Back to School
When mid-July hits each year, the messaging for “Back to School” goes into full swing. It makes us think “Where did the Summer Go?” The School Buzz is not only evident in advertising and the retail stores, but consumes our thoughts as we have to start preparing for the big day when classes start up again. For those college-level students still considering a “Back to School” Option, many universities are still open for admissions consideration into your program of choice. There is still time for Fall Semester classes, but the time is now to begin your investigation and application process. Don’t forget to ask about Scholarships as they are still available for those who qualify at institutions out there. At Virginia International University, the Admissions Department is already seeing the changing time of year as many individuals are focusing on the Fall Semester now by scheduling campus visits or just stopping by to look at their options in time for the Fall Semester launch the week of August 27th. The planning and preparations for “Back to School” are in the minds of prospective students to know where they will be after the summer ends. Taking full advantage of this time of year where we are programmed since our early years that school is starting up again feeds into our basic motivational instincts for change. Guess there is a reason why the Fall leaves change colors as nature shows us the way. Capitalizing on that motivation will most likely lead us to successfully achieving our goals than putting it off again for another season to pass us by. Change can be a beautiful thing and that is what makes the “Back to School Rush” so special at all universities.

As we all think “Back to School,” Ms. Gabrielle Flank, Huffington Post Guest Blogger, noted eight helpful tips for college students to help get them in the mindset of preparing for the educational journey. They are the following:

Tip #1: Have the Proper School Supplies that you need for your classes!
I highly suggest getting folders and binder with patterns and designs to make note taking more fun. During the first day of class most teachers will tell you everything they require for their courses. Make sure that you get the specified supplies, so that you are able to keep up with the class work and stay organized.

Tip #2: Get an Agenda!
During the school year is such a busy time! Between taking test, doing homework, attending activities, and school events it can be really hard to keep track of everything. By keeping an updated agenda you can better manage your time and know what you have to accomplish. Having an agenda will definitely help you with time management. Time management is key to being successful and staying on top of everything you need to do!

Tip #3: Know your Course Syllabus
Knowing your class schedule is so important for being successful in the course your taking. Teachers will typical hand out your syllabus in class or post it online. I highly suggest keeping it in a safe and convenient place so you can frequently view. Knowing when you have papers and projects due is so important for passing the course and keeping up your grades. Having the syllabus will allow you to plan ahead and give yourself proper time to complete every assignment and get great grades!

Tip #4: Do Not Procrastinate
This is something that we have all been guilty of in the past and have learned the stressful repercussions. A habit is created in three weeks so if you study for every course your taking daily in 21 days that will be a new habit for you. Dedicating a little bit of time every day to the courses you are taking is definitely going to positively impact your grades and make you a better student!

Tip #5: Know What is Expected of You
It is very important to know what your teachers are expecting from you. Pay attention to what the teacher is saying about the workload of the class and what they are hoping for you to get out of it. Teacher are supposed to want you to succeed so most likely they will provide you with what you need to do to thrive. Knowing their expectations and achieving them will help your year start smoothly. Always remember that communicating with your teachers is key for understanding their expectations.

Tip #6: Get Involved
Getting involved with your school community is great because you can pursue your interest and meet peers who have the same and similar interest as you. Many studies have shown that students who are involved in sports and school activities are able to achieve higher GPA’s. If you enjoy playing sports try out for the school team. If you are a musician or actor then join your school band or theatre company and share your talent with your fellow peers. Join clubs that you are interested in and attend all the meetings. If your school doesn’t have the sports you play, a club you want to join, or a musical or theatre program then talk to your school administrators and see if you are able to start your own! It is amazing to have something that you are passionate about and enjoy doing so never be afraid to pursue your interests. Every new school year is an opportunity for a fresh start, new friends, and to make it count. You have the potential to make this year one of the best ones yet!

Tip #7: Learn What Type of Learner You Are
Everyone is individual and so is the way you learn! There are three main types of learning styles which are auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Knowing what type of learner you are is going to help you be a better student and have better studying habits. When you are able to determine the type of learning style that is best for you, you will find better results when you are studying and it will result in higher test scores! I highly encourage you to do some research and determine the type of learner you are so you can personalize your studying.

Tip #8: List of academic goals
Write out a list of goals that you want to achieve for the upcoming school year! Do you want to make the lead role in the play, get that varsity spot on the basketball team, improve your grades. You can reach all the goals you set for this year! When you write down every goal you are able to plan and realize what you need to do to prepare for them. Having that list can be a driving and motivating force to help you work to achieve those goals.”

The staff and faculty at Virginia International University are embracing the “Back to School” fever as we prepare to welcome both new and continuing students to our globally-inspired campus community this Fall 2018 Semester. Join us in the rush…

This summer, VIU’s School of Computer Information Systems offered a first-time STEM boot camp geared to Washington, D.C-area high schools students in grades 9 to 12. The STEM boot camp was designed to challenge and engage high school students interested in the cutting-edge fields of Cybersecurity, Coding and Artificial Intelligence. The VIU Summer STEM boot camp proved to be a success in its first year enrolling a total of 40 participants in three sessions offered in June and July.

The Cybersecurity session was designed to introduce participants to the fundamentals of networking and cybersecurity with a focus on cybersecurity threats, data protection and ethical hacking. The Coding session exposed participants to the theory and practice of computer programming as well as the use of algorithms to develop apps and game. The Artificial Intelligence session allowed participants to discover how machine learning algorithms can be applied to make accurate predictions and solve complex programs.

Dr. Al-Hammoshi (left) and Dr. Chraibi (right) are instructors in VIU’s STEM boot camps

Each session was offered Monday through Thursday, from 9am to 3pm and cost a total of $195 each including lunch and snacks. For more details on VIU’s summer STEM boot camps and future offerings, email steminstitute@viu.edu or visit VIU.edu/stem-institute.

VIU Regional Scholarships

Applications are still being accepted for Virginia International University Regional Scholarships.

VIU is offering up to 18 scholarships to incoming fall students from the following countries:

– North America and the Caribbean
– Central and South America
– Sub-Saharan Africa
– East Asia and the Pacific
– Europe and Eurasia
– Middle-East and North Africa
– South and Central Asia

New incoming students from these countries are eligible for full or partial tuition scholarships to attend VIU in the fall 2018. The application deadline is July 22, 2018. The scholarship announcement date is Aug 6, 2018. Fall classes start on Aug 27, 2018.

For more information about VIU’s regional scholarships or to apply, visit: https://www.viu.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/scholarships/prospective-students-scholarships/#regional-scholarship

 

Quality Matters (QM)

Virginia International University is committed to ensuring that its online courses and programs employ best practices based on the existing research literature. Course-development goals are focused on ensuring the highest levels of student learning, interaction, and engagement.

To meet these goals, we are super excited to announce that VIU has become a member of the Quality Matters Higher Education Program. QM is a faculty-centered peer-review process designed to certify the quality of online courses. The QM Rubric and course-review process were developed from a grant provided by the Fund for the Improvement of Post secondary Education. QM has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to quality assurance and continuous improvement in distance learning and has more than 1,000 subscribers in North American and around the world.

For more information about VIU’s QM membership, contact Dean Azhandeh, VIU School of Online Education at kazhandeh@viu.edu.

July 18, 2018 has been identified as Nelson Mandela International Day. On this day, we are encouraged to follow Mandela’s call to “make this world a better place.” The Nelson Mandela Foundation dedicated this year’s Nelson Mandela Day to action against poverty. In honor of this, the student union and volunteers went to the Bailey’s Crossroads Community shelter to cook and serve food to homeless individuals living in the shelter.

Upon arriving at Bailey’s Crossroads, the student union and volunteers prepared the food which consisted of: cutting up chicken, preparing a fruit bowl, making mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a salad. For most of the volunteers it was their first time preparing a traditional American meal! They did an amazing job!

Once the food was prepared and set-up, the student union and volunteers served the individuals at the community shelter. After everyone was served food, the remaining food was packaged for individuals who were coming in later that evening. The students found the experience to be rewarding because they were able to give back to others and to connect with the community.