Asee peer logo

Strengthening the Pipeline from High School to Community College to University in Rural Underserved Communities through a Collaborative Videoconferencing Infrastructure

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

2-Year College Division: Students and the Pipeline

Tagged Division

Two-Year College

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Philip J Lunsford II P.E. East Carolina University

visit author page

Phil Lunsford received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University. He is a registered professional engineer and is currently an Associate Professor at East Carolina University. His research interests include cyber security, telemedicine applications, network performance, and the cross-discipline application of technologies.

visit author page


John Pickard East Carolina University

visit author page

Dr. Pickard is an Associate Professor at East Carolina University in the College of Engineering and Technology. He teaches undergraduate and graduate Information and Computer Technology (ICT) courses within the Department of Technology Systems. Dr. Pickard plays an active role in building positive and sustainable industry relationship between the college, local businesses, and industry partners.
Current industry recognized certifications include; Cisco Certified Network Professional, Microsoft Certificated Professional, EMC Information Storage and Management, IPv6 Forum Certified Engineer (Gold), IPv6 Forum Certified Trainer (Gold), and Cisco Certified Academy Instructor.
Dr. Pickard received his Ph.D. in Technology Management at Indiana State University. He also holds an MBA from Wayland Baptist University and a B.S. in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University.
Research interests include: IPv6, IPv6 adoption, wireless sensor networks, and industry-academia partnerships.

visit author page


Jennifer James Innovation Early College High School at Pitt County Schools

visit author page

Mrs. James is a School Administrator, Principal, with Pitt County Schools at Innovation Early College High School. She leads a staff of eight employees in the development of the second Early College High School in Pitt County. Innovation Early College High School is currently in its second year of operations. Mrs. James plays an active role in building school culture, implementing the school’s STEAM instructional framework, and in collaborations with Pitt County Schools and East Carolina University.

Mrs. James has many industry recognized accomplishments which include; Pitt County Schools Principal of the Year nominee 2019-2020, ECU Project I4 cohort member, The Leader in Me Lighthouse School Distinction (Stokes School), NCPAPA Leadership in Personalized and Digital Learning Program cohort member, NCPAPA Distinguished Leadership in Practice cohort member, NCPAPA Future Ready Leadership cohort member, Pitt County Schools Assistant Principal of the Year winner 2013-2014, NC Principal Fellow.

Mrs. James received her Masters of School Administration from East Carolina University. She also holds a B.S. in Business Administration from East Carolina University and a certification for teaching exceptional children from East Carolina University. Her research interests include: innovative approaches to K-12 instruction, building K-12 school culture, and trauma informed practices in the K-12 setting.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The project presented in this paper focuses on providing a collaborative distance learning infrastructure to high schools and community colleges in rural and underserved regions that align with the funding provided by a US Department of Agriculture Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant. High schools and community colleges in rural and underserved communities often face greater barriers to providing the high-quality STEM education required to produce skilled graduates prepared to enter the workforce. School districts in these communities often face issues such as technology gaps, lack of nearby resources, cultural challenges, and shortages of STEM teachers. Strong educational pipelines are needed to boost student success at key transitions from high school, into college, and to completion of a two or four-year degree. In order to meet the challenges facing rural schools and colleges and to create a pipeline of Applied Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science graduates in STEM fields for regional workforce development, an infrastructure of video conferencing capabilities is being developed. The infrastructure will connect high schools with community colleges and a central state-funded university. This infrastructure relies on the existing IP networks at the school locations and is based on Cisco WebEx Boards which are interconnected through the WebEx cloud. Although the infrastructure allows any school site to easily teleconference with any other sites, the administration and support are structured hierarchically with local high schools organized under a local community college, and the community colleges organized under the state university. Challenges in project implementation will be discussed in the paper and include training for high school and community college staff and faculty, the need for compliance and auditing for state and federal privacy laws, ongoing WebEx licensing requirements, collection and logging of utilization statistics, and the integration of existing authentication services to reduce resistance to adoption and increase utilization. Several use cases will be reviewed including blended distance education courses utilizing a single instructor, community college advising to high school students and parents, university advising to community college and high school students, remote guest speakers from industry or academia to community college or high school students, and inter-site student group collaboration. Future visions and long-term goals will be discussed including extending the infrastructure to government and community centers in order to expand the uses cases to such examples as emergency management and public workshops.

Lunsford, P. J., & Pickard, J., & James, J. (2020, June), Strengthening the Pipeline from High School to Community College to University in Rural Underserved Communities through a Collaborative Videoconferencing Infrastructure Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35213

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015