NSF Division of Undergraduate Education

DUE Project Information Resource System (PIRS)


Project Title:Creating Pathways II for New IT Professionals
Principal Investigator:Elizabeth  Creamer
Institution:Virginia Community College System IE-IT
Award Number:0402567
Starting date of award:Jul 1 2004
Ending date of award:Jun 30 2005 (Estimated)

Official NSF abstract on file:

Computer Science (31) This Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Institute of Excellence for Information Technology (IE-IT) project improves education in information technology (IT) and student academic and employment outcomes by (a) disseminating and implementing the products of its current ATE project (Creating Pathways for New IT Professionals) throughout Virginia from grades 9 through 16; (b) piloting and evaluating a model dual-enrollment program and new pedagogical models of IT education; and (c) developing and implementing activities in curriculum development, professional development, technical assistance, coaching of IT faculty, articulation, and student recruitment and retention. Partners include the Virginia Department of Education, the statewide Tech Prep program, universities in Virginia, and other ATE projects both inside and outside of Virginia. Intellectual Merit: The VCCS IE-IT, the ATE-funded Consortium on IT Education in Virginia, and partners upgrade and align IT curricula from grades 9 through 16 and provide clear, well-defined pathways in IT education for students and professional development opportunities for secondary and post-secondary IT instructors, incorporating and synthesizing technical training with new models of instruction. Using input from the IT industry, existing pilot programs at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), and the work of other ATE projects at Nashville State Community College (NSCC), the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, and DeAnza College, this project pilots and evaluates new pedagogical methodologies, including problem-based learning activities, value-delivery skills, NSCC Case Files, story-centered curricula, performance-based assessments of students, student and faculty IT communities of practice, and student reference resources containing learning objects and up-to-date IT career information. Broader Impacts: With 23 colleges on 40 campuses, the VCCS enrolls more than 65 percent (92,944, one-third minorities, almost 60 percent female) of undergraduates in Virginia. This project impacts the IT programs, faculty, and students in secondary schools and two and four-year colleges in Virginia through the project's statewide Consortium on IT Education, with online communications and collaboration software, development of a faculty handbook on new models of instruction, professional development, technical assistance, and an online portal. The communities of practice encourage and support women and minority students in obtaining leadership roles in delivering IT services. The project impacts IT programs in community colleges in other states and the national educational community through the NVCC National IT Community of Practice, empirical studies of components of a new model of IT education, published articles, and presentations at national conferences.