The engineering field is facing a crisis. In order to solve today's engineering challenges, we need a diverse workforce with strong technical and leadership skills. Unfortunately, workforce studies have shown that the number of students being educated in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) cannot meet projected demands.1 In addition, current enrollments in engineering are not diverse, with incremental movement in the number of women, blacks, Hispanics and Asians enrolling in engineering from 2001-2011.2 Finally, studies have shown that better leadership and communication skills are needed among the current engineering workforce.3 The Engineering Ambassadors Network (EAN) is a collaboration of more than 30 universities and colleges with Engineering Ambassadors programs unified in their goal to address these problems facing the engineering profession. Each Engineering Ambassador program (1) trains undergraduate engineering students as Engineering Ambassadors (EA) to share their passion for engineering using exceptional communication and presentation skills (2) cultivates a diverse set of Engineering Ambassadors to provide role models for future generations and encourage a representative workforce and (3) connects the Engineering Ambassadors with a diverse group of middle and high school students to show them the possibilities within engineering. The Engineering Ambassadors Network helps to support and unify these programs by offering training opportunities, creating platforms for continued communication among the schools, leveraging resources among the members, and raising visibility for this important cause. The EAN has had successful impact, both in terms of outreach numbers and the impact of the program on the Engineering Ambassadors themselves. Some of these successes are detailed in a companion paper "From Undergraduates to Ambassadors: The Impact of the EA Network Training,"4 which details assessment on the effects of the network on Engineering Ambassadors. However, there are challenges in growing this collaboration national and internationally. We are uniting a community of busy people virtually, while also trying to maintain our unique culture, and learning much in the process. In this paper, we explore the successes and challenges of creating a thriving Engineering Ambassadors community. This paper will first give background information on the Engineering Ambassadors Network and Engineering Ambassadors programs. Next, this paper will give an overview of the Engineering Ambassadors' training and the impact of this training on the Ambassadors. Finally, this paper will summarize successes and challenges in developing the Engineering Ambassadors Network.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Jun 26 2016|
|Event||123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States|
Duration: Jun 26 2016 → Jun 29 2016
|Other||123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition|
|Period||6/26/16 → 6/29/16|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes