Chapter Reports: Six Ways to Success
1. Get a head start
Use the ACS Student Chapter Management System as a tool to help you plan throughout the year. By getting a head start, you'll have far less information to enter when the chapter report deadline is approaching. Enter events, expected event dates, and short descriptions, and then fill out the details after the event happens. Without the last-minute rush, you'll save time and be able to add key details, edit, and polish as needed.
2. Write for the reader
You may have every aspect of your events and activities stored in your brain, but the reader on the other end needs to understand your goals, the purpose behind your activities, and outcomes. Faculty reviewers want clear and succinct descriptions and summaries. Not only does this help them to determine your award level, but it gives reviewers the opportunity to provide the kind of feedback that can help you identify future improvements and the direction of your chapter.
3. Ask an advisor to proof
The best students, employees, writers, and researchers all have someone whom they can ask to review their work. Inevitably, because we're human, we will introduce errors into our work. Maybe they’re as simple as typos, or maybe there isn't enough clarity in the point you're trying to convey. Your faculty advisor can help by reviewing all of your entries before your final submission in May. And, again, the earlier you work on your report and plan your events, the more time you will have to perfect it.
4. Share the load
Don't feel that coordinating and doing all the administrative work is yours to tackle alone. Break up the responsibility by delegating certain events to other chapter members before they happen or assigning roles to people for future events. Spreading the workload also gives others a chance to take on leadership roles in the chapter.
5. Make a smooth handoff
Planning ahead sets a good example for future officers or those who are considering the role. Make the position manageable for officers who will be filling your shoes, and leave them with the records that will help them understand past activities and opportunities for the future. A good handoff will help with your chapter’s continuity. If your chapter is faced with a drastic change in its membership makeup, the chapter report record and the notes you've left behind will make the transition more seamless and will, hopefully, lead to sustained success.
6. Remember—you’re building valuable skills
The Student Chapter Management System isn't just a tool to record and track events, get feedback, or win an award. As a future leader, you will benefit from participating in the tracking, writing, and reporting functions you've performed. As you move into graduate school or look for a career, you can share your experience as a fantastic planner who can keep good documentation, which will be incredibly valuable to your future grad program or employer.