Dramatically reshaping academic requirements and teaching in small first-year seminars prepares students for life beyond college.
Built on a three-year pilot funded by visionary donors, the new general education curriculum was adopted by a majority faculty vote in 2019. In May 2021, the pilot’s first students graduated. Under Dean Christa Acampora, as of the Fall 2023 semester, the new College Curriculum’s innovative Engagements courses are at full-scale.
One of the priorities of the Campaign is to secure permanent funding for the groundbreaking curriculum, in particular the first-year Engagements courses. Instead of large lectures, incoming students participate in four innovative seven-week discussion seminars taught by star professors (College Fellows) across multiple disciplines. These College Fellows take time from their normal courses to design and teach classes that require students to engage in research and respectfully debate pressing issues of our day alongside peers with widely different experiences.
The aim is to educate citizens who can nurture a 21st century democratic society that requires multiple approaches to big questions; the skills to persuade, collaborate, and analyze; and to think beyond disciplines
The College’s dramatically overhauled curriculum is receiving accolades from UVA students and faculty as well as leaders of top universities nationwide.