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NSLS, Leadership Development

What Is Sigma Alpha Pi? Leadership Development With Real Results

Sigma Alpha Pi, known as The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), is the largest accredited leadership honor society in the nation with over 1.5 million members and more than 700 chapters. Students are invited to join based on their academic achievements and leadership potential. At the NSLS, nomination criteria goes beyond the classroom - it's about putting leadership education into action.

We believe that leadership programs should be accessible to everyone. In order to provide the best experience, we offer a virtual National Online Chapter that accommodates members who don't have a physical chapter on campus.

Who We Are

We are dream supporters, goal-setters, and community-builders who believe that being a leader means bettering yourself and your community. Our goal is to "build leaders who make a better world." In order to do this, we award over $400,000 in scholarships every year through our NSLS Foundation. 

The core of our identity is Success, Action, and Purpose. We strive to nurture and prepare leaders through strategic leadership development that translates into real-world situations. Ultimately, it's about achieving success in your personal life and career.

The Only Accredited Leadership Honor Society

Why are we the only accredited leadership honor society? We passed a rigorous review process and received acknowledgement from the national accreditation agency, Cognia. We are also recommended by NCCRS and ACE. This designation exemplifies the high standards we hold for ourselves and represents the ethics and practices we use in our educational approach.

learn from global influencers

The NSLS isn't your typical honor society; there’s more to it than just accepting your nomination. Once you become a member, you’ll begin your Steps to Induction. This five-step leadership development program builds key skills that set you apart in today’s job market. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to hear from global leaders in our Speaker Broadcasts. These conversations help you visualize your dreams as achievable goals. Influential figures share their personal stories, detailing their paths to success. These deep-dives highlight the process of becoming a leader.

When you hear from Barack Obama or George W. Bush about the steps they took to become President, or the grueling work Mark Cuban put in, or the failures endured throughout Matthew McConaughey’s career, you’ll realize that there’s a process to achieving goals. By hearing their stories, the gap between start to finish feels more attainable. 

Other noteworthy guest speakers include: 

  • Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and Shark Tank star
  • Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of the King Center
  • Bill Nye, TV personality and scientist
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Prize winner and spiritual leader
  • Trevor Noah, The Daily Show host and comedian
  • Mark Randolph, Netflix co-founder and former CEO
  • Erica Dhawan, CEO, author, Connectional Intelligence Expert
  • Jack Black, actor and comedian 
  • Rachael Ray, award-winning television personality

Leadership Development Designed for the Real World

Our leadership development program is designed and constantly updated for the modern world. It hits on key attributes hiring managers seek and creates individualized goal-setting techniques, such as SMART goals.

Once you accept your nomination, you’ll have access to limited member benefits. But in order to access the full suite of benefits, you must complete the five Steps to Induction

  1. Orientation: This is the first meeting that occurs each semester and gives you the lay of the land. After Orientation, you’ll be able to complete the Steps to Induction. 
  2. Leadership Training Day: A three-hour interactive video training session where you’ll learn leadership skills, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and create a path for overcoming obstacles.
  3. Three Speaker Broadcast events: Watch some of the world's most successful motivational speakers discuss topics related to leadership, setting goals, facing challenges, personal growth, and transitioning from college to career. 
  4. Three Success Networking Team meetings: These meetings bring together groups of success-driven students and provide peer coaching. Discuss goals, set timelines, and hold each other accountable for achieving them.
  5. Induction: This is where you will attend your in-person or virtual induction ceremony to celebrate your achievement and commemorate taking the first step toward achieving your goals. 

After you become an inducted member, your NSLS experience really starts to take off.

Benefits beyond the classroom

As a member, you'll join a network of leaders and gain access to a range of benefits that directly impact your career in a positive way. You'll also be able to take advantage of career-oriented perks, including: 

  • Personalized letters of recommendation
  • An exclusive online job board
  • Resume writing and review
  • Personal success coaching

92% of our members said the NSLS impacted their likelihood to achieve their life goals. We attribute this to the highly-accessible tools and career services we offer. 

To further your leadership education, we offer Advanced & Executive Leadership Certification, which enhances skills and allows you to earn a certificate or college credits in the process. You can demonstrate the skills you’ve acquired though the program with:

  • Digital badges: Make yourself stand out among your peers so hiring managers can easily see proof of your skill level and competencies.
  • Portfolios: Boost your personal portfolios with evidence of your leadership training and personal accomplishments.
  • Official transcripts: Receive transcripts from the NSLS as proof of completion.
  • Professional profiles: Show off credits earned and skills you’ve developed on online employment sites.

Always at the Forefront of Leadership Education

Education is always changing. That's why we’ve launched new initiatives to shift the way you learn in this dynamic landscape. We're excited to offer a flexible program, which accommodates busy schedules and promotes a safer approach.

The COVID-19 pandemic taught us to refocus our thinking in terms of how we teach, concentrating more on relationship and community building. To stay at the forefront of leadership education, we’ve implemented additional program features, such as: 

  • More engagement in less time: To increase flexibility and maximize the time, we've re-focused our content to bring the time to complete the Steps to Induction to less than 10 hours.
  • New principals and behaviors: We've refreshed our core concepts to create a richer and more direct learning experience, changing our educational method to a tiered approach.
  • The hybrid program launch: This hybrid model will ensure we're delivering our program in the way our members want. Engage in-person, virtually, or a mix of both.

Start Maximizing Your Potential Today

Develop your leadership skills through education designed to drive success, and join a community of leaders and a network for life. Learn more about the range of benefits you'll receive and hear inspirational success stories from our members.

“The NSLS can benefit only those who join. It is a wonderful institution in which to gain leadership skills and hone one’s ability to make and complete goals. It is honestly a life-changing experience.”

- Corrin Laposki, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

frequently asked questions about sigma alpha pi


We are not affiliated or associated with a sorority, fraternity, or Greek life in general. As a leadership honor society, Sigma Alpha Pi stands for Success, Action, and Purpose and focuses on our students' professional and career development.


Members are either nominated by their school or can apply to become a member online. Members are selected based on their GPA and/or leadership potential. Along with these factors, those who apply to become a member must also be recommended by at least one faculty member.


We offer a wide range of benefits including skills development, networking events, and more designed to help you with future employment opportunities. Our program, benefits, and resources are used by members voluntarily, at their own leisure. The more engaged you are in the program, the more you benefit from your membership.


Originally published on October 30, 2017. Updated on January 13, 2022.