The College of Engineering now has a student ambassador program to share the Valpo Experience with prospective students.
The ambassadors support College of Engineering recruitment programs by leading tours for prospective students and their parents, providing lab demonstrations on visit days, participating in student outreach to high school students, and getting involved in and supporting COE events.
For Megan Voss ’17, a civil engineering major from Appleton, Wis., the highlight of student tours is a stop at the student projects lab.
“All of the extracurricular organizations have their work in the student projects lab, so visitors can see students work on robots for the robotic football team, cars for the Society of Automotive Engineers’ race, and the concrete canoe for the American Society of Civil Engineers,” Megan says. “It’s a great opportunity for prospective students to see all the ways they can get involved, across disciplines, and the different projects they can work on.”
Megan says prospective students often ask about the typical day for an engineering student, how soon they can take engineering courses, and why she chose the classes she did. One question that caught her off guard was from a student who wanted to know about professors taking attendance and assigning homework.
“Yes, our professors do care if you come to class, and that’s why we like it here,” Megan says. “Our professors care about their students and hold us accountable, which allows us to learn more. At a larger school, students don’t get that one-on-one interaction.”
Junior and senior students from each area of the College — Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering — apply for the program upon faculty recommendation. The initiative was piloted in spring 2015, and there are currently 12 student ambassadors.
The program promotes relationships between current Valpo engineering students and incoming students and offers opportunities for ambassadors to improve communication skills that are valuable in the professional world. During visit days, ambassadors lead tours throughout the College of Engineering facilities and lead student panels with prospective students while parents meet with faculty members.