The University of the Virgin Islands will unveil its latest educational achievement, the St. John Academic Center, on Monday, March 21. The learning center is located on the third floor of The Marketplace (above Starfish Market). It will improve the university’s delivery of educational programs, resources and technology by allowing students on St. John to attend UVI classes without leaving the island. A highly interactive classroom environment will connect St. John students to instructors and students on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
The center will be equipped to deliver select UVI classes for the spring 2011 semester and will offer more classesby the start of the summer 2011 session, which begins in May.
“This is a major step in the university’s quest for greatness,” said UVI President Dr. David Hall. “We can’t be great if numerous individuals in the territory don’t have easy access to our higher educational resource. The center will create an academic footprint on the island of St. John that has never existed before. My dream is that more St. John residents will now pursue degrees and courses at UVI, and thus more of them will be able to fulfil their dreams.”
Funded in part by a Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the center will evolve over a five-year period, providing state-of-the-art classroom space with videoconferencing capabilities and access to UVI electronic resources. UVI’s Cooperative Extension Service (CES) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will each have a presence in the center, where CES and SBDC classes and workshops will be offered.
In addition to four classrooms, the St. John Academic Center will provide all of the amenities of individual UVI campus libraries that facilitate student success, including a small computer lab with wireless network capabilities and private areas where students can meet with instructors, counselors or advisors. Individual and group study space will be available where students can collaborate with other university students in person or via technology.
UVI’s Chief Information Officer Tina Koopmans is tasked with outfitting the center with the technology to function as a 21st century learning environment. “The center sets the foundation for increasing enrollment and providing technology and outreach services to students,” Koopmans said. “We’re further along the path to reaching our retention goals – especially with regard to students from St. John.”
To inquire about classes at UVI’s St. John Academic Center, contact the UVI Office of Information Technology Services at 693-1367.