|The Virtual University Initiative offers narrow topic mini-courses that
mimic college courses in form and academic expectation.
Mini-courses are 4 weeks long and typically meet at least once per week
over the internet. Courses also include asynchronous informational
videos accessed via YouTube.
Each course includes a college type syllabus that outlines student
requirements, including assignments, goals and objectives, and
The academic departments of the VUI include:
Business and Entrepreneurial Studies (BUS)
African American and Ethnic Studies (AAES)
Life, Ecological, and Physical Sciences (LEP)
Literature and Humanities (HUM)
All courses are designed and taught by higher education faculty and
Service Learning Component
ETL Education Foundation is strongly rooted in community service and
believes that education is a means of community empowerment.
Students have responsibilities to not only use newfound knowledge and
insight for personal growth but also in service of others. Therefore,
each four week course is followed by a four week service component.
During this period students meet with advisors to explore, and plan
ways they can use the concepts, skills, and knowledge gained from the
academic component to serve the community and their peers. Students
identify major course themes and relate them to problems or community
experiences they would like to address. Students select, propose, and
plan a project designed to address an identified problem.
Students develop proposals and apply for monies from the VUI service
learning fund to carry out the project. VUI advisors provide counsel and
support throughout all phases of development and implementation of
the service project.
Here is an example of some VUI course offerings:
AAES 153 – The Long Road to Justice: 1955 to 1960
This course is one in a series of courses that explores the African
American experience in seeking social justice in American society. The
course series spans a time period from the mid 19th century to the
present. This course will explore and discuss key events in the
beginning part of the time frame popularly known as the modern civil
LEP 130 – Health, Diet, and Culture
This course explores basic human digestive physiology and how it is
interrelated with general health, diet and cultural practices. Diabetes,
obesity, and other nutrition related disorders are examined.
BUS 121 – Principles of Business Development
This course introduces students to principles of business development
facilitated by exploring case study examples of successful
entrepreneurs such as Russell Simmons, John Johnson, Reginald
Lewis, Berry Gordy, Robert Johnson, etc.
HUM 172 – Expression in Prose
This course explores selected essays , letters, speeches, and text
excerpts produced by Latino, African American, and other authors as
they discuss life experiences. Emphasis is placed on persuasive and
descriptive writing techniques. Writings of James Baldwin, Cesar
Chavez, W.E.B. Dubois, Esmeralda Santiago, Martin Luther King Jr., and
others are reviewed and analyzed.
HUM 131 - Leadership: Impetus, Styles, & Practice
This course explores various aspects of leadership including how
leadership skills may be developed and honed. General and specific
circumstances that promote leadership behavior are discussed.
Leadership styles including charismatic, transformational, transactional,
and others are described and explored. Historical perspectives of
effective student leadership are explored. Important issues requiring
effective leadership are discussed. Students complete and present an
individualized leadership development action plan in the form of an
|register for a VUI mini-course.