House Cabinet - Academic Chair

General Position Responsibilities

**Please note that these are suggestions, and not requirements
  • Designs and implements an academic success program for the house.
  • Arranges for guest speakers to give presentations on academic success to the house.
  • Arranges for guest speakers to give presentations on career planning to the house.
  • Maintains a list of house members' classes, and helps to arrange study groups.
  • Works with the cabinet and the house members to set a house GPA goal.
  • Recognizes house members who achieve their academic goals.

An Academic Chair should know:

  1. The location of the Academic Success Center(Student Services Building).
  2. The location of the Career Services Offices.
  3. How to apply or nominate students for Order of Rose and Chessman (ORC) Of-The-Month Awards.

Academic Chair FAQs:

What are the elements of a successful house scholarship program?
A good house scholarship program has two factors:
  1. educational programs/activities that are focused on academic success
  2. a house environment that fosters academic success
What are some ideas for academic initiatives?
There are many good topics for an educational program that are academically related, including:
  • Study skills
  • Time and Stress management
  • Test-taking strategies
  • Campus resources
  • Career planning
Setting academic goals is an important way for students to stay committed to their scholarship. At an early house meeting, have each member set three academic goals (including a GPA they would like to attain). Each member should then share their goals with a partner, who will hold them accountable for reaching their goals.
Competition between house members can sometimes help motivate them to study and succeed. Design a points process in which house members get points for getting A's and B's on tests, going to class, attending an educational program on academics, meeting their professors, reaching their GPA goal, etc. This would require some organization and good record-keeping on your part!
Give out a scholar-of-the-week award at each house meeting.
Provide candy at house meetings for any house member who brings evidence that they scored an "A" or "B" on a big test or paper.
Walk around one night a week and give candy to anyone who is visibly studying.
Post a list with all of the house members' majors and classes - this can be used to form study groups and tutoring within the house.
Invite a faculty member to a house meeting once per semester to give a short talk or answer questions on his/her particular field of study.
One of the biggest influences on poor academic achievement is skipping class. A traditional method for changing this behavior is a "skip jar." At each house meeting, house members should pay a dollar for each class they skipped that week. The money can then be used on academic initiatives or rewards for academic achievement. The skip jar is based on the honor system, and students don't have to pay. However, peer pressure can be a powerful thing!
Where can I find speakers and resources on academic success?
ISU has a great resource - the Academic Success Center. The center can help students find tutors, Supplemental Instruction sessions, and handouts and resources for academics. The staff members can provide programs on a variety of topics as well. The Academic Success Center is located in 1076 Student Services Building. Their website address is:
How can I get house members to care about their academic achievements?
Awards and recognition can often influence students to try harder on their academic performance.
Bring in a guest speaker who can talk about the importance of good grades. For instance, a speaker from the corporate world who can talk about the influence of GPA in their hiring decisions can be very motivational.
Invite house alumni back to talk about what they wish they had known in their freshman year. Older residents on the house could also do this.
Make sure students are aware of the GPA requirements for particular colleges.
How can I recognize academic achievement on my house?
House awards, such as scholar-of-the-week, can help motivate students to succeed.
Walk around one night a week and give candy to anyone who is visibly studying.
Nominate students for an award from the Order of the Rose and Chessman (ORC). ORC is a academic/leadership honorary that gives out monthly awards to houses, halls, programs, and individuals. Award submissions are available on the ORC website, at:
How can I help develop a strong academic environment on my house?
The academic environment can be influenced by many factors. Ask yourself some of the following questions, in order to assess the academic environment on your house:
  • How often are academics mentioned at house meetings?
  • If your friends visited to the floor, would they get the impression that academics are important?
  • Is your house typically quiet at night?
  • Is the den usually used for studying?
  • Is there a lot of visible studying?
  • Do most of the house members attend class regularly?
Encourage the use of the house den for studying. Students may be more apt to study if they see their peers doing it.
Make sure that academics are brought up at least once at each house meeting.
Work with you CA to enforce quiet hours.
Have at least one educational program on academics each semester.
Set up a bulletin board, on which house members can post tests and papers which they scored well on.