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02-21-2013

4x4 Curriculum Boasts "100 Signature Experiences"

Virginia Wesleyan’s Office of Academic Affairs has begun compiling a list of “100 Signature Experiences,” an organized collection of assignments and experiential projects developed by faculty and staff as part of the 4x4 curriculum. The new curriculum, implemented in the fall of 2011, lengthened the standard course from three semester hours to four. Some courses meet four hours per week and cover additional material; others meet only three hours but are enhanced with out-of-class experiences and projects that justify a fourth credit. Experiences include field trips, service-learning and community engagement, independent and collaborative research projects or opportunities to work with advanced technological tools. To date, recorded Signature Experiences include the “Embrace Your Space” initiative pioneered by Director of First Year Experience Denise Wilkinson; the week-long VWC Business Conference organized by students in “Principles of Management,” led by Associate Professor of MBE Paul Ewell; and participation in the national “Clothesline Project” movement by students in “Family Violence: Causes, Consequences & Responses,” led by Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Alison Marganski; Spearheading the project is Associate Dean for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning Dr. Kathy Stolley: “The new curriculum is core to our commitment of providing a rigorous and transformative education here at VWC. Students are not only having engaging, diverse experiences, they are having experiences that directly tie and translate their classrooms into the world. These Signature Experiences highlight the very best of what a liberal arts education is meant to be. The “100 Signature Experiences” project is still underway as the College continues to add creative new ways to implement the 4x4 curriculum. For more information, contact Kathy Stolley at 757.233.8768 or kstolley@vwc.edu.

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