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Diversity and Student Persistence in the Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) Course Sequence

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2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference


Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Undergraduate Track - Technical Session V

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Undergraduate Education

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Paper Authors


J. Sonnenberg-Klein Georgia Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Assistant Director, Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program, Georgia Institute of Technology; Doctoral student in Education at Georgia State University, with a concentration in Research, Measurement and Statistics; Master of Education in Education Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Edward J. Coyle Georgia Institute of Technology

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Edward J. Coyle is the John B. Peatman Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, directs the Arbutus Center for the Integration of Research and Education, and is the founder of the Vertically-Integrated Projects (VIP) Program. He is also Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and was a co-recipient of both the National Academy of Engineering’s 2005 Bernard M. Gordon Award for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education and the ASEE's Chester F. Carlson Award. Dr. Coyle is a Fellow of the IEEE and his research interests include systemic reform of higher education education, wireless and sensor networks, and signal and information processing.

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Randal T. Abler Georgia Institute of Technology

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While historically underserved students derive differentially greater benefits from participation in research with faculty, they engage in the activity at lower rates than their peers. In contrast to the national trend, the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology enrolls representative proportions of Black/African American students and Hispanic/Latino students with respect to the campus population. This study examines student persistence in the VIP course sequence with respect to race and ethnicity. The VIP model is unique, in that it fully engages faculty; is cost effective, building on existing faculty research interests and efforts; and is fully scalable, with the potential to serve every student at a given institution. The model has been adopted by 24 institutions of varying sizes and varying levels of research activity, including large research institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions. The VIP implementation at Georgia Tech is not tailored to serve specific subgroups, but aims to serve all students. With current enrollments of 900 students each semester and continued growth, serving every student is a realistic possibility. This paper examines student persistence in the VIP course sequence, and provides an overview of the VIP Program, including common elements across VIP sites, prior research on student interactions within teams by race/ethnicity, and aspects of the Georgia Tech implementation of VIP which may contribute to student diversity within the program. Findings indicate that students of different races and ethnicities persist in the VIP course sequence at equal rates.

Sonnenberg-Klein, J., & Coyle, E. J., & Abler, R. T. (2018, April), Diversity and Student Persistence in the Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) Course Sequence Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. 10.18260/1-2--29527

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