Program Reflections from the Director

Today we celebrate the activities of our students who have engaged full-tilt in hands-on research and artistry prompting  imagination, innovation, challenge, and discovery!

There are two key traits of the  undergraduate researcher: critical thinking and communication: There are two key traits of the most employable graduates: critical thinking and communication.

Undergraduate Research alongside Artistry is a high impact learning practice that is well proven for its influence on students, but it’s not the only effective learning practice: you’ve heard of study abroad, learning communities, common reading programs, and suggest as a tractable goal for ALL VCSU alumni, that they look back fondly on the college days with a particular affinity because of the high impact learning practice that they elected to engage in.

In just two years, SOAR program has evolved to be integral part of the student experience at VCSU, thanks to President Tisa Mason, Dr. Margaret Dahlberg, and Dr. Steven King for their support and oversight of the program.

Behind the scenes there is also an important steering committee that has developed the core guidelines for the program, to them I thank you for your service. Interesting is that these committee members are self-identified researchers who appreciate and value their undergraduate researchers directly by hosting projects as a primary component of their teaching strategy at VCSU.

We have thrown out a wide net for the SOAR program with the goal of attracting the traditionally non-researching student into a mode of discovery. UR-4-ALL at VCSU is SOAR.

The benefits to students might be be more obvious than those to faculty, but trust me, there is a shared  opportunity for growth, retention, and recruitment.

As the program continues to unite students with mentors on a path of discovery, we cast our oars and oarlocks aside, and raise our sails, capture the wind, and sail full speed ahead.