New Academic Program To Be Offered in Fall

Erin Gormley

A new program entitled Villanova Integrated Academics (VIA) is going to be available to students for the first time starting in the Fall 2018 semester. These VIA courses are designed to be a convolution of the different colleges, instead of interdisciplinary cross-college courses, which allows students and professors to coalesce their unique ideas. 

Dr. Randy Weinstein, Ph.D., the Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, who helped shape the Villanova Integrated Academics program, has made it his mission to create a successful and sustainable program with the support of the Provost and various donors. 

The VIA program is centered around the idea of bringing professors and students from entirely different backgrounds together in order to collaborate as they would in the real world. The program includes three different specializations within it, each unique. 

In order to create the Villanova Integrated Academics program and to make it long-lasting, Dr. Weinstein said that a group of faculty came together to make something that, as he put it, is seemingly “Villanova in nature.” Dr. Weinstein went on to mention that the group wanted the VIA program to be “grounded in liberal arts, ethics, and to make it truly Villanovan.” He said that a large discipline of faculty is involved in the program, making it a broad scope of study that is useful to all Villanova students regardless of one’s path of study. 

The founding faculty, which includes Dr. Weinstein, draws professors from subjects such as Electrical Engineering to Sociology and even from the Augustine & Culture Seminar.

The three specializations of the VIA program are entitled: Digital Life: The Criminology, Economics, Ethics, and the Technology of Cybersecurity, Building What Matters: Exploring the issues (Historical, Environmental, Economic, Real Estate, and Architectural) that Influence the built Environment, and Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship for Every Major and Everyone. These three specializations include specific courses within them, typically three or four classes that are each 1.5 credit courses, totaling up to six credits for each individual VIA specialization. In order to complete the six-credit certification, students must take all courses that fall in one specialization’s spectrum. 

The VIA courses are open to all undergraduate Villanova students and can even help to fulfill elective requirements, as Weinstein iterated. 

“The courses are totally different from [a student’s] typical training, not focusing on subject A for the first half of the course, then Subject B,” he said. “Instead, the courses are things entirely different, like the mobile apps course or the business of the pharmaceutical industry course.” 

To take advantage of this newfound opportunity and with registration fast approaching, interested students should meet with their academic advisors to discuss the program. University  students will be able to discover new courses of study, industries, and opportunities.