National Society for Leadership and Success at Virginia Tech
Established at Virginia Tech in 2021, this organization is a premier leadership experience advised by VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning. The NSLS at Virginia Tech is a campus chapter of the nation’s largest leadership honor society. The NSLS is an organization that provides a life-changing leadership program that helps students achieve personal growth, career success, and empowers them to have a positive impact in their communities.
Building leaders who make a better world. We are the dream supporters. We build leaders, support people in achieving their goals, and improve the world in the process. We get people to ask the all-important question, "What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail"? Then, NSLS gives students the tools they need to drive their future forward, establish themselves as leaders among their peers, and build real-world skills that will help them excel in the workplace.
What we believe
- Learning is a life-long journey. - Gaining new skills is imperative for personal and professional growth.
- Everyone has leadership potential. - We provide the tools and resources students need to identify and achieve their goals.
- We achieve more together than we do alone. - With proper support and dedicated action, we can do extraordinary things.
What is the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS)?
NSLS is the largest collegiate leadership society in the U.S. There are more than 650 chapters currently exist at colleges across the country, with more than a million members.
NSLS’s mission is to “build leaders who make a better world”. NSLS teaches students about how to be successful, how to be leaders and how to make positive change in the world. It does this by helping students discover and achieve their goals, and develops them academically, personally, and professionally with an involvement-based leadership program. This aligns with the VT Engage vision of equipping civic leaders to create a more just world.
NSLS is very different than many other honor and leadership societies because it has an involvement-based leadership program. NSLS is more inclusive than other honor societies and leadership societies because it doesn’t have a national GPA requirement. Chapter leaders’ work along VT Engage staff and with the national office to decide the GPA criteria based on the needs of the campus. For more information visit https://www.nsls.org/
Is this a legitimate organization?
Yes, it is. The national society was established in 2001. Virginia Tech’s chapter was established in 2021. NSLS has more than 650 chapters and more than a million members nationwide, NSLS is the largest leadership honor society in the country.
Is NSLS at Virginia Tech a VT Engage program?
Yes. VT Engage staff serve as the advisor(s) for the campus chapter and provide leadership expertise to help move the organization to meet the goals of the executive board as well as the department. The advisor facilitates the invitation process to protect student information. While the advisor primarily works with the executive board, they are also available to help members during the Induction process and beyond. The executive board serves as a team of students to create, facilitate, and implement events that meet the Induction criteria for the chapter. They act as guides through the leadership development period and can be mentors for other members along their journey to Induction.
How was I selected for this honor society?
NSLS doesn’t have a national GPA requirement and the VT chapter works to create this as a sophomore year experience for students to explore their leadership potential. Students who have the required credit hours for sophomore status with the registrar’s office by the end of spring term will be invited to the society for the next year (either in the fall or spring).
I was selected but am unable to complete all of the requirements this semester. Can I still join?
Yes, while it’s recommended for students to complete all the requirements in the same semester, students are able to complete the requirements throughout multiple terms. Students can also work with chapter leaders to defer their membership payment and participation to the next semester or year.
I am not in sophomore class standing. Can I still join?
Yes, students who are still interested, but don’t have sophomore class standing can still join. There is a recruitment period you’d have to wait for (typically the week before the start of the fall or spring semester through two weeks after). Reach out to our chapter leaders for more information.
What are the steps to induction once a student joins NSLS?
There are a total of nine events that students must complete to become inducted. The events prepare the student with leadership, career and life skills. Students typically complete the steps to induction within one to two semesters. These events include:
- An interactive leadership training day
- A social activity to meet your colleagues
- Three different speaker broadcasts
- Three consecutive success networking team meetings
What is orientation?
Orientation is an event where student members learn about NSLS, meet the chapter leaders and advisor, learn about the steps to induction, membership benefits, calendar of events, and it’s an opportunity to interact and engage with other members going through the induction process. Following the event, students participate in a communication skills activity, similar to “disc.” It helps students discover their own specific communication style and the communication style of others to become a better leader.
What is leadership training day?
During the two-hour interactive workshop, students participate in activities to apply leadership principles immediately into their lives. Chapter leaders facilitate activities which are based on leading research on student leadership development. Including the following theoretical models:
- Social change model
- 5 practices of exemplary leadership
- Servant leadership model
- 7 habits of highly effective people
What is a speaker broadcast event?
Students participate in speaker broadcasts from the nation’s leading speakers, authors and celebrities, some of which would traditionally charge up to $100,000 for one speaking engagement. NSLS provides six speaker broadcasts per year. Speaker broadcasts are open to anyone on campus, not just NSLS members. Speakers cover a variety of topics including success, leadership and how to make positive change in the world. Students will walk away with specific action steps to help transform their lives in a positive way.
The speaker broadcasts are filmed live from a host school or location and is streamed via the internet to all chapters across the country. Our chapter will have a large space with a large screen for students to watch, listen and interact. Broadcasts can be live or on-demand and replayed when students are the most available.
The speaker broadcasts are very interactive with trivia and polls using social media, and students will be able to ask questions directly to the speaker. We can send in videos of us asking questions that will be played directly on screen for all members across the country to see.
What are success networking teams?
At the end of leadership training day, students are put into smaller groups of 6-8 students. These groups are called success networking teams. Success networking teams meet three times in consecutive weeks. Each person is responsible for creating their own goal that is SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, rewarding, and timely). Each member gives ideas and suggestions to other students on how to achieve their goal, and each member walks away from the meeting with a commitment to action. Our Chapter Advisor reviews each goal and action steps and provide feedback to the students.
What is an induction ceremony?
An induction ceremony is an event, held at our campus, where students are recognized and celebrate the achievement of becoming inducted members with family members and friends. A local campus or community leader is invited as a keynote speaker, in order to inspire their inducted membership further. Inducted members will receive their official certificate of induction additional awards are given to current members. The spring induction ceremony will also retire the executive board and induct a new executive board.
What can members do after they are inducted?
After students are inducted, NSLS provides opportunities to continue their development:
- If a student is energized and charged by the foundational program, there are two advanced courses they can choose to participate in that further deepen their leadership journey.
- Students can serve as peer facilitators in the SNT’s.
- Students can serve on future executive board or committee positions that open such as the community service, social or fundraising committee.
- Because of the accreditation with advancED, NSLS offers an optional credit pathway for students who participate in all levels of the program at one credit each. If a student chooses to participate, they will receive all required materials, communications, and transcripts directly from the national office. The credit pathway is handled solely by the national office, with no additional work or time required by any chapter leaders.
What are the costs associated with the leadership program? Why does NSLS charge dues?
Most honor societies have annual dues for membership. The lifetime membership fee of $95 covers all services and support the student receives as a member. This fee is paid to the national office upon accepting the invitation. The chapter is then able to use this money to support the campus chapter with events and activities.
Membership benefits include:
- Opportunity to increase their leadership identity and self-efficacy
- Scholarships and awards
- Access to previous speaker broadcasts. These feature nationally renowned speakers, authors, and celebrities who typically charge $15,000-$100,000+ for one speaking engagement.
- Discounts on major products and services geared towards students
- T-shirt, car decal, and executive pin
- Students are given the opportunity to participate in a leadership program that provides real-time leadership training and a certificate of induction that provides honorary distinction to employers and graduate schools.
- And much more…
Example of value (Princeton review): NSLS has partnered with the Princeton review. Members can receive up to 10% off. If members are paying $1,000 for a GRE or other test prep course, they can save $100, thus recouping the investment of membership.
Can I earn academic credit for participating?
No, not currently. While NSLS does offer credit options at other campuses, Virginia Tech does not.
Why does NSLS use greek letters? Is this a fraternity of some kind?
No, it is not a fraternity. NSLS is a leadership organization recognizing leadership development and excellence. The Greek letters sigma alpha pi represent success, action, and purpose. Success comes from continual action towards your purpose.
Requests for accommodations
If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, welcome! Please contact the NSLS advisor, Tony Trimpe, assistant director for leadership engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-9186 during regular business hours at least five business days prior to the session.