The Need

On average, the sorority & fraternity profession experiences an annualized turnover rate of 25-33%. Access to meaningful professional association experiences has shown to increase likelihood of retention of sorority & fraternity professionals (Janosik, Carpenter, & Creamer, 2006; Williams, 2020). The Association and Foundation recognize that the strategic work required of the sorority & fraternity professional is multi-year commitment, and retention of professionals is critical to the success of our industry.

Professional development resources for our professional community are not keeping up with the skill-demands of sorority & fraternity professionals. In 2022, over 50% of sorority & fraternity professionals reported that their annual professional development allocation failed to fully cover the cost to attend our flagship professional development and community-building experience, or Annual Meeting (AFA Member Registration Data, 2022). As the complexity demands of our profession increase, access to professional development resources must match those demands.

Diminishing human capital pipelines into our profession means challenges in uncovering and developing better trained and supported sorority and fraternity professionals. Since 2020, higher education professionals across our professional landscape are finding themselves at a crossroads in their ability to succeed in this work and to find themselves central to the work of our profession. Graduate pipelines into our profession are decreasing (Council of Graduate Schools, 2021), and a strengthening of interdisciplinary graduate education, while also opening up more innovative pathways for professional preparation, is critical for a stronger sorority & fraternity profession.

Students need us to be at our best. Sorority & fraternity professionals across all environments are on the front-lines; it is the student-facing nature of our work, at all levels. This means that they are working in cooperation with students to strengthen their resolve in the face of increasing issues of mental and physical health and well being, increasing debt, and success in the face of oppression. Better equipped professionals are substantially more likely to impact students in the ways they both need and deserve.