Approving Applications, Maintaining Balance

The person(s) managing the permit-application process should work to ensure that each team has a size and composition that supports both the continuity and productivity of the team.

New Teams

The best size for new teams is generally 8 to 10 students for teams with two disciplines. For teams with more disciplines, 10 to 12 may be better. A new team is thus smaller than a continuing team. With too many students, the team start-up process can become chaotic, especially for those advisers who have a VIP team for the first time.

Continuing Teams

Continuing teams should generally have about 15 undergraduates each semester. They should generally be split almost evenly between sophomore, juniors and seniors…or a few sophomores and the rest of the team split between juniors and seniors. This ensures that at least ¼ to ½ of the team, with their knowledge and skills, will return the following semester. The returning students are responsible for bringing the new students up to speed on the project. If there are many disciplines in a team, then larger team sizes make sense so that continuity is possible within each participating discipline.

Permit Attrition

There is always some attrition between the time permits are issued and when the students register. Our experience at GT is that the attrition rates are approximately 20% for the Fall to Spring transition and about 33% for the Spring to Fall transition. Compensating for this by issuing proportionally more permits will produce teams of the desired size and composition.