Standards of Excellence

The Standards of Excellence program has been a staple of ZBT for years, used as a benchmark for chapter performance and a guide in determining award winners at the Fraternity’s International Convention. Now, the program has been modernized to meet the needs of chapters, colonies and the individuals who review and score submissions.

The purpose of the Standards of Excellence program is to create strong chapters/colonies with a clear and consistent understanding of the expectations of a ZBT chapter/colony. As such, the Fraternity now distinguishes between Accreditation standards and Award standards. All chapters and colonies are required to achieve at least 9 of the 12 areas of accreditation. Officers can review the condensed or full versions of the accreditation and award expectations. Only chapters which meet the accreditation minimum will be eligible for awards.

A training video is available to understand the checklist and submission details.

Revisions to the submission process were made to simplify reporting, provide a larger window and offer increased transparency in scoring discussions. Changes to the program are outlined below.

A training video is available to understand the submission, scoring and tracking.

Old VersionNew Version
One multi-page form, single entry, open mid-spring.One form, unlimited entries, open year-round.
Award submission: Must complete entire application for consideration.Award submission: Stand-alone submissions are acceptable if the chapter meets minimum accreditation standards.
All supporting documents due at the time of single submission.Supporting documents accompany each individual submission.
Submission window: March 1 – May 15, 11:59pm Eastern.Submission window: November 1 – May 15, 11:59pm Eastern.
Score report: Received during International Convention.Score Report: Live tracking document available year-round; final scores sent to officers and advisors on May 20
Appeal process: NoneAppeal process: Optional discussion with Fraternity staff May 20 – June 7.

The Fraternity recognizes the reporting process and required accreditation criteria are adjustments for chapters/colonies; similarly, there is a level of understanding required between Fraternity initiatives and chapter implementation. Further, the Fraternity recognizes there are unique challenges or circumstances on all campuses, and that no two chapters/colonies are the same. However, to be a representative chapter/colony of Zeta Beta Tau, certain benchmarks must be met. Failure to meet the minimum level of accreditation will result in progressive accountability for the chapter/colony.

Year One Non-Accredited:

  • The chapter/colony will work with staff to create a development plan to meet the minimum accreditation level.
  • The chapter/colony will receive a priority visit from staff early in the academic year to review implementation of the plan.
  • The chapter/colony will be placed on a “watch” list for all non-accredited areas.

Year Two Non-Accredited:

  • The development plan will be reviewed and revised as appropriate, keeping the chapter/colony on the “watch” list for all non-accredited areas.
  • The chapter/colony will receive a priority visit from a senior staff member at the start of the academic year and its leadership and advisors will receive specific training surrounding chapter operations and expectations.

Year Three Non-Accredited:

  • The chapter/colony will be audited by the Fraternity staff and may need to present a “show cause” to the Supreme Council.
  • The chapter will be placed on a probationary status and must meet the minimum standards for at least one year following the audit to regain good standing.
  • Visits to the chapter/colony will remain at high priority level for up to two academic years.

Learn more about Chapter Awards,  Individual Award winners and Special Award honors and past recipients.