of transforming what it means to be a fraternity man. The SCLI staff collectively includes three doctorates, eight masters’ degrees and a certified project manager. New board members who had the requisite qualifications, experience and pedigree were recruited and elected.
Sigma Chi Leadership Institute is prepared to launch perhaps the most aggressive initiative ever undertaken by a fraternal organization. In January 2020, SCLI and Cyanna submitted an application to become a state-licensed educational institution within the Illinois Board of Higher Education as a Private Business/Vocational School (PBVS). This critical first step is to achieve state licensure in the fall and investigate councils that offer national accreditation for institutions. The future of Sigma Chi leadership begins now – SCLI is developing, testing and assessing every piece of curricula to ensure all the pieces are in place to deliver transformational leadership that is someday recognized by the Department of Education to its Sigma Chi students across North America.