Standards of Excellence

Download the Standards of Excellence Packet here. (PDF)


Fraternity & Sorority Life believes that each chapter has the ability to enhance their own organization and the collective Northwestern community. The Standards of Excellence program enables chapters to identify the best pathways to their success while maintaining minimum expectations of compliance and efficiency. This program does not assume every chapter at Northwestern is the same; instead the program encourages chapters to assess, plan, and execute goals that fit into their own strategy for success. Through this program, chapters have the ability to create sustainable positive change within the scope of Fraternity & Sorority Life vision, mission, and core values for the community.


The purpose of Standards of Excellence is to ensure that every Northwestern fraternity and sorority chapter is fully committed to the highest quality experience for each of its members, with particular emphasis on upholding the core principles of Northwestern Fraternity & Sorority Life (Wellness, Accountabilty, Chapter Development, Social Justice, and Campus & Community Partnership)

Chapter Coaching

Fraternity & Sorority Life is committed to supporting our chapters through consistent, intentional conversations about their growth. We believe this should be a process in which chapters continually explore and develop better ways to serve their own purposes and those of the greater community.

  • Q1: Strategic Goal Setting

    • Chapters will conduct an assessment to identify areas of strength and areas of growth. The goal of the assessment is for the chapter to better understand their current realities so that the organization may evaluate how to create a more impactful membership experience. Chapters should consider assessing current attitudes and beliefs, in addition to quantitative data (GPA, conduct violations, chapter surveys, etc.). There are many stakeholder groups involved with the assessment projects. The chapter may include current chapter members, alumni(ae), chapter advisors, regional advisors, and/or inter/national headquarters staff. We ask that chapters consider the Fraternity & Sorority Life Vision, Mission, and Core Values and Standards of Excellence Philosophy when developing their assessments. They should also consider their organization’s guiding documents and principles.
    • After completing the assessment, chapters should utilize the results to create strategic goals and an action plan for implementation. The goals and action plan will then inform the material compiled for the chapter final report.
  • Q2: Progress Review

    • Chapters are responsible for discussing progress on their goals from the previous quarter with their Chapter Coach during one of their two scheduled meetings of this quarter. Chapters should be prepared to share progress on each goal, what additional steps or work needs to be done, and if any adjustments need to be made to their original plan.  
  • Q3: Final Report & Transition

    • Chapters will prepare a final report to be discussed during one of their two scheduled meetings with their Chapter Coach this quarter. This final report should include how the chapter fared with completion of its goals and what needs to be considered for the chapter’s growth moving forward. The final report might also include (but is not required to) information on any of the following: chapter successes and achievements, chapter challenges and areas for growth, chapter impact on members, lessons learned, plans for the future. The report should be no longer than one page, front and back.
    • In order to ensure continuity, chapters are responsible for discussing their leadership transition process with their Chapter Coach. This may include, but is not limited to, items like officer training, creating/updating transition resources, and supporting new leadership in planning for their upcoming term.