This project proposes the development of a Social Sciences Initiative at the undergraduate and graduate levels that will provide educational, research and service opportunities for faculty and students. These opportunities are envisioned as interdisciplinary, with a focus on community issues and priorities, and with the potential to create new links among existing educational/research units within the University.
Retention is an important area of concern for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). This project involves devising initiatives to identify and retain students with a high potential for academic success as outlined in the Strategic Plan for the Future of Virginia Commonwealth University, Phase II. It is theorized that by concentrating efforts on students (both in-state and out-of-state) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, an improvement in the six-year graduation and freshmen retention rates can be realized. This would serve to enhance VCU’s status in the academic community (moving from Tier 3 to Tier 2 status) since twenty percent of the determining ranking of the U.S. News and World Report’s rankings are derived from the category of retention.
A two-day institute will be developed and presented on campus in late fall or early spring semester for selected high school students and teachers. The program content and activities will be designed to focus on a theme within the Life Sciences. Each year a theme will be selected in consideration of all the programs and schools associated with the Life Sciences Initiative at VCU. This includes biology, genetics, health-care sciences, the behavioral sciences, and the integration of arts and social sciences as feasible. The institute will lead to high school students earning one undergraduate credit and teachers will earn one graduate credit for continuing education or advanced study.
We propose the establishment of a VCU Media Lab – a professional creative media technology unit whose mission is to support the development, design, production and delivery of innovative media, multimedia, computer-based instruction, publications and tools in support of VCU education, research and marketing initiatives. This centrally administered, budgeted and resourced facility will acknowledge, refine, focus and expand media services that are currently being provided at VCU in a decentralized manner.
To define university-community partnerships and the strategies for establishing successful partnerships; and to identify existing university-community partnerships at VCU and describe them on a web-accessible database.
The project team has conceptualized several possible university marketing initiatives. These initiatives revolve around a central concept: increasing out-of state student enrollment at VCU. In concert with the Office of the Vice President of University Outreach, Team 3 will study and test the effectiveness of outdoor and other strategically located VCU advertising along major northeast corridor transportation routes and hubs to attract out-of state undergraduates.
The purpose of this project is to develop a plan for expanding and funding the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute (GEHLI). Currently, teams of leadership scholars selected from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) develop projects relating to the academic community in addition to studying the dynamics of effective leadership. Consistent with VCU's vision of partnering with and service to metropolitan Richmond, we propose that future teams of leadership scholars develop outreach projects that involve and benefit the local community.