Every year, college students across the nation have to make one pivotal decision — living on or off campus. Living on campus provides resources and a community for students that is not provided in an off-campus environment. Between creating lasting friendships, getting better grades and being 25 percent more likely to graduate, living on campus will expand your academic and social experiences.
Here at VCU, across all residence halls available to students, four are home to living-learning programs: hybrid residential-academic experience that provides students with either a certificate of completion or minor concentration upon completion of the program. These programs engage interdisciplinary teams of students, faculty and staff to design a specific curriculum that enhances student’s academic performance.
This week, VCU’s LLP’s — Globe, ASPiRE, LEAD and Innovate — are celebrating their first-ever spirit week that will showcase what LLP’s are all about through various events beginning Oct. 26 and ending Nov. 1.
If you’re thinking about joining an LLP or are currently in one, there’s a reason to celebrate. Here are all the highlights on each individual living-learning program and events to look for during LLP Spirit Week:
With residents that represent over 82 different countries, VCU Globe is devoted to preparing students for careers in an increasingly globalized world through sustained and structured interactions among participants, international students and scholars, and community members in Richmond and overseas. Each year, Globe students have the opportunity to participate in one of four study abroad programs in Japan, Mexico, Botswana and Qatar.
“I’m surrounded by so many internationally-dynamic elements of culture which acts as a bridge into all kinds of human-to-human experiences,” sophomore Globe student Olivia Beech said. “Overall, living learning communities surround you with options and opportunities, all while giving you the chance to choose what you want to pursue.”
The Academic Scholars Program in Real Environments, or ASPiRE, was VCU’s first LLP. ASPiRE focuses on community engagement and connects students from diverse majors. In a typical week in ASPiRE, approximately 15-20 service opportunities occur that range from tutoring children to food distribution.
ASPiRE offers opportunities to serve in five impact areas — health and wellness, education and workforce development, community-building, environmental sustainability, and accessible and affordable housing. Service opportunities such as Teach for America, Richmond Teacher Residency Program and AmeriCorps are also provided.
“ASPiRE is a lifestyle. We choose to wake up in the morning and create change…ASPiRE has been one of the best decisions that I have made at VCU. I have learned more about VCU, Richmond and myself than I would have if I didn’t have ASPiRE,” ASPiRE student Jaime Wood said.
ASPiRE is located at 835 W. Grace St. For more information on ASPiRE and the services and resources they provide, email email@example.com, call 804-827-1759 or visit http://aspire.vcu.edu.
VCU LEAD allows students to apply leadership skills through one of five personalized pathways: community service, internship, study abroad, peer leadership or create-your-own pathway. With participation in 80 hours of community service and leadership engagement activities spanning over the two years of the program, LEAD explores the definition of leadership in a diverse and supportive living-learning environment that encompasses more than 29 different majors.
“(LEAD) allows you to work and live alongside a community of likeminded individuals and provides opportunities for you to grow and prosper as a leader while assisting with the city of Richmond as a whole,” LEAD student MarRay Bailey said.
LEAD is located at 1000 W. Grace St. For more information on LEAD and the services and resources they provide, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 804-827-LEAD or visit https://students.vcu.edu/vculead/.
A collaboration of VCU’s Schools of the Arts, Business, Engineering and College of Humanities and Sciences, the VCU da Vinci Center fosters both innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovate prepares students to turn their ideas into new products and ventures in teams.
“Joining VCU Innovate was on of the best decisions I have made at VCU. The program has allowed me to personally and professionally develop my brand, my creativity, creative thinking and problem-solving abilities,” Innovate student Isaiah Harvin said. “Innovate offers hands on and non-traditional experiences that allow us to get to know and work with others from different disciplines, generate ideas and network with peers and professionals.”
Innovate is located at 807 S. Cathedral Place. For more information on Innovate and the services and resources they provide, email email@example.com, call 804-827-3764 or visit http://www.davincicenter.vcu.edu/programs/vcuinnovatellp/.
LLP Spirit Week Events:
Whether you’re currently in an LLP or just want to attend an event to see what LLP’s are all about, LLP Spirit Week is full of exciting programs and informational events.
LLP Day on the Compass
Oct. 27, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Join VCU’s LLP’s on the Compass and discover what they’re all about and how you can get involved in these exciting programs. Grab swag, snacks and meet fellow VCU Rams.
Oct. 28, 4-6 p.m.
West Grace South
Kids from across Richmond will be coming to campus in costume for kid carnival activities and trick-or-treating in West Grace South. Students interested in attending/volunteering should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers are encouraged to dress up in their Halloween best.
Keynote: Dr. Julian Hayter
Oct. 30, 7-8 p.m.
Grace & Broad II, room 1231
Dr. Julian Hayter is an assistant professor of leadership studies at the University of Richmond where he teaches courses such as Leadership and the Humanities and Justice and Civil Society. Join Dr. Hayter for a discussion about the racial landscape of Richmond and how it is affected by politics.
LLP Apartment Showcase
Nov. 1, 5-8 p.m.
Grace & Broad 11, room 1231
Come to the LLP Apartment Showcase to see which living-learning program might be right for you. The evening kicks off at Grace & Broad II with refreshments and an overview of each program. After, participants may tour LLP halls. Special transportation will be provided for students living in Cabaniss and Cary & Belvidere. Register here.