According to the SPS, Outstanding Chapters are determined each academic year following a careful review of criteria, including:
- The chapter's involvement in local, zone and national SPS meetings and other professional meetings
- Participation in SPS programs
- Outreach efforts to the grades K-12 or the general public
- Participation in community service
- Contributions to student recruitment and retention
- Participation in social events, and
- Interactions with the department's alumni
Augustana is included in SPS zone 11. Other institutions honored in zone 11 include Gustavus Adolphus College, the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities, and Coe College.
Dr. Drew Alton, associate professor of physics, serves as faculty sponsor for the Augustana chapter and Audrey Burkart, a junior from Monument, Colo., serves as associate zone councilor for region 11.