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Form an SEI Chapter

Forming an SEI Professional Chapter

SEI encourages local Structural Technical Groups (STGs) to increase their affiliation to SEI by becoming local SEI Chapters.

SEI wants to ensure that your ASCE Section/Branch is adequately served by our Institute. Sections or Branches that do not have a local SEI Chapter are encouraged to gather interested individuals to form one and name a local SEI member to communicate with us about ways we can better serve local needs and strengthen the activities of your Section/Branch.

Benefits of forming an SEI Chapter include:

  • Use of SEI name and branding
  • Chapter announcements published on SEI website and in SEI Update
  • Free ASCE Continuing Education webinar sponsored by the SEI Endowment Fund
  • SEI outreach supplies
  • Quarterly teleconferences to learn from and collaborate with other SEI Chapters
  • Travel funding (within US, for SEI/ASCE members) for local chair to attend annual SEI Local Leadership Conference to learn about new initiatives, share insights and best practices, participate in technical tour and training

To become an SEI Professional Chapter:

  1. Request permission from your local ASCE Section or Branch to create an SEI Chapter.
  2. Complete the Sample MOU authorizing creation of an SEI Chapter and send to Suzanne Fisher for SEI approval.
  3. Bylaws changes will be handled by ASCE. You can download the Sample Institute Chapter Bylaws/Section By-Laws.

Forming an SEI Graduate Student Chapter

SEI encourages local Universities to increase their affiliation to SEI by creating local SEI Graduate Student Chapters.

The purpose of SEI Graduate Student Chapters (GSCs) is to enhance the education of students who are preparing to become structural engineering professionals and engage SEI student members in SEI for a successful transition from college to career.

Graduate Student Chapters organize and manage visiting speakers, prospective student events, field trips, participate in SEI, perform outreach activities, and more. Participation in a GSC can help members feel more connected with their peers and broaden their view of what it means to be a structural engineering professional. GSCs organize activities of their choosing in accordance with the ASCE Code of Ethics.

Eligibility

Graduate students at any college or university who are ASCE/SEI student members are encouraged to form an SEI Graduate Student Chapter (GSC). Members of SEI GSCs must be ASCE/SEI student members. There are no dues for SEI GSCs, or for ASCE/SEI student members.

Benefits of forming an SEI Graduate Student Chapter include:

  • Use of SEI name and branding
  • Chapter announcements published on SEI website and in SEI Update
  • SEI outreach supplies
  • Quarterly teleconferences to learn from and collaborate with other SEI Chapters
  • Travel funding (within US, for SEI/ASCE members) for faculty advisor and graduate student chair to attend annual SEI Local Leadership Conference to learn about new initiatives, share insights and best practices, participate in technical tour and training
  • Membership in the SEI GSC Leadership Council

To become an SEI Graduate Student Chapter:

  1. Request permission from your local University and submit a letter of support from the sponsoring Department Chair. View a sample letter.
  2. Complete the Sample MOU with university signature authorizing creation of an SEI Graduate Student Chapter. Download sample documents.  View a sample MOU.
  3. Submit SEI GSC Application online

Graduate Student Chapter Leadership Council (GSCLC)

The Graduate Student Chapter Leadership Council is responsible to communicate GSC needs and recommendations to the SEI Local Activities Division (LAD) Executive Committee (Excom) through their LAD Excom Advisor, and provide services to the GSCs.

Membership: GSC Chair and Faculty Advisor for each GSC

Responsibilities:  

  • GSCs elect GSC Leadership Council Officer(s)
  • Plan and hold quarterly conference calls with GSCs
  • Manage GSC application process

Graduate Student Chapter Best Practices

  • Make sure your fellow students are ASCE/SEI student members. Student membership is free – don’t miss out on valuable SEI opportunities and member benefits.
  • Set up Graduate Student Chapter leadership structure and key objectives
    Governance procedures and objectives should be determined in discussion with GSC members and the faculty advisor. Typically GSCs exist to 1) enhance the education of students by providing a centralized way to organize activities, 2) encourage, and perhaps financially assist, GSC members to participate in SEI, and 3) promote structural engineering through outreach activities with undergraduate students and local schools.
  • Register the Graduate Student Chapter with your university to ensure continuity and support This may make your GSC eligible for university grants and funding for student organizations. Many offices of student activities will notify you of relevant university‐hosted activities, such as career fairs and undergraduate outreach opportunities. Depending on your institution, the use of university vehicles and related insurance coverage may require registration.
  • The primary funding sources for GSCs are university department funds and industry contributions. Other funding sources include university grants for registered student organizations. Seek guidance from your GSC faculty advisor to establish funding sources.
  • One key to having continuous, high-quality leadership and GSC activities is to have officers that are both masters and doctoral students. Experience shows that having at least four officers will reduce the chances of one officer becoming overwhelmed with management duties. Also make sure to choose one or more faculty advisors who view the GSC as an integral part of the graduate program and will champion the GSC with future classes.
  • Involve undergraduate students in your GSC activities to connect with potential future graduate students, boost participation at events, and give undergraduate students a valuable introduction to SEI.

For more info contact Suzanne Fisher at SEI, (800) 548-2723 ext. 6195, direct (703) 295-6195