University of the Virgin Islands Student Priorities
A university surrounded by clear, blue waters, the University of the Virgin Islandsis historically American, uniquely Caribbean and globally interactive. With approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, UVI focuses on producing students who are able to lead nations, perform efficient research and serve the world with the help of their balanced, globally sensitive minds. Learning experiences such as global partnerships and student exchange programs allow students to grow both mentally and spiritually. This gives students a sense of well-roundedness that is needed as they strive to be professionals in the real world.
To boost the I&E ecosystem here at the University of the Virgin Island, there are certain projects that we believe can be implemented to address the key issues relating to I&E. These include the following which are listed below.
1. Creating a Maker Space
One of the key issues that stifles our I&E ecosystem is the lack of resources. This issue can be resolved or minimized by the implementation of an equipped maker space on Campus. This would afford students the opportunity of amore hands on approach to learning as well as create a zone for the inclusion of creativity in self-directed learning.
Tactic 1: Engage in discussion with students so that they may be more cognizant and familiar with what a maker space actually is. This could be done over a period of weeks where students are presented with materials and insight on how his can be impactful to them as well as be beneficial to them.
Tactic 2: Initiate workshops and seminars/talks that would help to stimulate the minds of students and faculty members alike towards the idea of implementing a maker space.
Tactic 3: Funding would then need to be sought and this would then allow more collaborations from different business and Universities which could then offer their assistance and time in making the startup of this venture a great one. This would need some delicate planning and so it could take up to five months.
Tactic 4: It would then be necessary to be strategic about the approach of the actual planting of the maker space. The maker space would need to be located where it would be accessible to most students as well as cater for students stemming from the different majors. This should take no more than 2-3 months to be finalized.
Tactic 5: The actual building of the maker space would take approximately 4 months to be constructed. Another 2 months would be allocated to equipping this space with the necessary resources for students to perform at their fullest potential.
Tactic 6: The overseeing of the maker space should be done by a student preferably one in their Junior or Senior year so that students may be comfortable while learning and being creative in utilizing the maker space. Resources should constantly be added to the maker space over time until it is fully developed to undergo large operations.
2. Increase awareness of the I&E programs here at UVI
Students should be aware of all the entrepreneurial activities that cater to them on Campus. Alerts can be sent to students of the different meetings/workshops that will be held relating to our I&E system here at the University of the Virgin Islands
3. More major-specific programs and resources
Different programs and resources should be implemented that would target the enhancement of students stemming from the different majors.
Tactic 1: Initiate more creative courses that would allow students to get a more hands on approach to their learning. This may not be applicable to some majors but for Engineering and science majors specifically this would allow them be more creative and innovative in the learning process
Tactic 2: The different majors or areas within each major should be targeted and separated from the other. For example, plumbing should have different programs and resources to electrical engineering.
Tactic 3: This can also create job markets for students to engage in whether it’s working with faculty members or performing simple tasks on campus such as refurbishing and fixing small utilities.
Tactic 4: Simulation labs will also be a good idea to implement on Campus. This could take up to 2 years to accomplish, however it would be worth the while as it gives students free hands on approach.
Tactic 5: Computer Science Program enhancement such as servers to support virtual testing and 24-hour labs equipped with adjoin software.
Tactic 6: Hackathons are great avenues to explore students’ innovative and entrepreneurial potential as they allow students to engage in group project and allow a meeting of the mind. These should be scheduled at least twice per year.
4. Entrepreneurship activities
Tactic 1: Workshops and Seminars held outside of classes headed by Faculty members who all have their own businesses. This opportunity should be offered free of charge to students.
Tactic 2: These workshops would be geared towards students to help them to develop their own businesses and business startups.
Tactic 3: Students should be advised on how to effectively manage and run a business as well as how to develop proper entrepreneurial skills.
Tactic 4: Presenters should focus on major points such as how to develop their own pitch and present a product as well as insight on how to treat customers. They should be able to give marketing ideas on how to market products and hot to get customers interested in your product.
Tactic 5: Although there are several entrepreneurial classes here at UVI we think that it would be more effective to have a greater amount course that would focus specifically on the tactics listed above.
Written by Shanece_Esdaille