Timeline to Become a Chapter

The process of honor society and chapter development leading to chapter application submission is divided into six phases. An approximate timeline for completion of the required activities in each phase is described below.

1) Inquiry and 2) Formation of the Honor Society
Depending on the level of motivation, organization, efficiency and available time of the steering committee and the honor society's board of directors, the applicant group can complete the tasks within the Inquiry and the Formation phases in approximately six-nine months.

3) Operation as an Honor Society
From the time of their first honor society induction (the first step of phase 3), developing honor societies must operate as an honor society for a minimum of one year to 18 months before they are eligible to submit an application to become a chapter. All recommended phase 2 and 3 tasks must be completed prior to application submission. Renewals show evidence of sustainability. In order to document and record the most up-to-date active and inactive membership numbers and renewing member income on the application at least on membership renewal cycle must be completed. 

4) Application Submission and Review
Once an application is submitted, the review process takes about four-five months. This is because several Sigma groups evaluate the application and make recommendations. Applications are reviewed by:

Sigma staff — Upon receipt of each application, Sigma staff conduct a preliminary, internal review of the application to assess completeness and identify areas that may need clarification. The preliminary staff review can take up to two-four weeks.

Two Reviewers of the Sigma Charter Review Task Force (CRTF) — The CRTF is a sub-committee of the Sigma Governance Committee. Each biennium, reviewers are appointed to the CRTF and oriented to the development process. Many of the reviewers have gone through the process of starting a chapter and applying for a chapter charter or a chapter charter amendment. Two reviewers are assigned to evaluate each application. Reviewers are given approximately four weeks to complete their initial review. If reviewers need clarification about information submitted on the application, staff will send the applicant a clarification request. The applicant's response is then sent back to the reviewers to complete the review and make a recommendation to approve or not approve the application. Clarification requests can add another two-four weeks to the process.

Charter Review Task Force (as a group) — The reviewer's evaluation and recommendations are reported to the entire CRTF and discussed. The CRTF votes to approve or not to approve the reviewers' recommendation. A report is prepared for the Sigma Governance Committee. This can take up to two weeks.

Sigma Governance Committee (GC) — The Sigma GC reviews and discusses the CRTF report, which includes the CRTF's evaluation and recommendation. Occasionally, the GC will also ask for clarifications from the applicant. The GC votes to approve or not to approve the CRTF's recommendation. This can take up to two-four weeks. A GC report is prepared and sent to the Sigma Board of Directors six weeks in advance of the Sigma Board of Directors meeting.

Sigma Board of Directors (BOD) — At the regularly scheduled board meeting, the BOD will discuss the GC report and vote to approve or not to approve the GC's recommendation. If the BOD approves the application, the applicant is notified of the chapter designate status. If the BOD votes not to approve the application, the applicant is notified and a teleconference is scheduled to provide feedback to the applicant. This part of the review takes about two-three weeks.

5) Approved Chapter Designates
Chapter Designates need 12 or more weeks to complete necessary paperwork, compile candidate lists, learn the Online Induction System and plan the final details of the chartering ceremony with their assigned chartering officer and staff.

6) New Chapter
Once the chartering ceremony takes place, the developing honor society is an official Sigma chapter. Staff will provide information, orientations and trainings to help the group transition into successful chapterhood

Application Submission Date   

Final Approval Date

Potential Chartering Date

15 February 2018   June 2018    
after 1 October 2018

15 June 2018

October 2018    
after 1 March 2019

15 February 2019

June 2019

after 1 October 2019

 15 June 2019

September / October 2019

after 1 March 2020

 *Process and timelines for charter amendments (a school joining an established chapter) vary slightly