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Local Chapter Development
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Local Chapter Development: Ten steps for organizing

STEP ONE: FORM A STEERING COMMITTEE

WHAT IS A STEERING COMMITTEE?
A Steering Committee is a small group of people who share common interest and goals

WHOM CAN I CONTACT?
Friends, classmates, roommates, club members, people in your dorm.

HOW DO I APPROACH THESE PEOPLE?
Ask questions like:

  • Have you heard of NEA Student Program?
  • What do you think of the NEA Student Curriculum?
  • Are you covered by insurance?
  • Do you know what certification requirements are for your state?

Follow with:

  • The Student Program helps _________________.
  • The Student Program is an advocate of ________.
  • The Student Program offers $1,000,000 liability insurance.

WHAT DO I NEED?
To know what the Student Program is and what it stands for.
To have literature available
To be committed

STEP TWO: ENLISTING THE SUPPORT OF KEY PEOPLE

WHO ARE THE KEY PEOPLE?
President of the College, college deans, chancellors, committee chairpersons, Department chairpersons, other student leaders.

HOW DO I FIND OUT WHO HAS THE POWER?
Read the college governance documents.
Read minutes from meetings.
Read the campus newspaper.
Ask college faculty members
Consult with the former Advisor(s) if there was one (or more).

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I FIND THEM?
Make an appointment to see them.
Take someone with you to show support.
Explain what you are trying to do.
Ask about funding and facilities.
Ask about being a recognized campus organization.
Send them a thank you note.

STEP THREE: SELECT AN ADVISOR

IS AN ADVISOR IMPORTANT?
Yes, they are the most important link between your organization and the college.

WHAT DO I LOOK FOR IN AN ADVISOR?
Someone who has a good rapport with the students, is willing to spend time with the organization, has a commitment to teacher education. Hopefully, the person is in the Education Department and is an NEA member.

WHAT IF NO ONE ON CAMPUS WILL DO IT?
Check the local schools for an NEA member. Be careful though, this may affect campus recognition. Another possibility is a retired teacher or professor in the area.

STEP FOUR: STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING

WHO GOES TO THE MEETING?
Your Steering Committee advisor, and maybe some of the key people you contacted.

WHAT DO I DO?
At this meeting, you are going to look at the remainder of your organizational plan and prepare for your first general meeting. Make assignments for the next meeting; be sure to include publicity, program and refreshments. Do not hesitate to contact your state association for help at this time.

STEP FIVE: CHAPTER MEETING

WHAT DO I NEED TO REMEMBER?
To prepare plenty of advance publicity
To select a time and date which allows the most people to attend
To have an interesting program
To keep the meeting as short as possible
To have NEA Student Program literature available
To have membership forms available
To leave participants with the thought that they should join because membership in a chapter is going to be a rewarding experience for them.
To set the date for the next meeting
To have a sign-in sheet so you have the address of everyone who attends 20

STEP SIX: MEMBERSHIP COLLECTION SPOT

WHAT IS A MEMBERSHIP COLLECTION SPOT?
The membership collection spot is a place that is: centrally located on campus, open most of the time, and where someone can keep an eye on it.

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
If someone has a membership form but does not know where to take it, they won’t turn it in.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE TO HAVE ONE?
Ask a secretary if they would do it.
Set up a ballot box arrangement.
See if the campus bookstore would collect them
Publicize the location of the membership collection spot.
You may even be able to have more than one.

STEP SEVEN: PERSONAL CONTACT FOLLOW-UP & MEMBERSHIP PROMOTION

WHAT KIND OF CONTACT SHOULD I MAKE?
Some possibilities are: phone calls, post cards, letters, visits, and, of course e-mail.

WHAT DO I SAY?
Thank them for attending.
Remind them of the next meeting.
Ask if they have any suggestions.
Did they join; do they want to?
Do they know of anyone else who might be interested?
Would they like some literature to distribute?

HOW DO I KNOW WHOM TO CONTACT?
You should have a list from your first meeting. If not, ask people you know attended.

WHY A CONTINUED PROGRAM?
Membership promotion is a year-round task for your chapter. There are peak seasons for membership drives, fall and spring. The process, however, should never take a break. Always have promotion materials visible and readily available. You never know when someone will have the urge to join and you don’t want to be caught with your membership down!

WHERE DO I GET MY MATERIALS?
Contact your state student organizer to obtain membership brochures about both the national and state levels of the Student Program.

STEP EIGHT: STEERING COMMITTEE SECOND MEETING

WHAT HAPPENS AT THIS MEETING?
Three important tasks must be accomplished at this meeting:

  • Plan for second general meeting
  • Select a slate of officers
  • Evaluate what you have done so far.


WHAT DO WE NEED FOR THE GENERAL MEETING?
You need to:

  • Follow the same procedures as your first meeting.
  • Hold election for officers.
  • Propose local dues.
  • Establish any committees you may need.


WHAT OFFICERS DO WE NEED?
President, vice president, and secretary/treasurer

HOW DO WE EVALUATE?
Take a good look at your past activities.
Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes.
Take measures to correct them.

WHAT SHOULD I SUBMIT TO THE STATE ASSOCIATION?
You need to complete the affiliate application and submit it along with the appropriate documents (Constitution & bylaws etc. See Appendix for samples)

STEP NINE: PLAN ACTIVITIES FOR YEAR

WHO IS INVOLVED?
Your elected leaders, committee chairpersons and advisor.

WHAT TYPES OF THINGS DO WE PLAN?
Suggestions:

  • Set a membership goal
  • Plan the membership drive.
  • Identify program areas of concern.
  • Set tentative meeting dates
  • Plan for state activities.
  • Plan for national activities.
  • Develop a budget.  

Remember:

  • To prevent problems by asking for help.
  • To set only those goals you can reach.
  • To be patient; growth takes time


STEP TEN: CONTACT LOCAL AND STATE ASSOCIATIONS

WHAT IS THE LOCAL ASSOCIATION?
Your local community school district will have a local education association, employees that are affiliated with the state and the national Association.

WHAT CAN THE LOCAL ASSOCIATION DO?
Local leaders and staff can give you advice and help you with your student local.
They can speak in classes or at your local meeting.
They can provide opportunities for student members to visit local classrooms and to attend teacher In-Service day.
They can also invite students to attend regular association or regional meetings.
They can help answer questions about building your chapter and about entering the teaching field.
Be wonderful contacts for you when you begin your job search.

WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT?
Call the Association President and /or UniServ.
If you are student teaching, ask to meet the Association representative in your building.

WHAT CAN THE STATE ASSOCIATION DO FOR YOU?
Arrange for members to speak at meetings.
Provide materials or other information.
Provide other speakers.
Provide statewide conferences.

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