Tau Beta Pi Engineering Futures Program — Hosting a Session
The award-winning Engineering Futures (EF) curriculum provides professional skills training in interpersonal communications, team and meeting management, creative problem solving, and oral presentations. Four EF modules are adapted from materials provided by Interact Performance Systems Inc. and are available only to current college students; the fifth module (Effective Presentation Skills) is available to both current students and to TBP alumni chapters.Please follow the guidelines below:
- Identify a chapter contact person.
- Select a module.
- Decide when to hold your session.
- Submit a session request online.
- Find and reserve a room with the required resources.
- Publicize the session.
- Register students in advance.
- Host the session.
- After the session.
- Additional resources.
You need someone who takes ownership of the session! This person is in charge of organizing the session and will follow up on all details relating to session setup. This person is the liaison between the students and Headquarters and your facilitator. At some chapters, this role is the job description of a specific officer; at others, the president takes on the role.
Please review the Curriculum for details on the modules offered.
A chapter may begin with any module and typically cycles through modules before repeating any. If you are unsure what module(s) your chapter has held in the recent past, please contact Headquarters for that information. Headquarters or any facilitator may also help you select a module if you are unsure.
All of the sessions are designed to be interactive learning experiences, and require a minimum of 15 participants. The Effective Presentation Skills module is unique because each participant must be willing to speak in front of the group; please make sure that you communicate this requirement to participants if you choose to host the EPS module.
Most sessions are held on Saturdays. If your chapter is fortunate enough to have a facilitator living in the area, it may be possible to do a weeknight or Sunday session. When you submit the session request, you will be asked for a "first choice" and "second choice" date, so please be prepared to provide an alternative in case no facilitators are available for your first-choice date.
Please look at your school's calendar before requesting a session. In particular, avoid days when your campus is hosting an at-home sporting event (or "away games" with significant rivals!) and avoid the weekends before and after school break. Historically, sessions scheduled on the weekends around Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day are poorly attended, so we recommend that chapters consider alternative dates.
For 2016-17, we are not able to accommodate requests for sessions on the following holiday weekends:
- September 3-4
- November 26-27
- December 24-25
- December 31 - January 1
- April 15-16
All sessions must be requested online at least 6 weeks in advance. Facilitators are assigned by Headquarters based on availability, travel costs, and training needs. Once a facilitator is assigned to a session request, the host chapter account will be charged $50 at the time the facilitator is confirmed. Chapters can earn a full refund of this fee (making the session free!) by meeting session participation guidelines, as described below.
Online Request Form
Engineering Futures sessions are very interactive discussions and not lectures! For that reason, the chapter should reserve a room in which the tables and chairs may be moved around, rather than a lecture hall. The suggested room layout is an arc of chairs in a single row facing the screen or board. A visual is provided here. Please discuss the specific room layout with your facilitator prior to your session.
General equipment required for sessions:
- Computer and digital projector or overhead projector
- Blackboard or whiteboard or flipchart
- Chalk or markers (for board above)
- Blank/scrap paper and pens
You may invite any student to attend your session. This may include your new initiates, your TBP chapter members, members of other student groups, or anyone in your engineering college. You may also invite students from other majors - including those outside of science and math. Consider hosting an EF session as a chapter project – a "service" to other students and a way to introduce Tau Beta Pi to freshmen and sophomores.
Make sure that you inform all participants that the sessions are interactive and let them know the start and end times (most sessions last 3-4 hours; check with your facilitator for details). Feel free to use the standard posters or create your own to publicize your Engineering Futures session. Publicize the session at meetings, by posters and fliers, or through advertisements in college newspapers and magazines. Advance work here will pay off - enthusiasm is contagious! Let someone who has attended talk about what they learned. Publicize specifics of what participants will learn - your facilitator can help explain the content. Have a calling campaign before the Engineering Futures sessions to remind those who signed up to come. Have professors and/ or chapter advisors make announcements during their classes to encourage attendance and even encourage them to attend and get a first-hand look at Engineering Futures.
When your session request is confirmed, TBP Headquarters will provide you with a URL where students can register in advance for your session. All of the EF sessions are designed to be interactive, group learning experiences - thus Tau Beta Pi requires that a minimum of 15 participants be pre-registered and confirmed at least 7 days in advance of the session date.
10-14 days in advance of the session date, you will receive a notice from TBP Headquarters letting you know who has registered for the session already. If you are below the 15-person minimum requirement, you will have a few more days to recruit participants - otherwise your session will be automatically cancelled if you do not have at least 15 participants registered at least 7 days in advance of the session. (Please note that the $50 session scheduling fee is not refunded for sessions that are cancelled due to lack of registrants.)
Your chapter representative will need to meet the facilitator at least 30 minutes in advance of the session to assist with setup, and will need to be available throughout the entire session (as a participant, ideally!).
Depending on the timing of the session, your chapter may wish to provide snacks or meals for participants - chapters without sufficient financial resources can charge a small fee to cover food, may suggest that participants bring their own food, or can simply schedule the session during a time when a meal does not need to be provided.
After the session, the facilitator will send an attendance report to TBP. If you have walk-in participants, make sure that they complete the online registration form while they are at the session so that your chapter can receive credit for their participation!
The chapter will earn a $10 credit for each additional participant beyond the 15 required minimum; the maximum credit is $50 for a session with 20 or more participants. The chapter will be charged $5 for each no-show participant below the 15 required minimum; the maximum additional charge is $75 for a session with 0 participants. These credits and charges will appear on your chapter account with TBP Headquarters.
Each registered participant will receive a brief follow-up session survey to the email address they used to register. When students submit this survey, they will receive a Certificate of Participation by email. Students who complete all five EF modules will receive a physical certificate indicating that they have completed the entire Engineering Futures professional development curriculum.
- Engineering Futures Curriculum
- Engineering Futures Facilitators
- Engineering Futures Session Request Form
- Engineering Futures Publicity Posters
- Headquarters for more information!
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