The University of the Virgin Islands is pursuing a total of ten projects which were approved by the US Department of Education in the 2010-2015 UVI SAFRA Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and the 2012-2017 Title III Part B CDP. Below, each project is described.
Comprehensive Faculty Development Program—This project seeks to provide professional development opportunities to faculty (especially part-time faculty) through a series of workshops. The University of the Virgin Islands employs a number of part-time faculty members to absorb some of the teaching burden of its full time faculty and training opportunities for these persons are limited. This project aims to allow the part-time faculty members the opportunity for professional development to enhance their respective areas in serving the institution.
It's All About the Students— The “It’s All About the Students” project will continue to build on the progress made toward improving the institution technology and communication infrastructure. In order to do this a number of sub-projects involving information technology improvements to enhance institutional workflows and student retention will be incorporated into the scope of the project.
Integrated Approach to Academic Growth and Student Success—This proposal seeks to integrate various student retention efforts at the institution under the umbrella of the Center for Student Success in order to enhance student retention, persistence and success. Additionally, this project will incorporate the effort previously supported by the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) grant program to improve the success of students majoring in Science, Mathematics, Technology and Nursing.
Environmental and Health Sciences—There are several goals outlined for this project, including developing an Environmental Sciences and Health Sciences minors and curricula. This will involve a collaborative effort between the College of Science and Mathematics’ Division of Biology and the Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences toward the development of the curricula, access to field research and also the acquisition of transportation, laboratory equipment and upgrades to existing computer equipment in the laboratory/classrooms.
Preparing Students for Broadcast Journalism and Radio Production— This project aims to expand the existing Communications Program curriculum by offering courses in Broadcast Journalism and Radio production. Moreover, in order to expand the educational offerings of the Communications Program, this project sets out to enhance the capabilities of the Communication lab to create radio programming and the facilities to merge with an existing radio station to allow the program to afford students the opportunity to develop their skillset in radio journalism, broadcasting and production.
Learning and Educational Access Program— The Learning Educational Access Program is a project that has been needed at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) for many years, and the availability of support through the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2010 (SAFRA) will allow the institution to bring it to fruition. Through this five-year effort, UVI will create a learning environment on the island of St. John, thereby reducing the need for students who reside on that island to travel to the St. Thomas campus to attend classes. The UVI administration expects that by the end of the grant cycle, St. John resident students will be able to complete at least 52 credits toward their degrees on that island, and that both enrollment and retention of St. John resident students will be increased.
Increasing the Cadre of Highly Qualified Teachers in the U.S. Virgin Islands through Pre-Service Instruction and In-Service Professional Development—This project seeks to increase the Territory’s certified teacher corps by providing pedagogical requirements and PRAXIS preparation for pre-service teachers.
Advancing Learning Environments—This project is intended to increase the number of technology based classrooms at the University and assist in ensuring the renovation of at least 50% (or 46) of the University classroom spaces by the end of the grant period.
English as a Second Language Undergraduate Endorsement Program—This project proposes to upgrade the undergraduate teacher education program in the School of Education by including an ESL component in the form of a concentration to its elementary education program. More specifically, this project will also facilitate in the preparation for teachers’ certification as well as assist the School of Education with its accreditation mandates recommended by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Parallel Computing and the Development of a Computational Science Minor—The collaborating investigators propose to purchase and install equipment that will support computational science courses within the College of Science and Mathematics, allowing the development of a Computational Science minor. This project will also enable students to develop problem-based learning techniques as the course work will also incorporate research topics, providing a competitive edge for acceptance to graduate programs.