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.
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. Please inquire with the chapter advisor at your campus.
What is its purpose?
The purpose of Tau Alpha Pi is two fold:
- 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 activities include:
- sponsoring study sessions for students in engineering and computer courses
- 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.
How can an institution form a chapter?
See the Chapter Checklist and contact Tom Walker at (202) 331-3531 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain information on forming a new Tau Alpha Pi chapter.