Membership Recruitment and Retention
As a NSSLHA chapter, your most important resources are the students in your CSD program. So, get motivated and recruit, recruit, recruit!
- Provide info about both National NSSLHA and your chapter at the very beginning of the semester. Put up posters, pass out flyers, give the information during orientation sessions, or hold a membership application drive. Set up a table on campus and staff it with current NSSLHA members who can answer questions.
- Visit CSD classes to let students know about National NSSLHA and your chapter. If you're not presenting yourself, give the speaker (another student or the professor) a clear outline of the talking points they should cover during the presentation. Have them emphasize the date of your chapter's first meeting so students can mark their calendars early.
- Post on your department's bulletin board. Include info about National NSSLHA programs and opportunities, upcoming chapter activities, and info and photos about past chapter events and achievements.
- Create incentives for students to join your chapter. Hold contests with prizes or have a pizza party. Check if some of your professors will offer bonus points for students who are NSSLHA (either local or National) members.
- Hold a "welcome back" gathering at the beginning of each semester so students can mingle with other NSSLHA members and faculty in a casual, relaxed environment. People are usually more eager to join an organization when they've had a chance to meet some of the other members.
Now that your chapter has members, it's important to keep them. Encourage members to take the initiative to plan and carry out the activities and events that are most interesting and worthwhile to them.
- Create committees to keep members engaged. You can have committees for specific events (guest speakers, field trips, community service), to engage certain students (grad versus undergrad students, audiology versus speech-language pathology students), or for special initiatives (advocacy, fundraising).
- Get as many members as possible involved in planning chapter events.
- Hold office hours with NSSLHA chapter e-board members. Set aside a block of time each week for e-board members to be available to answer questions or concerns regarding class work, career paths, or NSSLHA activities. If students know where to get help, they're more likely to stay interested in your chapter.
- Focus on the benefits of being a NSSLHA member, both nationally and at the chapter level.
- Continue to offer incentives. Offer individual recognition of deserving NSSLHA chapter members throughout the department and on campus for a job well-done.