Fact Sheet - Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society

January 20, 2018

Fact Sheet about Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society and Formation of the Pi Chapter

By Becky Duke and Edith F. Miller, Ed.D.

During the Fall 2007 semester individuals at the University of South Carolina began a journey toward the formation of a chapter of Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society. This fact sheet describes a model used by Disability Support Services Director, Becky Duke and advisors at the University of South Carolina to assist students in forming the Pi Chapter of Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society for students with disabilities.  The development of a student based Steering Committee that prepared the Pi Chapter’s constitution was central to the model used.


What is Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society?


Today there are 27 active chapters of Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society at colleges and universities in 15 different states from coast to coast. Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society, the first of its kind in the nation, was established in 2004 at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania specifically to recognize the academic accomplishments of college and university students with disabilities.

What do the Greek letters and the organization stand for?


The three Greek letters in Delta Alpha Pi have specific meaning:

* Delta - D for Disability, but also the triangle, symbol of strength
* Alpha - A stands for Achievement. Alpha is the beginning, and academic achievement must come first. But A also stands for advocacy because students must advocate for themselves before they can advocate for others.
* Pi - P represents Pride, pride in academic achievement and in other accomplishments, not just as students with disabilities, but as members of the university community.

Members of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society participate in activities designed to educate their campus, community and society in general regarding disability issues and the need to apply the principles of universal design in learning. Membership is open to both undergraduate and graduate students who meet the following criteria: All students must present with a documented disability and work with one of the faculty or staff members in the Office of Disability Services, and students must demonstrate an interest in disability issues. Undergraduate students must have completed a minimum of 24 credits and earned an overall Quality Point Average of 3.10. Graduate students must have completed a minimum of 18 credits and earned an overall Quality Point Average of 3.30.

Is it difficult to start a chapter of Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society?

Because of the negative stereotyping associated with disability, students have been reluctant frequently to identify themselves publicly. Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society presents an opportunity to change that perception by recognizing students with disabilities for their achievements.

Additionally, Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society facilitates development of skills in leadership, advocacy and education for student participants.

How does a college campus start a Delta Alpha Pi chapter?

· Interest in a chapter at the University of South Carolina developed after a staff member learned about various collaborative relationships that other campuses built through Delta Alpha Pi chapters.

* During the Fall 2007 semester individuals at the University of South Carolina began the formation of a chapter of Delta Alpha Pi. The organization was formed by April 2008.
* While there are many approaches to starting a chapter of a student organization, the University of South Carolina chose to work through a Steering Committee of select students and a couple of staff members.
* To start, Disability Services staff discussed the disability population on campus, Delta Alpha Pi, and campus-related concerns during bi-weekly meetings. The purpose of these discussions was to form a starting point and structure from which students could work, while leaving plenty of room for students to form their chapter by their vision.

How did students with disabilities become members at the University of South Carolina chapter?


* Twelve students were students were identified by Disability Services staff, and eight students were chosen for invitation to the Steering Committee.
* Of the seven students who accepted an invitation to join the Steering Committee, six remained active participants throughout the process of getting approval for a national Delta Alpha Pi charter and official recognition by The University of South Carolina's Student Government Association.
* At the first Steering Committee meeting, its members were "charged" by the Director of Student Disability Services with forming a chapter of Delta Alpha Pi.


How did the USC Chapter of Delta Alpha Pi develop its meeting processes and policies?

* The Steering Committee began to share their concerns and ideas, which lead to Roberts Rules of Order being accepted for keeping these meetings organized and on track.
* The Steering Committee required six meetings for discussing what they wanted their organization to look like and to begin writing the constitution, and then four meetings for actually finishing the constitution.
* Upon completion of the constitution, the Steering Committee dissolved and became the Election Committee, which during the eleventh meeting held an election and elected the Executive Committee.

How did the USC students link with Delta Alpha Pi?


The students got permission from Delta Alpha Pi to add an "Associate Membership" to their constitution. The Associate Membership allows faculty, staff, and students who do not meet eligibility requirements to join as a non-voting member.

What if an individual does not have a disability but wishes to join Delta Alpha Pi?

Associate Membership allows the Pi Chapter members to say "unfortunately you don't have a disability, but you can still be a member."

How did the USC chapter manage confidentiality concerns of its members?


* Due to concerns of the Executive Board about confidentiality of members, all information about members other than the Executive Board is kept private.
* Over 100 students met eligibility requirements to join the Pi Chapter of Delta Alpha Pi, and 17 students are now members.
* On April 25, 2008 shortly after the Pi chapter received its International charter, students held the inaugural Induction and Awards Assembly. During this assembly, the Executive Committee members took the oath of office and new members were inducted.

Who do I contact to find out more about Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society?


* For further information about Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society contact the founder and president, Dr. Edith F. Miller at This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
* For further information about the approach taken to forming the Pi chapter, contact Becky Duke at This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Where can I read more about Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society and the colleges or universities chapters?

 Visit these websites to learn more about Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society:
* Read the article on Disaboom: Students with Disabilities Recognized in Honor Society: http://tinyurl.com/5g9bsa
* Read the article on Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI). includes http://easi.cc/dap.htm . The article includes audio interview with Dr. Miller about the honor society, and interviews With Laura Sheehan, and Kathleen Magerr, DAP Members
   

Visit other University chapter of Delta Alpha Pi:

University of New Mexico Chapter: http://as2.unm.edu/daphome.html

North Central College: http://www.northcentralcollege.edu/x44810.xml

Clarion College: http://www.clarion.edu/71194/

Missouri State University: http://www.news.missouristate.edu/releases/37406.htm

   


 

About the authors:
Becky Duke
Past Assistant Director
University of South Carolina
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Becky earned an M.Ed. in Student Personnel Services from the University of South Carolina in 2001. She is also a Certified Global Career Development Facilitator. Her interests include academic advising and career development work with students. She was an advisor to the Pi Chapter of Delta Alpha Pi. She was also the Disability Resource Coordinator for students with psychiatric disabilities.

Edith F. Miller Ed.D.
Distinguished Professor/Director of Disability Services
Founder/Co-advisor, Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
Rosenkrans East
200 Prospect Street
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301-2999
570-422-3954 Phone
570-422-3898 fax
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Edith F. Miller is a distinguished professor and Director of Disability Services at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania with over 20 years experience in higher education. Dr. Miller received a doctorate of education in the psychology of reading from Temple University; earned her BA degree in English literature from Gettysburg College; and special education certification, reading specialist certification and master of education at East Stroudsburg University. Dr. Miller has developed a manual for training tutors to work with students who have learning disabilities and co-authored a manual on universal design in learning. She has published several journal articles and delivered numerous national and international presentations. She is founder and president of Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society.

 

(February 2009)

 

This document made possible in part by the support of Lumina Foundation for Education, an Indianapolis-based foundation dedicated to expanding access and success in education beyond high school. HEATH is affiliated with The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Lumina Foundation. No official endorsement by the Foundation or of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred.

Permission to use, copy, and distribute this document for non-commercial use and without fee, is hereby granted provided that appropriate credit to the The GW HEATH Resource Center is included in all copies.