GE launches Next Engineers programme to increase diversity in engineering

October 13, 2021

GE has launched Next Engineers, a global college-readiness programme that aims to increase the diversity of young people in engineering. The programme, which will reportedly represent a commitment of $100 million over ten years, will provide students aged thirteen to eighteen (grades eight to twelve in the US education system) with hands-on experience in engineering concepts and careers, and ultimately award scholarships to pursue engineering degrees.

Next Engineers will initially be rolled out across three countries in four inaugural cities: Cincinnati, Ohio and Greenville, South Carolina in the US; along with Stafford, UK; and Johannesburg, South Africa. The programme aims to reach more than 85,000 students in approximately twenty-five cities globally by 2030.

The programme was established by the GE Foundation, an independent charitable organisation funded by GE. Globally, the GE Foundation has partnered with FHI 360, an international nonprofit working to improve the health and well-being of people around the world, to develop the programme framework.

Locally, the GE Foundation is partnering with the University of Cincinnati, Clemson University, MyKindaFuture and PROTEC to implement Next Engineers in each of these communities. Across the four communities, Next Engineers is said to represent an investment of up to $16 million, including grants to local partners, tuition for 3,200 youths participating in Engineering Camps, and scholarships for 600 Engineering Academy students.

“Engineers are critical to building a world that works, but diverse populations are woefully underrepresented in the field,” stated Linda Boff, president of the GE Foundation and vice president, Chief Marketing Officer of GE. “GE employs thousands of engineers around the globe and we’re committed to providing the resources that will inspire the next generation of engineers and innovators wherever their careers take them.”

Next Engineers offers the following three programmes:

  • Engineering Discovery, for students ages thirteen to fourteen (eighth grade) and their guardians, with the goal of increasing awareness through multiple one-hour exploratory experiences and hands-on activities connecting students to real engineers. Sessions are delivered by volunteers in the classroom or in the community to inspire youths early and highlight the broad array of engineering careers
  • Engineering Camp, for students aged fourteen to fifteen (rising ninth grade), with the goal of developing engineering identities through a week-long immersive camp experience over school break, where students interact with experienced engineering faculty and staff, complete design challenges solving real-world problems, and interact directly with professional engineers and business leaders
  • Engineering Academy, ****for students aged fifteen to eighteen (grades nine to twelve), with the goal of guiding and encouraging students to pursue engineering degrees. Engineering Academy is a three-year college readiness programme for upper secondary students that helps them learn to think and act like engineers and prepares them to select and succeed at an engineering major at the university level. The programme provides eighty hours per year of out-of-school programming, and will include longer challenges and a capstone project; career coaching to expose students to different engineering pathways; and college-readiness workshops. Students accepted to higher-education engineering programmes will also receive a scholarship from the GE Foundation

Applications for the Engineering Academy programme are now open here.

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