15 Weeks • 15 College Credits
The Hybrid semester may be virtual, but there are no online lecture halls at Verto. As a first year student with Verto's dedicated support, you'll be set up for success in the rest of your college career and beyond. Here are some of the unique features that make the Global Impact Semester the best first year of 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
Your first year of college is a big deal - and our staff are committed to helping you reach your potential. Meet 1-on-1 with your Program Leaders, Academic Success Coaches, and faculty to help you set meaningful life, academic, and career goals. Together, work through challenges on your path to an independent and fulfilling life of your own.
Innovative Virtual Learning
This is not just another Zoom call. Partnering with Minerva, a cutting-edge virtual learning forum, the Verto hybrid semester is designed to maximize student engagement. Build a support network of faculty and peers while using this technology customized for student success in the modern world.
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 your mutual interests.
Global citizenship is more important than ever. On the Global Impact Year, you'll expand your mind and network by engaging with guest speakers from around the world. Learn about how COVID is affecting culture and society across the globe 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 transferable college credits to set you up for success at a partner college. You’ll also take experiential courses to explore today’s most interesting and relevant issues, using the Minerva platform. Verto and Minerva’s partnership is intentionally designed for immersive learning with unique features to allow students, instructors, and peers to engage more dynamically.
As a Fall 2020 student, you’ll dive into current affairs, with all its complexity. With a global pandemic sweeping the globe and the 2020 election front and center, Verto’s Global Health and American Government courses are incredibly relevant. Combined with Introduction to Critical Thinking and Rhetoric & Research I, the fall 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, you’ll have the option to join your classmates and instructors in California for a transformative in-person Verto Summit. Through activities, workshops, and speakers, you’ll grow as a leader, define your passions and motivations, and explore how your identity, values, and beliefs shape your experience. Bring your authentic self to the Verto Summit and build relationships with your cohort, building the foundation for an unforgettable 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 virtual and in-person, is active, engaging, and relevant. In collaboration with our partner, Minerva, Verto’s fall semester promotes engagement beyond traditional remote learning. You’ll immerse yourself in coursework designed to help you become a better thinker, scholar, and citizen. Our accomplished faculty aren’t just voices on a screen, they actively guide you to think critically about social, cultural, and political issues from a global perspective. You’ll be encouraged to seek your purpose and motivations, build effective study habits, and better understand the world around you.
Read more about the Fall 2020 courses 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.
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?,” This course 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 & Research 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 SOC 299 and GOVT 201 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.
The Verto Seminar is an exploratory course designed to encourage you 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, you will reflect on all that you bring to this learning community, explore your role as a global citizen, gain awareness of the ins and outs of higher education, and apply this knowledge for personal growth. You will use evidence-based research as a tool for asking purposeful questions, gaining knowledge and understanding, and making reasoned decisions for the benefit of your future and that of the world in which we live.
Sample Weekly Schedule
CORE SEMESTER COMPONENTS
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
Be an integral part of the first ever Verto Summit! During your two weeks in California, grow in your capacity as a leader and expand your potential. Through activities like facilitated discussions, ropes courses, team building challenges, and more, you’ll be fostering self-reflection and self-awareness. Amplify your ability to work on a team and create even stronger relationships with your peers. Your collaboration will pay off as you navigate new adventures and challenges together in 2021. While classes will slow down during the Verto Summit, students will meet to gain perspective on major global issues such as education, environment, politics, and health.
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. Don’t worry, there will also be plenty of morning 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.