From the North American Interfraternity Conference:
Long-time prominent higher education researcher Dr. Gary R. Pike of Indiana University recently presented conclusions of a study on fraternity and sorority membership at the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence Seminar in advance of publishing these results. The study finds fraternity and sorority members are significantly more engaged than non-members, report greater gains in learning and are more satisfied with their college experiences.
Dr. Pike finds that fraternity and sorority membership is associated with significantly higher levels of engagement on a number of measures including high impact practices, collaborative learning, student-faculty interactions, perception of a supportive campus environment and discussions with diverse others.
Some specific conclusions found in Dr. Pike’s study included:
- Fraternity/sorority membership also indirectly improved learning gains, acting through higher levels of student engagement.
- Despite being less diverse than students in general, fraternity/sorority members reported higher levels of interaction with people different from themselves than did other students.
- Membership in a fraternity or sorority is associated with greater involvement in curricular and co-curricular activities, promotes student learning and development, and promotes satisfaction with the college experiences.
- The largest positive effects were generally found for first-year students, arguing against deferring recruitment until the second semester or second year.
- The findings of this study indicate that fraternities and sororities are not antithetical to the values of American higher education.
- Problems found throughout higher education including alcohol use and abuse, hazing, sexual assault and academic achievement (i.e., grades) remain in Greek-letter organizations as well. Effectively addressing these issues will better allow fraternities and sororities to contribute to the academic and social life of American colleges and universities.
- Full Study: The Greek Experience Revisited: The Relationships between Fraternity/Sorority Membership and Student Engagement, Learning Outcomes, Grades, and Satisfaction with College by Dr. Gary E. Pike
- Items Comprising NSSE Engagement Indicators, High-Impact Practices, Learning Gains, and Satisfaction Scales
- Video: Dr. Pike’s presentation for Foundation for Fraternal Excellence