What is Tau Alpha Pi?
Tau Alpha Pi is the national honor society for engineering technology,
just as Phi Beta Kappa is for liberal arts and Tau Beta Pi is for
engineering. Founded in 1953 and managed for more than 30 years
by engineering technology educator Frederick J. Berger, Tau Alpha
Pi is open to both associate-degree and baccalaureate candidates.
Who is eligible for membership?
Tau Alpha Pi membership is open to top-performing associate-degree
and baccalaureate students in engineering technology programs. Each
chapter may have further requirements such as minimum grade point
averages and minimum length of enrollment restrictions. Once elected
to membership, students receive an honorary certificate of induction
and a Tau Alpha Pi key. The membership fee is $35.
In the 2009-2010 academic year, Tau Alpha Pi
had over 550 new inductees.
How does someone become a member of Tau Alpha Pi?
Invitations to membership are extended solely by individual chapters
to their students who meet the previously stated requirements.
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What is its purpose?
The purpose of Tau Alpha Pi is twofold:
- to recognize high standards of scholarship among students in
engineering technology programs, and
- to promote and encourage scholastic achievement by offering
outstanding engineering technology students membership in the
society. The society rewards selected scholars for past achievements
and accomplishments, while encouraging a lifetime of commitment
to learning and scholarship.
Tau Alpha Pi members are truly interested in furthering and improving
the academic life for all engineering technology students and in
promoting the engineering/engineering technology departments at
their own institutions.
What are some typical chapter activities?
Once granted a charter, chapters are autonomous, but operate in
a manner consistent with the letter and spirit of the Tau Alpha
Pi constitution. Chapter activities must be appropriate for an honorary
society; fundraising activities must be for a worthy cause supported
by the chapter and its institution. Tau Alpha Pi chapters are expected
to remain active, conduct membership initiations, participate in
and contribute to the academic community, and inspire students to
achieve scholarly excellence. Faculty advisers play a key role in
the ongoing functioning of Tau Alpha Pi chapters. They devote time
and knowledge to inspire and guide students. Examples of chapter
- sponsoring study sessions for students in engineering and computer
- conducting book drives to enrich on-campus and community libraries
with current engineering publications
- writing grant proposals for equipment purchases that would improve
engineering technology instruction.