Chi Alpha Epsilon was formed to recognize the academic achievements of students admitted to colleges and universities through non-traditional criteria who utilize developmental educational support services. Its purposes are to promote continued high academic standards, to foster increased communication among its members, and to honor academic excellence achieved by those students admitted to college through developmental programs. The involvement of eligible alumni enables networking for members. Programs sponsored by the society encourage other students toward this accomplishment.
The honor society also has the potential to be a significant political force in the support of funding for developmental studies nationwide.
Membership in Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE) is offered to students at Northern Illinois University who were admitted through the CHANCE Program. Full-time students who maintain a 3.00 cumulative GPA for two consecutive semesters are eligible for membership. Eligible students will receive a letter of invitation in the semester after the qualifying semester. Apply to become a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon.
In the spring of 1997, Shevawn Eaton, director of ACCESS in Educational Services and Programs (ESP) at NIU was introduced to Chi Alpha Epsilon at a national conference and brought the society to CHANCE. Eligible students were identified and invited to join as founding members.
On December 10, 1997, Elbert Saddler came to NIU and inducted the founding members of the Alpha Eta Chapter, the 31st chapter, and the first in Illinois. University President John LaTourette was in attendance to accept the charter for the university. The charter document now resides in the CHANCE lobby in Williston Hall.
Chi Alpha Epsilon Members, once inducted, are eligible for recognition in the organization's special orders, honoring those students who exemplify the mission of the organization by maintaining excellence in academics.