Below are a few examples of what VCU is doing to push the boundaries of higher learning. These are hands-on, immersive opportunities for students to develop real-world skills.
The Inger and Walter Rice Rivers Center for Environmental Life Sciences is Virginia Commonwealth University’s field station devoted to a broad array of environmental research, teaching and public service. Located on 494 acres along the historic James River, midway between Richmond and Williamsburg, the Rice Center is rich in natural and cultural resources. The center has a variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats that provide many research and educational opportunities.
Note: The education building at the Rice Rivers Center was the first platinum-level LEED building in the Commonwealth of Virginia!
This collection of courses were a networked, multimedia, trans-disciplinary exploration of the 2015 UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Road World Championships. VCU faculty focused their energy, enthusiasm and unique expertise on this event to create an array of energizing learning opportunities. The resultant themes addressed films and cycling, cross-cultural issues, cycling safety, biking in Richmond and much, much more. There were opportunities for students to learn by doing and a change to become “authors”. Within the theme of each section, students produced content that was curated into a “book” publication.
The principal goal for this Footprints on the James is to expose students to the importance of the James River watershed to the residents of Virginia in the present, past and future. This collaborative, experiential learning opportunity combines faculty from the Biology department, the Center for Environmental Studies and the Outdoor Adventure Program. By immersing students in a natural landscape prominent in Virginia’s history for four weeks, backpacking and canoeing through the watershed and down the river, this program represents a unique opportunity for students at VCU to learn about human history, natural history and how the two have shaped each other.
The da Vinci Center was formed through collaboration between the VCU Schools of the Arts, Business, Engineering and college of Humanities and Sciences. This program focuses on advancing innovation and entrepreneurship through interdisciplinary collaboration. Students participating in the da Vinci Center view innovation from multiple disciplinary perspectives, and thus, are prepared for the 21st century workforce with robust approaches to innovation and entrepreneurship.
The VCU Brandcenter Master’s program, part of VCU’s School of Business, has been recognized by Creativity Magazine, the 4A’s, Ad Age and BusinessWeek as a top graduate program in advertising, marketing, digital media and design + business. The Brandcenter is known within the advertising industry for its intensity and the students who graduate from the program earn valuable real-life experience to develop brands on a global scale.