VIP Program at Howard University

Howard University

Washington, DC 20059

VIP Director: Dr. Charles Kim    (CKIM@HOWARD.EDU)   Charles Kim


This program was sponsored by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust for 3 years in 2015 as part of VIP Consortium Project  to drive systemic reform of STEM education.  Since then, additional financial support has been generously made by Northrop Grumman Corp, Lockheed-Martin, and other corporations.


HOWARD VIP Teams (LINK to VIP project teams)


What is VIP?:

The VIP program was created to overcome the fragmented nature of higher education, which is subdivided into research, education, service, and economic development and, for student learning, fractured and dissected into years, majors, and disciplines silos.  The VIP program intends to reverse the fragmentation, and introduces a new  type of long-term, depth-and-breadth learning environment  that can keep students engaged and improve learning and career preparation.  Under the VIP program, participating and completing a long-term practical team project provides a significant benefit for the students and the faculty advisors in terms of the continuity, technical depth, and disciplinary breadth involved in the project.  The VIP at Howard is open to any student (regardless of majors) and any faculty member (regardless of departments) at Howard University. Industry partnership and sponsorship is a high priority for VIP at Howard so that real-world project is introduced to students, potential research project may be collaborated by faculty, and VIP scholarship may be provided for participating students.

VIP at Howard is a VIP Consortium member.

STUDENTS: VIP is open to all students regardless of discipline and level.  Participants may receive VIP scholarship if the project is industry sponsored or funded by faculty research. ).  The team environment with faculty, graduate students, all levels of students in all different majors will provide a strong and open learning environment.  Long-term participation would lead to mastering of essential skill sets for employment or graduate school.  *NOTE: From Fall 2023 semester, EE/CpE students could earn 3 credits from VIP courses (EECE101 Faculty-Student Team Project (VIP) (1 cr); EECE201 (1 cr); and EECE 301 (1 cr)) and substitute them for 1 EE/CpE elective course.

VIP is a great vehicle for Research, Education, and Mentoring by opening a part or whole of your research to a long-term continual team project with students in all disciplines.  The member students of your team can be the students you hire or those who want to gain research experiences.  Supplies for project implementation (such as sensors, computer control boards, etc) may be provided by the VIP at Howard program.  If you have any question or need further information, please contact the VIP coordinator, Dr. Charles Kim (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science).  If a professor wants to incorporate this VIP framework in his or her research proposal which includes a training/education component, this VIP 1 page summary may be useful.  VIP project framework is much more efficient than the traditional REU program which lasts only during a summer period; in contrast, VIP participation can go on years.

Industry: Through the VIP framework, companies can connect with VIP teams embedded in faculty R&D efforts.  Through team and program sponsorships, companies can identify and reach: (a) Motivated students earlier in their academic careers: VIP attracts sophomores, juniors, and seniors actively seeking challenges beyond classroom.  Students can participate for multiple semesters, with new students replacing graduates, and returning students taking on leadership roles with the teams; (b)Large number of students from many majors: Each team is multidisciplinary by design, and VIP attracts students from all majors from college of engineering and other colleges; (c)Students doing R&D in company’s area of interest:  VIP teams are embedded in faculty research efforts.  Companies can sponsor teams of interest, and team-sponsor relations are tailored to meet the need of teams and sponsors; (d) Team-oriented students:  VIP cultivates a culture of peer-mentorship, with returning students onboarding new students and taking on increasing level of responsibility each semester.  VIP students report high marks in understanding of technology applications relevant to their field of study, ability to work with individuals from diverse background, and ability to work in a multidisciplinary team.   Link to VIP on-boarding Process.  Contact:VIP Director (Dr. Charles Kim, for VIP sponsorship opportunity.

VIP at Howard Updates:
* Howard University received "Curricular Advancement Award" from the VIP Consortium in May 2023.  Dr. Charles Kim received the award plaque on behalf of the group of award recipients.  The award recipients are: Charles Kim, Hassan Salmani, Su Yan, Eric Seabron, Fadel Lashhab, Claudia Marin, Emmanuel Glakpe, Md. Sami Hasnine, Hayya Shah, and Imtiaz Ahmed.  
* Charles Kim received "Outstanding research and dissemination" award from the VIP consortium in May 2019.

VIP related publications

Amoo, M. E., & Bringardner, J., & Chen, J., & Coyle, E. J., & Finnegan, J., & Kim, C. J., & Koman, P. D., & Lagoudas, M. Z., & Llewellyn, D. C., & Logan, L., & Sonnenberg-Klein, J., & Trent, N. M., & Strachan, S. M., & Ward, B. C. (2020, June), Breaking Down the Silos: Innovations for Multidisciplinary Programs Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . paper itself pdf.

Charles Kim, Building Faculty-Student Research Teams via a Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) Framework , Scholarship and Practice for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Quarterly, Summer 2018. vol .1, no.4, p. 48-49.

"Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Programs: Multidisciplinary Projects with Homes in Any Discipline," Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio.

For any question, please contact Dr. Charles Kim, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering and Architecture, Howard University at