Immersion Vanderbilt is grounded in the philosophy that students should not have to choose between their passions and practical pursuits; therefore, an immersion experience may be distinct from the major. This intentional de-coupling of the immersion experience from the major allows for opportunities to test concepts learned in real world scenarios, develop skills not traditionally taught in the students’ field of study, and create a unique experience that will prepare them for lifelong learning and their next career steps.
Immersion Vanderbilt experiences will be divided into four broad pathways: international, research, creative expression, and civic and professional. A brief description of each pathway can be found below. These pathways should not be viewed as rigid boundaries – it is expected that immersive experiences may crossover into multiple categories. Instead, these guiding pathways provide a structure upon which students can brainstorm, plan, and execute their immersive experiences.
Immersion Vanderbilt is composed of three phases:
- Pre-Immersion Work and Individualized Immersion Plan: The first phase of Immersion Vanderbilt may involve formal and informal preparatory work designed to allow students to explore interests, develop an understanding of necessary skills, and interact with faculty in particular relevant disciplines. Commons iSeminars (credit-bearing) will allow first-year students to gain a broad understanding of Immersion, learn about important campus resources, and identify what they need to know before planning their immersion experiences. The structure of these courses will be flexible, allowing faculty and facilitators to design seminars around specific disciplines and subjects. In addition to iSeminars, workshops will be offered beyond the first-year to provide students with opportunities to explore and discuss their ideas. This first phase involves the creation of a plan that identifies the experience, pathway to completion, and contribution to a student’s overall education. Students will develop a plan according to the appropriate advising school’s process. The Office of Immersion Resources will advise students regarding the campus support network and available resources. Approved plans will be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar.
- Immersion Experience: Students will engage in an international, creative, civic/professional, or research inquiry within and/or beyond the classroom to develop skills and knowledge, expand their worldviews, and/or prepare them for their next career steps. The workload for immersive experiences should be at least the equivalent of 9 credit hours’ worth of work. Students may fulfill this requirement with a combination of Vanderbilt course credits and/or approved immersion activities. Support will be provided through a resource network of advisers and connected offices.
- Immersion Project: The immersion experience will result in the creation of a tangible final project such as a research presentation, art show, performance, or thesis. The immersion project will be approved and assessed as required by the advising school. Support will be provided through the Office of Immersion Resources and a network of connected offices and resources.
Creation of an individualized immersion plan that identifies the experience, pathway to completion, and contribution to the student’s overall education
Engagement in academic, professional, or creative inquiry inside and outside of the classroom to develop skills and knowledge that foster lifelong learning, educate the whole person, and/or advance career opportunities
Creation of a final tangible project showcasing the skills and knowledge acquired through the immersive experience
Development of a robust culture and network of support to provide students mentoring, support, and skill development
Extensive student participation in an immersive learning opportunity
Development of a centralized database to include a collection of immersion experiences and opportunities to which students can refer