The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Consortium has been selected for the 2019 ABET Innovation Award “for community-building around and dissemination of the Vertically Integrated Projects model, a scalable, cost-effective approach to undergraduate research adopted by 35 colleges and universities around the world.”
The ABET Innovation Award recognizes vision and commitment that challenge the status-quo in technical education. It honors individuals, organizations, or teams that are breaking new ground by developing and implementing innovation into their ABET-accredited programs.
According to the ABET website, true innovation is hard to define, but easy to identify. This award distinguishes programs or individuals that have brought a significant innovation to STEM education in areas like curriculum development, laboratory experiences, teaching methodologies, cross-disciplinary programs, and experiential learning–almost anything designed and proven to improve a student’s educational experience.
The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program is a transformative approach to enhancing higher education by engaging undergraduate and graduate students in ambitious, long-term, large-scale, multidisciplinary project teams that are led by faculty. In VIP, teams of undergraduate students–from various years, disciplines, and backgrounds–work with faculty and graduate students in their areas of scholarship and exploration. Undergraduate students earn academic credit for their work and have direct experience with the innovation process, while faculty and graduate students benefit from the extended efforts of their teams.
The VIP Program at Georgia Tech is led by Edward J. Coyle, who developed the VIP concept. As of Spring 2019, there were 70 VIP teams at Georgia Tech with more than 1,100 students enrolled. While the program originated in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, students from each of the six colleges on campus participate. Student applications are currently being accepted for Fall 2019 at www.vip.gatech.edu.
Under Coyle’s leadership, the VIP Program has spread to dozens of universities around the world. The VIP Consortium (www.vip-consortium.org) is an alliance of institutions that have successfully implemented the VIP Program and engage in collaborative efforts to continue to improve and disseminate the model. To date, 35 institutions across the globe have joined the VIP Consortium, and thousands of students participate in VIP programs on these campuses each semester. Each partner site adapts the model to its own unique environment, using an essential set of program elements and specialized tools for program management and assessment.
ABET (www.abet.org) is the professional accreditation agency providing leadership and quality assurance in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology education. The ABET Innovation Award is given to a nominee selected by their peers. The president of ABET annually appoints a special committee for review of nominations for this award. The Awards Committee’s recommendations are presented to the members of the Board of Delegates for concurrence.
Awards will be presented at the 2019 ABET Awards Celebration on Friday, November 1 at the Hilton in Baltimore, Maryland.
For more information about the VIP Consortium and VIP @ Georgia Tech, contact:
Edward J. Coyle
Director, VIP @ Georgia Tech & VIP Consortium
John B. Peatman Distinguished Professor; and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology