15 Weeks • 15 College Credits
The Hybrid semester may be virtual, but there are no lecture halls at Verto. Paired with the high level of support all students receive on Verto semesters, you'll be setting yourself for success in college and beyond. Here are some of the unique features that make the Global Impact Semester truly the best way to start college:
Small Class Sizes
There is no back row in a Verto classroom. With small class sizes of 25 students or less, you'll receive personalized guidance and support from Program Leaders, Academic Support Coaches, and your instructors. Verto faculty go beyond preparing you to meet academic outcomes and genuinely seek to help you reach your highest potential.
Coaching & Mentorship
Verto offers you unprecedented levels of support during your first year of college. You'll meet regularly 1-on-1 with your Program Leaders to help you set life, academic, and career goals that are meaningful to you. They'll get to know you as an individual and help you work through challenges on your path to an independent and fulfilling life of your own.
Highly-Engaged Learning Environment
This is not just another Zoom call. Verto partners with Minerva, a state-of-the art forum designed with student engagement in mind. In collaboration with Verto, the Minerva platform allows students to participate in virtual learning that is relevant, effective, and customized for your success in the modern world. Through unique technological tools, cohorts can dive deeper into discussion-based curriculum and learn from each other as if they were in a physical classroom.
As a Verto student, you'll be mastering global citizenship and leadership skills, so we've created platforms for you to start utilizing these skills right away! With room for virtual student-led clubs, you'll have the opportunity to meet more students, engage on a deeper level, and drive your virtual community by purusing what interests you.
Global citizenship is more important than ever and by joining the Global Impact Year, you're expanding your mind and your network by engaging with guest speakers from around the world. Learn about how COVID is affecting culture and society around the world from our teams in Fiji, Costa Rica, and England.
Hybrid Semester + In-Person Summit = Global Impact Semester
Your Semester With Verto
We get it. This year is not what anyone expected. Many colleges aren’t opening their doors. You don’t want to pay a fortune to spend the year listening to online lectures, but you’re ready to move forward with your education and earn college credits.
With Verto’s Global Impact Semester, you’ll earn a full load of college credits that will transfer seamlessly to a partner university. You’ll take experiential courses to explore the world’s most interesting and relevant issues, using the Minerva platform. The Minerva platform is intentionally designed for immersive online learning with unique features that allow you to engage more dynamically with your instructors and peers.
Created by the partnership between Verto and Minerva, the fall semester is about diving into the world’s current affairs, with all of its complexity. With a global pandemic sweeping the globe and the 2020 election front and center, Verto’s Global Health and Truth and American Politics courses are incredibly relevant. Combined with our Critical Thinking and Rhetoric & Composition courses, the Fall online semester challenges you to meet the moment head-on as a thinker, scholar, and dynamic member of your community, your nation, and our world.
For two weeks during this fall semester, take part in the optional Verto Summit in the beautiful woods of California. Through activities, workshops, and speakers, you’ll grow as a leader, hone in on your passions and motivations, and share with your peers how your identity, values, and beliefs shape your experience. Bring your whole self to the Summit and build relationships with your cohort as the foundation for an incredible spring semester abroad.
Fall 2020 Hybrid Semester
No Back-Row Classrooms
The Verto Curriculum
There is no back-row in a Verto classroom. No boring lectures. No easy answers. All of our learning, both online and in-person, is active, engaging, and relevant. In collaboration with our partner, Minerva, Verto has designed curriculum and a unique virtual platform that allows students and instructors to engage and learn remotely – this is not just another Zoom call. This fall, you’ll immerse yourselves in online courses that are designed to help you become a better thinker, scholar, and citizen. Our accomplished faculty won’t be just voices on a screen, they’ll be actively guiding you to think globally, creatively, and critically about social, cultural, and political issues from multiple perspectives. You’ll be encouraged to consider your own purpose and motivations, build effective study habits, and understand your place in the world around you.
Read more about the courses planned for Fall 2020 below:
Considering the impact of COVID-19 for all of us, and its outsized effect on historically marginalized communities, there may be no more relevant discipline than Public and Global Health. This poignant course examines the structures and institutions which are responsible for population health around the globe. In the course, you’ll explore the potential lived experiences and societal factors that shape our individual health narratives. With an expert instructor, you’ll dive into the cultural, political, economic, and geographic contexts of public health. You will gain comprehensive perspective on how communities all over the globe shape and define public health based on countries’ history, culture, and local policy. The class will be taught in a dynamic online seminar with topics ranging from women’s health to the ethics of research methodologies. As a class, you will build on core concepts of determinants of health through discussions and creative assignments to further our understanding of the intersection of policy, ethics, practice and health outcomes.
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.
Logical reasoning, problem-solving, and mitigating cognitive biases are among the most fundamental skills to reach your highest potential as a student, professional, and citizen. In this course, you’ll systematically practice these skills, learning to apply them to concrete problems across relevant domains. You will gain a foundation in critical and creative thinking upon which you can build expertise in disciplinary knowledge and excel in your chosen major.
Our Rhetoric & Composition course is designed to strengthen your writing mechanics and prepare you for the demands of academic writing. This course has been designed to develop writing and rhetoric skills by leveraging, reflecting on, and processing the experience Verto students are having during their semester, whether that be virtual or in person. It connects to themes from your Global Health and Truth and American Politics courses as well as current events and your personal histories. As a student of this course, you’ll 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.
Sample Weekly Schedule
CORE SEMESTER COMPONENTS
Life Skills Course
Learn study habits, time management, financial literacy, and mindfulness skills that will help you be successful in college and beyond! You’ll also start preparing for your Verto spring semester by delving into the culture, language, and customs of your spring destination.
Lunch & Learn
Join a small group of classmates to discuss a topic of interest with an expert from around the world. Interested in philosophy? Robotics? Media? You name it – and we’ll have incredible leaders join us to share insights with you.
As a Verto student, you’ll be mastering global citizenship and leadership skills, so we’ve created platforms for you to start utilizing these skills right away! With room for virtual student-led clubs, you’ll have the opportunity to meet more students, engage on a deeper level, and drive your virtual community by pursuing what interests you.
Hands-On Study Hall
In addition to the 1-on-1 support your Academic Success Coordinators provide, you can join weekly study halls throughout the week. Hop into a virtual room to collaborate with your peers or work your ASC directly to keep excelling in your coursework.
Celebrate the end of the week with your peers! Go beyond the virtual classroom by engaging with your community by joining Verto virtual events specifically catered to your cohort. Dance class, language class, movie nights – we’ll facilitate fun, relaxing events where you can unwind and connect to your peers on a deeper level.
The Verto Speakers Series
Michael T. Moe
The Verto Summit
In Person Experience
The Verto Summit
We’re thrilled to be offering the first-ever Verto Summit in California’s beautiful San Bernardino National Forest. During your two weeks on-site, grow in your understanding of yourself and your capacity as a leader and creator of change through activities designed to foster self-reflection and build self-awareness. Through facilitated discussions and physical activities like ropes courses and team-building challenges, amplify your ability to work as a member of a team and create strong relationships with your peers, many of whom will travel with you during your spring semester abroad. The bonds you form at the Verto Summit will help you navigate new adventures and challenges in 2021 and beyond. Although you’ll be in person, these two weeks are still a far cry from a traditional classroom environment. Together, you’ll continue having dynamic discussions about your class topics, like education, the environment, politics, and global health. As you work together and gain perspective, you’ll be equipped with a lifelong support network, whether you’re headed abroad with them on a spring Verto semester or you stay in touch throughout the next steps of your college career.
Breakfast & Morning Wellness
The day starts with an open breakfast bar and several morning wellness options including: Redwood Yoga, Sound Bath Meditation, Journaling with a View, Boot Camp, and a Nature Walk. Also to ensure everyone’s wellness there will be copious amounts of delicious coffee and tea.
What do you want to do for your career? What kind of person do you want to be? How do you want to impact our world? We guide students through activities to help them reflect on life’s big questions and help them chart a path forward.
Lunch & Collaborative Group Sessions
Afternoons at the Institute are all about getting to know your peers, sharing experiences, and learning to work as a team. Through activities, workshops, and team-building challenges like ropes course, this is the foundation for a positive group dynamic this semester and beyond.
Dinner & Evening Unwind
Most evenings, you’ll choose your own adventure: Relax and listen to live music, go on a walk, watch a film, play games, unwind with some arts and crafts, or continue to engage in meaningful dialogue with peers and staff. Some evenings throughout the Summit, planned nighttime activities will continue to help you learn about yourself, each other, and our world.