The Verto Method of Teaching

Learning Outside the Classroom

On a Verto semester, coursework requires students to engage in and outside of the traditional classroom. They build on their academic curiosity by engaging with and observing host communities. Whether on a class field trip (accompanied by the faculty) to local galleries or museums, visiting a local NGO, attending a community panel, participating in service learning, speaking with local business owners, or partaking in a cultural ceremony, the experiential curriculum is carefully designed to complement and expand on course readings and lectures. All active learning experiences are framed and debriefed in conversation with faculty to maximize student learning outcomes.

Project-Based Assignments and Assessments

Students on a Verto semester are regularly asked to apply and critically asses what they have learned. Project-based assignments in Verto courses might involve, for example, independent research projects, first-hand data collection, or the development of a more creative final project such as a podcast, formal presentation, multimedia project, etc. In every class, project-based assignments are designed to allow students the freedom to pursue areas, themes, and topics of interest to them within the framework of the course.

Discussion-Based Seminars

Inside the classroom, Verto students are grouped into cohorts for small, discussion-based seminars. Verto’s face-to-face class time prioritizes discussion and active learning techniques. In addition to group and collective discussions, seminar meetings might include activities such as debates, student presentations, concept and/or mind mapping, or mock trials. This approach is made possible by Verto’s commitment to small class sizes (< 25 students), as well as through access to and relationships built with instructors and program staff in the shared living/learning immersive space.

A Diverse and Inclusive Curriculum

Verto courses are intentionally designed to ensure that students are exposed to diversity of perspectives and experiences. We accomplish this in three primary ways: course content, experiential learning activities, and class discussions. In each of these contexts, the curriculum exposes students to divergent experiences, perspectives, and opinions within the Verto and host communities. They also receive explicit training on diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the importance of developing diverse student communities.

Meeting Students Where They Are

Verto students come from diverse backgrounds. The courses are designed to ensure that students from all backgrounds can succeed and thrive on the Verto program. On the one hand, this means providing the necessary scaffolding and resources for those students that need more support to meet the demands of collegiate academic expectations. On the other hand, Verto also designs course assignments and assessments that allow advanced students to stretch academically and pursue their interests.

Educating the Whole Person

Verto course curriculum goes beyond cultivating academic skills and intellectual knowledge. Our faculty strive to help students build on “non-cognitive” skills like self-awareness, social awareness, and responsible decision-making. Faculty incorporate goal-setting, self-reflection, and meta-cognition as core foundations of every course. They prioritize collaboration, community-building, shared norms, and open and vulnerable dialogue in their classrooms.

Verto Education’s curriculum is developed by experienced faculty using our core pedagogical approach, which we call The Verto Method: a commitment to active, experiential, and community-centered instruction. Students are not passive recipients of information, but engaged scholars who propose solutions to global challenges and thrive at the collegiate level. They engage with their faculty and peers through collaborative dialogue, detailed case studies, and debate. The following are the core features of our course design via The Verto Method.

Course Catalog

Language and Literature

ENG 101: Rhetoric and Research I: Reading and Writing about Place

This course is designed to strengthen students’ writing mechanics and prepare students for the demands of academic writing. This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging the experience Verto students are having outside of the classroom. Students will learn the importance of strong academic writing, develop strong academic prose, and explore the relationship between language and rhetoric. This course includes faculty- led seminars, writing workshops, peer reviews, and individual tutorials between students and faculty.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 101

ENG 201: World Literature

The Contemporary World Literature course is a survey of texts exploring themes relevant to Verto students as they immerse themselves in their experience abroad. It includes travel writing from around the world, literature of the country students are studying in, and literature of global diaspora groups. Students will examine both form and content, improve their ability to critique a diverse body of literature, and develop more effective written communication skills.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 102

SPAN 101: First Year Spanish

This course blends a focus on grammar and vocabulary acquisition with real world Spanish immersion. Students will have opportunities to put their Spanish language skills to use outside the classroom. This course is equivalent to an elementary Spanish language course and includes vocabulary development, grammar, sentence structure, spoken language proficiency, and cultural understanding.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: Spanish 101

SPAN 201: Second Year Spanish

This course blends a focus on communication with grammatical rigor and vocabulary acquisition, in a real-world Spanish immersion context. During class seminars, students will be exposed to Spanish in different communicative situations and will engage with the language in different manners, ranging from simply reacting to input to negotiating their way through a task. Spanish will be the primary language of instruction and the majority of class time will be spent on task-based, communicative activities. Students entering this course will need to complete a short placement test.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: Spanish 201

Humanities and Social Sciences

ANTH 103: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

This course examines the meaning of culture, methods of studying cultural settings, and structures for comparing elements of cultures around the world. Through this course, students will examine the ways in which religion and ideology, social stratification, and symbolic expression defines a culture. This course is designed to provide students with a framework for exploring the meaning of complex social phenomena, many of which they’ll observe during their travels abroad. Furthermore, this course is meant to provide students with the tools to analyze elements of culture around the world in a academically rigorous manner.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ANTH 101

ART 201: Leonardo da Vinci in Renaissance Milan

Leonardo Da Vinci: artist, engineer and genius, he is the model of the Renaissance artist. In this class we are going to discover his personal and professional life, studying the secrets of his talent and debunking the countless fake legends about him. Moreover, because of his personal and professional life, Leonardo is the perfect character to understand the Renaissance itself: walking on his footprints we are going to discover one of the most fascinating eras of human history.

  • Credits: 4
  • Example Course Equivalency: ART 299

ECON 101: International Business & Corporate Ethics

This course has been designed to introduce students to the complex world of International Business. As globalisation has led to more and more international business activity, most products consumed daily have become dependent upon the intricate links and alliances that are a feature of doing business in a global economy. Understandably then, the primary objective of this course is to guide students towards a better understanding of the global business environment in a post-Covid 19 world and develop an appreciation of the opportunities available to, and limitations imposed upon, business activities in this environment. This course is further designed to provide students with an introduction to the forces that both drive and limit globalisation, and examine questions concerning the sustainability of current models given the pressures that appear to be emerging as the world adapts to the new priorities arising from the recent pandemic experience.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ECON 101

ECON 201: Spanish Economics within the European Union

Students will first develop a solid understanding of the historical evolution of the concept of European cultural and political identity to contextualize how Spain’s membership in the European Union has influenced national economic and monetary policies. A working knowledge of its institutions, common policies, decision-making processes and role in international affairs will enable students to understand the role of Spain within the European Union and the costs and benefits derived from the implementation of micro and macroeconomic policies since Spain’s accession in 1986.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ECON 102

HIST 101: Modern European History

This course provides an introduction to modern European history and examines how modern Europe has become one of the most important centers for historical change and development. Students will become familiar with the geography of Europe and the main strands of its historical development since the 18th century. The course will also provide a brief overview of the formation of European power and identity prior to this date. The course moves forward chronologically but the seminars are also given specific thematic foci so that students are introduced to key issues in European politics, society, economics and culture.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: HIST 101

HIST 201: Modern Latin American History

In this course, students will examine how the history and culture of Latin America constrain and advance opportunities for freedom and development in the region. This course is intended as an introduction to the cultures and societies of Latin America and contemporary issues in modern Latin American culture, politics, and economic systems. This course explores the history and culture of Latin American from the 20th century onwards. Students begin with the historical foundations needed to understand the context and trajectory of the region, before delving deeper into topics of present-day politics, economics, identity, religion, and social issues. Throughout the course, students draw upon their experiences outside of the classroom to inform their ideas and course assignments.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: HIST 102

GEO 201: Reading Milan and Italian Cities: Place-making and Cultural Resources

This course is designed to introduce students to urban studies and – more broadly – to the interactions and crossovers between culture and the city. We will examine historical, theoretical, and practical issues regarding: 1) the urban post-industrial turn (the rise of creative industries; the setting up of cultural quarters; the importance of art and culture in place-making); 2) key social transformation/processes taking place in post-industrial cities (gentrification, creolization, festivalization, artification etc.); 3) urban cultures (artistic subcultures; creative class, cultural intermediaries and hipsters); 4 creative industries (fashion, design, food, advertising etc.)

  • Credits: 4
  • Example Course Equivalency: HIS 299

GOVT 202: Politics of Britain and the European Union

The View from London: Politics of Britain and the European Union provides students with a uniquely London-situated perspective on the politics of Britain and the EU. The course focuses on three themes: i) the political history of Britain and the EU, including imperialism and the world wars; ii) the political, economic and legal institutions of Britain and Europe; and iii) current political challenges facing both Britain and Europe, including Brexit, migration and populism. Each theme is brought alive through engagement with London’s historical landmarks and museums, including: Greenwich and the Naval Museum, the Imperial War Museum, Westminster, Bank of England, Guildhall, and the Old Bailey.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: POLI 101

GOVT 201: American Government and Politics: An Exploration of Truth in American Politics & GOVT 299L: American Government and Politics Experiential Learning Lab

Asking the essential question “Does our democracy require truth?,” Truth and American Politics is an active exploration of the importance of credible information in American society, specifically in politics and government. As you take this course during an election year, you’ll examine your own experience as a citizen and apply your new knowledge in real-time. Analyze political discourse and the circulation of online information to determine credible sources, understand how to verify information, and how to debunk falsehoods. Through case studies and readings, this course builds students’ knowledge of the functions of government, politics, civil liberties and civil rights.

  • Credits: 3 + 1 (Lab)
  • Example Course Equivalency: POLI 101

PHIL 121: Introduction to Critical Thinking: Learning to Think Critically and Creatively

The main aim of this course is to recognize and reduce cognitive bias. This is the universal, irresistible and incorrigible tendency of human beings to favor the evidence justifying hypotheses, beliefs or expectations previously endorsed and to ignore, or not give enough importance to the evidence disconfirming them. This course teaches students to consider things in a new way, propose alternatives, or give innovative solutions to problems. Similarly, coursework encourages students to think critically to see the potential flaws of long-held beliefs, claims, or arguments and processes of reasoning. 

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: PHIL 121

SOC 201: Identity, Politics, & Equity

This course challenges students critically to analyse how identity – as defined by others and oneself – shapes societies, culture, politics, and the distribution of power, and, equally, how societies, culture, politics and the distribution of power shape identity. Drawing from media, texts, course field studies and intercultural experiences through living in London, students will reflect on the dynamic roles of ethnicity, gender, nationality, and socio-economic status in determining relationships within communities. It is anticipated that students will leave the course having acquired critical understanding and inquiry tools to serve in crafting greater equity in relationships, ranging from the interpersonal to those between nations.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: SOC 101

SOC 202: International Development

International development as a sector claims it is creating a better world. In this course, students examine a wide range of development theorists from around the world. By interrogating each author’s assumptions, the class aims to understand the underlying values of various approaches to development. Throughout, the class will reflect on how each author defines and pursues justice, equity, and sustainability in their theory and work. We’ll pay particular attention to how culture and positionality influences perspective and values using examples from the local context.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: SOC 102

SOC 299: Global Health: Health in Culture and Context

This course asks students to consider who is ultimately responsible for public health. It examines the cultural, political, economic, and geographic contexts of meeting public health needs. Through fieldwork supporting local health initiatives and time spent with local community members, students gain dynamic perspectives on how communities define and meet their public health needs. Seminars and readings include investigations of how policy, the pharmaceutical industry, economics, gender, and history shape current challenges and opportunities.

  • Credits: 4
  • Example Course Equivalency: SOC 101

Life & Academic Skills

ESE 101: College Readiness: Verto Seminar

Verto Seminar is an exploratory course designed to encourage students to investigate, reflect, make informed decisions, become more self-aware and globally conscious, and feel empowered to develop future educational and life goals.  In this course, students explore their roles as global citizens, gain awareness of the ins and outs of higher education, and apply this knowledge for personal growth.  They use evidence based research as a tool for asking purposeful questions, gaining knowledge and understanding, and making reasoned decisions.

  • Credits: 1
  • Example Course Equivalency: Seminar Course

Natural Sciences

ENVR 101: Introduction to Environmental Science

Creating and maintaining a sustainable relationship between humans and the environment is a complex and value laden process. This course examines the processes and values that affect sustainability with relation to food systems, production, consumption, and pollution. Through fieldwork with local farmers and community initiatives focused on conservation and sustainability, students observe natural systems in their cultural, economic, political, and human contexts. Texts and seminars challenge students to examine the core assumptions and values that share various perspectives on environmental policies and resource management strategies.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ENVR 101
location map

Courses by Location

Global Impact Semester

SOC 299: Global Health: Health in Culture and Context

This course asks students to consider who is ultimately responsible for public health. It examines the cultural, political, economic, and geographic contexts of meeting public health needs. Through fieldwork supporting local health initiatives and time spent with local community members, students gain dynamic perspectives on how communities define and meet their public health needs. Seminars and readings include investigations of how policy, the pharmaceutical industry, economics, gender, and history shape current challenges and opportunities.

  • Credits: 4
  • Example Course Equivalency: SOC 101

GOVT 201: American Government and Politics: An Exploration of Truth in American Politics & GOVT 299L: American Government and Politics Experiential Learning Lab

Asking the essential question “Does our democracy require truth?,” Truth and American Politics is an active exploration of the importance of credible information in American society, specifically in politics and government. As you take this course during an election year, you’ll examine your own experience as a citizen and apply your new knowledge in real-time. Analyze political discourse and the circulation of online information to determine credible sources, understand how to verify information, and how to debunk falsehoods. Through case studies and readings, this course builds students’ knowledge of the functions of government, politics, civil liberties and civil rights.

  • Credits: 3 + 1 (Lab)
  • Example Course Equivalency: POLI 101

PHIL 121: Introduction to Critical Thinking: Learning to Think Critically and Creatively

The main aim of this course is to recognize and reduce cognitive bias. This is the universal, irresistible and incorrigible tendency of human beings to favor the evidence justifying hypotheses, beliefs or expectations previously endorsed and to ignore, or not give enough importance to the evidence disconfirming them. This course teaches students to consider things in a new way, propose alternatives, or give innovative solutions to problems. Similarly, coursework encourages students to think critically to see the potential flaws of long-held beliefs, claims, or arguments and processes of reasoning. 

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: PHIL 121

ENG 101: Rhetoric and Research I: Reading and Writing about Place

This course is designed to strengthen students’ writing mechanics and prepare students for the demands of academic writing. This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging the experience Verto students are having outside of the classroom. Students will learn the importance of strong academic writing, develop strong academic prose, and explore the relationship between language and rhetoric. This course includes faculty- led seminars, writing workshops, peer reviews, and individual tutorials between students and faculty.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 101

ESE 101: College Readiness: Verto Seminar

Verto Seminar is an exploratory course designed to encourage students to investigate, reflect, make informed decisions, become more self-aware and globally conscious, and feel empowered to develop future educational and life goals.  In this course, students explore their roles as global citizens, gain awareness of the ins and outs of higher education, and apply this knowledge for personal growth.  They use evidence based research as a tool for asking purposeful questions, gaining knowledge and understanding, and making reasoned decisions.

  • Credits: 1
  • Example Course Equivalency: Seminar Course

Hawaii Field Semester

SOC 101: Identity, Politics, & Equity

This course challenges students critically to analyse how identity – as defined by others and oneself – shapes societies, culture, politics, and the distribution of power, and, equally, how societies, culture, politics and the distribution of power shape identity. Drawing from media, texts, course field studies and intercultural experiences through living in London, students will reflect on the dynamic roles of ethnicity, gender, nationality, and socio-economic status in determining relationships within communities. It is anticipated that students will leave the course having acquired critical understanding and inquiry tools to serve in crafting greater equity in relationships, ranging from the interpersonal to those between nations.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: SOC 101

ANTH 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

This course examines the meaning of culture, methods of studying cultural settings, and structures for comparing elements of cultures around the world. Through this course, students will examine the ways in which religion and ideology, social stratification, and symbolic expression defines a culture. This course is designed to provide students with a framework for exploring the meaning of complex social phenomena, many of which they’ll observe during their travels abroad. Furthermore, this course is meant to provide students with the tools to analyze elements of culture around the world in a academically rigorous manner.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ANTH 101

ENVR 101: Introduction to Environmental Science

Creating and maintaining a sustainable relationship between humans and the environment is a complex and value laden process. This course examines the processes and values that affect sustainability with relation to food systems, production, consumption, and pollution. Through fieldwork with local farmers and community initiatives focused on conservation and sustainability, students observe natural systems in their cultural, economic, political, and human contexts. Texts and seminars challenge students to examine the core assumptions and values that share various perspectives on environmental policies and resource management strategies.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ENVR 101

ENG 101: Rhetoric and Research I: Reading and Writing about Place

This course is designed to strengthen students’ writing mechanics and prepare students for the demands of academic writing. This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging the experience Verto students are having outside of the classroom. Students will learn the importance of strong academic writing, develop strong academic prose, and explore the relationship between language and rhetoric. This course includes faculty- led seminars, writing workshops, peer reviews, and individual tutorials between students and faculty.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 101

ENG 102: World Literature

The Contemporary World Literature course is a survey of texts exploring themes relevant to Verto students as they immerse themselves in their experience abroad. It includes travel writing from around the world, literature of the country students are studying in, and literature of global diaspora groups. Students will examine both form and content, improve their ability to critique a diverse body of literature, and develop more effective written communication skills.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 102

London Campus Semester

HIST 101: Modern European History

This course provides an introduction to modern European history and examines how modern Europe has become one of the most important centers for historical change and development. Students will become familiar with the geography of Europe and the main strands of its historical development since the 18th century. The course will also provide a brief overview of the formation of European power and identity prior to this date. The course moves forward chronologically but the seminars are also given specific thematic foci so that students are introduced to key issues in European politics, society, economics and culture.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: HIST 101

SOC 101: Identity, Politics, & Equity

This course challenges students critically to analyse how identity – as defined by others and oneself – shapes societies, culture, politics, and the distribution of power, and, equally, how societies, culture, politics and the distribution of power shape identity. Drawing from media, texts, course field studies and intercultural experiences through living in London, students will reflect on the dynamic roles of ethnicity, gender, nationality, and socio-economic status in determining relationships within communities. It is anticipated that students will leave the course having acquired critical understanding and inquiry tools to serve in crafting greater equity in relationships, ranging from the interpersonal to those between nations.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: SOC 101

ECON 101: International Business

This course has been designed to introduce students to the complex world of International Business. As globalisation has led to more and more international business activity, most products consumed daily have become dependent upon the intricate links and alliances that are a feature of doing business in a global economy. Understandably then, the primary objective of this course is to guide students towards a better understanding of the global business environment in a post-Covid 19 world and develop an appreciation of the opportunities available to, and limitations imposed upon, business activities in this environment. This course is further designed to provide students with an introduction to the forces that both drive and limit globalisation, and examine questions concerning the sustainability of current models given the pressures that appear to be emerging as the world adapts to the new priorities arising from the recent pandemic experience.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ECON 101

POLI 101: Politics of Britain and the European Union

The View from London: Politics of Britain and the European Union provides students with a uniquely London-situated perspective on the politics of Britain and the EU. The course focuses on three themes: i) the political history of Britain and the EU, including imperialism and the world wars; ii) the political, economic and legal institutions of Britain and Europe; and iii) current political challenges facing both Britain and Europe, including Brexit, migration and populism. Each theme is brought alive through engagement with London’s historical landmarks and museums, including: Greenwich and the Naval Museum, the Imperial War Museum, Westminster, Bank of England, Guildhall, and the Old Bailey.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: POLI 101

ENG 101: Rhetoric and Research I: Reading and Writing about Place

This course is designed to strengthen students’ writing mechanics and prepare students for the demands of academic writing. This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging the experience Verto students are having outside of the classroom. Students will learn the importance of strong academic writing, develop strong academic prose, and explore the relationship between language and rhetoric. This course includes faculty- led seminars, writing workshops, peer reviews, and individual tutorials between students and faculty.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 101

ENG 102: World Literature

The Contemporary World Literature course is a survey of texts exploring themes relevant to Verto students as they immerse themselves in their experience abroad. It includes travel writing from around the world, literature of the country students are studying in, and literature of global diaspora groups. Students will examine both form and content, improve their ability to critique a diverse body of literature, and develop more effective written communication skills.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 102

South Pacific Field Semester

SOC 101: Identity, Politics, & Equity

This course challenges students critically to analyse how identity – as defined by others and oneself – shapes societies, culture, politics, and the distribution of power, and, equally, how societies, culture, politics and the distribution of power shape identity. Drawing from media, texts, course field studies and intercultural experiences through living in London, students will reflect on the dynamic roles of ethnicity, gender, nationality, and socio-economic status in determining relationships within communities. It is anticipated that students will leave the course having acquired critical understanding and inquiry tools to serve in crafting greater equity in relationships, ranging from the interpersonal to those between nations.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: SOC 101

ANTH 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

This course examines the meaning of culture, methods of studying cultural settings, and structures for comparing elements of cultures around the world. Through this course, students will examine the ways in which religion and ideology, social stratification, and symbolic expression defines a culture. This course is designed to provide students with a framework for exploring the meaning of complex social phenomena, many of which they’ll observe during their travels abroad. Furthermore, this course is meant to provide students with the tools to analyze elements of culture around the world in a academically rigorous manner.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ANTH 101

ENVR 101: Introduction to Environmental Science

Creating and maintaining a sustainable relationship between humans and the environment is a complex and value laden process. This course examines the processes and values that affect sustainability with relation to food systems, production, consumption, and pollution. Through fieldwork with local farmers and community initiatives focused on conservation and sustainability, students observe natural systems in their cultural, economic, political, and human contexts. Texts and seminars challenge students to examine the core assumptions and values that share various perspectives on environmental policies and resource management strategies.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ENVR 101

ENG 101: Rhetoric and Research I: Reading and Writing about Place

This course is designed to strengthen students’ writing mechanics and prepare students for the demands of academic writing. This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging the experience Verto students are having outside of the classroom. Students will learn the importance of strong academic writing, develop strong academic prose, and explore the relationship between language and rhetoric. This course includes faculty- led seminars, writing workshops, peer reviews, and individual tutorials between students and faculty.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 101

ENG 102: World Literature

The Contemporary World Literature course is a survey of texts exploring themes relevant to Verto students as they immerse themselves in their experience abroad. It includes travel writing from around the world, literature of the country students are studying in, and literature of global diaspora groups. Students will examine both form and content, improve their ability to critique a diverse body of literature, and develop more effective written communication skills.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 102

Madrid Campus Semester

HIST 101: Modern European History

This course provides an introduction to modern European history and examines how modern Europe has become one of the most important centers for historical change and development. Students will become familiar with the geography of Europe and the main strands of its historical development since the 18th century. The course will also provide a brief overview of the formation of European power and identity prior to this date. The course moves forward chronologically but the seminars are also given specific thematic foci so that students are introduced to key issues in European politics, society, economics and culture.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: HIST 101

ANTH 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

This course examines the meaning of culture, methods of studying cultural settings, and structures for comparing elements of cultures around the world. Through this course, students will examine the ways in which religion and ideology, social stratification, and symbolic expression defines a culture. This course is designed to provide students with a framework for exploring the meaning of complex social phenomena, many of which they’ll observe during their travels abroad. Furthermore, this course is meant to provide students with the tools to analyze elements of culture around the world in a academically rigorous manner.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ANTH 101

SPAN 101: Beginner Spanish Language

This course blends a focus on grammar and vocabulary acquisition with real world Spanish immersion. Students will have opportunities to put their Spanish language skills to use outside the classroom. This course is equivalent to an elementary Spanish language course and includes vocabulary development, grammar, sentence structure, spoken language proficiency, and cultural understanding.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: Spanish 101

SPAN 201: Intermediate Spanish Language

This course blends a focus on communication with grammatical rigor and vocabulary acquisition, in a real-world Spanish immersion context. During class seminars, students will be exposed to Spanish in different communicative situations and will engage with the language in different manners, ranging from simply reacting to input to negotiating their way through a task. Spanish will be the primary language of instruction and the majority of class time will be spent on task-based, communicative activities. Students entering this course will need to complete a short placement test.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: Spanish 201

ECON 102: Spanish Economics within the European Union

Students will first develop a solid understanding of the historical evolution of the concept of European cultural and political identity to contextualize how Spain’s membership in the European Union has influenced national economic and monetary policies. A working knowledge of its institutions, common policies, decision-making processes and role in international affairs will enable students to understand the role of Spain within the European Union and the costs and benefits derived from the implementation of micro and macroeconomic policies since Spain’s accession in 1986.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ECON 102

ENG 101: Rhetoric and Research I: Reading and Writing about Place

This course is designed to strengthen students’ writing mechanics and prepare students for the demands of academic writing. This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging the experience Verto students are having outside of the classroom. Students will learn the importance of strong academic writing, develop strong academic prose, and explore the relationship between language and rhetoric. This course includes faculty- led seminars, writing workshops, peer reviews, and individual tutorials between students and faculty.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 101

ENG 102: World Literature

The Contemporary World Literature course is a survey of texts exploring themes relevant to Verto students as they immerse themselves in their experience abroad. It includes travel writing from around the world, literature of the country students are studying in, and literature of global diaspora groups. Students will examine both form and content, improve their ability to critique a diverse body of literature, and develop more effective written communication skills.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 102

Latin America Field Semester

SOC 299: Global Health: Health in Culture and Context

This course asks students to consider who is ultimately responsible for public health. It examines the cultural, political, economic, and geographic contexts of meeting public health needs. Through fieldwork supporting local health initiatives and time spent with local community members, students gain dynamic perspectives on how communities define and meet their public health needs. Seminars and readings include investigations of how policy, the pharmaceutical industry, economics, gender, and history shape current challenges and opportunities.

  • Credits: 4
  • Example Course Equivalency: SOC 101

ENVR 101: Introduction to Environmental Science

Creating and maintaining a sustainable relationship between humans and the environment is a complex and value laden process. This course examines the processes and values that affect sustainability with relation to food systems, production, consumption, and pollution. Through fieldwork with local farmers and community initiatives focused on conservation and sustainability, students observe natural systems in their cultural, economic, political, and human contexts. Texts and seminars challenge students to examine the core assumptions and values that share various perspectives on environmental policies and resource management strategies.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: ENVR 101

SOC 102: International Development

International development as a sector claims it is creating a better world. In this course, students examine a wide range of development theorists from around the world. By interrogating each author’s assumptions, the class aims to understand the underlying values of various approaches to development. Throughout, the class will reflect on how each author defines and pursues justice, equity, and sustainability in their theory and work. We’ll pay particular attention to how culture and positionality influences perspective and values using examples from the local context.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: SOC 102

HIST 102: Modern Latin American History

In this course, students will examine how the history and culture of Latin America constrain and advance opportunities for freedom and development in the region. This course is intended as an introduction to the cultures and societies of Latin America and contemporary issues in modern Latin American culture, politics, and economic systems. This course explores the history and culture of Latin American from the 20th century onwards. Students begin with the historical foundations needed to understand the context and trajectory of the region, before delving deeper into topics of present-day politics, economics, identity, religion, and social issues. Throughout the course, students draw upon their experiences outside of the classroom to inform their ideas and course assignments.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: HIST 102

ENG 101: Rhetoric and Research I: Reading and Writing about Place

This course is designed to strengthen students’ writing mechanics and prepare students for the demands of academic writing. This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging the experience Verto students are having outside of the classroom. Students will learn the importance of strong academic writing, develop strong academic prose, and explore the relationship between language and rhetoric. This course includes faculty- led seminars, writing workshops, peer reviews, and individual tutorials between students and faculty.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 101

ENG 102: World Literature

The Contemporary World Literature course is a survey of texts exploring themes relevant to Verto students as they immerse themselves in their experience abroad. It includes travel writing from around the world, literature of the country students are studying in, and literature of global diaspora groups. Students will examine both form and content, improve their ability to critique a diverse body of literature, and develop more effective written communication skills.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 102

SPAN 101: Beginner Spanish Language

This course blends a focus on grammar and vocabulary acquisition with real world Spanish immersion. Students will have opportunities to put their Spanish language skills to use outside the classroom. This course is equivalent to an elementary Spanish language course and includes vocabulary development, grammar, sentence structure, spoken language proficiency, and cultural understanding.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: Spanish 101

SPAN 201: Intermediate Spanish Language

This course blends a focus on communication with grammatical rigor and vocabulary acquisition, in a real-world Spanish immersion context. During class seminars, students will be exposed to Spanish in different communicative situations and will engage with the language in different manners, ranging from simply reacting to input to negotiating their way through a task. Spanish will be the primary language of instruction and the majority of class time will be spent on task-based, communicative activities. Students entering this course will need to complete a short placement test.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: Spanish 201

Milan Campus Semester

Art 201: Leonardo da Vinci in Renaissance Milan

Leonardo Da Vinci: artist, engineer and genius, he is the model of the Renaissance artist. In this class we are going to discover his personal and professional life, studying the secrets of his talent and debunking the countless fake legends about him. Moreover, because of his personal and professional life, Leonardo is the perfect character to understand the Renaissance itself: walking on his footprints we are going to discover one of the most fascinating eras of human history.

  • Credits: 4
  • Example Course Equivalency: ART 299

PHIL 121: Introduction to Critical Thinking: Learning to Think Critically and Creatively

The main aim of this course is to recognize and reduce cognitive bias. This is the universal, irresistible and incorrigible tendency of human beings to favor the evidence justifying hypotheses, beliefs or expectations previously endorsed and to ignore, or not give enough importance to the evidence disconfirming them. This course teaches students to consider things in a new way, propose alternatives, or give innovative solutions to problems. Similarly, coursework encourages students to think critically to see the potential flaws of long-held beliefs, claims, or arguments and processes of reasoning. 

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: PHIL 121

SOC 102: International Development

International development as a sector claims it is creating a better world. In this course, students examine a wide range of development theorists from around the world. By interrogating each author’s assumptions, the class aims to understand the underlying values of various approaches to development. Throughout, the class will reflect on how each author defines and pursues justice, equity, and sustainability in their theory and work. We’ll pay particular attention to how culture and positionality influences perspective and values using examples from the local context.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: SOC 102

GEO 201: Reading Milan and Italian Cities: Place-making and Cultural Resources

This course is designed to introduce students to urban studies and – more broadly – to the interactions and crossovers between culture and the city. We will examine historical, theoretical, and practical issues regarding: 1) the urban post-industrial turn (the rise of creative industries; the setting up of cultural quarters; the importance of art and culture in place-making); 2) key social transformation/processes taking place in post-industrial cities (gentrification, creolization, festivalization, artification etc.); 3) urban cultures (artistic subcultures; creative class, cultural intermediaries and hipsters); 4 creative industries (fashion, design, food, advertising etc.)

  • Credits: 4
  • Example Course Equivalency: HIST 299

ENG 101: Rhetoric and Research I: Reading and Writing about Place

This course is designed to strengthen students’ writing mechanics and prepare students for the demands of academic writing. This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging the experience Verto students are having outside of the classroom. Students will learn the importance of strong academic writing, develop strong academic prose, and explore the relationship between language and rhetoric. This course includes faculty- led seminars, writing workshops, peer reviews, and individual tutorials between students and faculty.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 101

ENG 102: World Literature

The Contemporary World Literature course is a survey of texts exploring themes relevant to Verto students as they immerse themselves in their experience abroad. It includes travel writing from around the world, literature of the country students are studying in, and literature of global diaspora groups. Students will examine both form and content, improve their ability to critique a diverse body of literature, and develop more effective written communication skills.

  • Credits: 3
  • Example Course Equivalency: English 102

Richard Bland College of William & Mary

Verto Education partners with Richard Bland College (RBC) as the Verto “school of record.” As the school of record, Richard Bland College documents and awards credits for courses taken by students at Verto Education. RBC collaborates with Verto to produce final transcripts for students to allow simplified transfer of credits to the receiving institution.

Academics & Faculty

Our accomplished faculty and staff work together to develop and deliver rigorous collegiate curriculum and support to Verto students. Throughout the semester, students are encouraged to engage directly with the faculty during office hours and study halls. They’re also supported by Program Leaders who build community and Academic Success Coordinators who ensure students have the academic support to excel in Verto courses and beyond.

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