What is Vanderbilt Visions?
Vanderbilt Visions allows groups of new students to discover college life together.
All first-year students will be assigned to one of 92 Visions groups. These groups—each of which is made up of about eighteen first-year students—meet frequently throughout CommonVU. Starting on Move-In Weekend, Visions groups help you form strong connections and support networks with classmates across different houses, schools, perspectives, and geographical backgrounds and assist with your transition to becoming a successful college student. Visions also connects you with a faculty member and an upperclass student peer mentor, called faculty and student VUceptors
Discuss, explore, encounter!
Vanderbilt Visions is a key part of life on The Ingram Commons.
Visions encourages you and your classmates to express your questions, ideas, and opinions and learn from and with each other. Any topic is welcome—Visions is what you and your group make it.
All Visions groups share a required program syllabus. Sessions use small group discussion so you can jointly discover:
- what college life entails, both academically and socially
- the required basic skills and available university resources that support your academic and personal success at Vanderbilt
- the challenges of maintaining physical and mental health that confront new students living on their own for the first time
- an awareness about the new ideas, perspectives, and experiences of the diverse community at Vanderbilt and the individual role each of us plays in promoting an inclusive and supportive environment.
Who are the VUceptors?
Visions is led by 92 teams of faculty and student mentors, called VUceptors.
Your faculty and student mentors have chosen to become VUceptors because they are dedicated to assisting and learning from first-year students. Your faculty VUceptor may come from any one of the ten undergraduate and professional schools and colleges at Vanderbilt and your student mentor is an upperclass student from one of the four undergraduate schools.
Applying complementary skills sets, your VUceptors model a dynamic and meaningful professor-student interaction and help to create a mutually beneficial learning environment for everyone as they foster your group's discovery of the personal, social, and academic community values of Vanderbilt University.
Undergraduate Peer Mentors and the Student Organization VUcept
A unique feature of Vanderbilt Visions is that our undergraduate peer mentors are also members of the student organization VUcept. VUcept's mission is two-fold. First, VUceptors facilitate the cultural, social, and intellectual development of first-year students (called VUceptees) by holding Visions sessions within the living and learning community of The Ingram Commons, and by connecting VUceptees to upperclass students and university faculty. Second VUcept requires intentional campus engagement from its members, both as an organizational foray into dialogues occurring 'across the bridge,' and as a part of an overall mission to help first-year students integrate into the community beyond The Ingram Commons. In doing so, VUcept emphasizes the value of collaborative exploration, brave spaces, and peer mentorship. Student VUceptors reflect the diversity of thought and experience found at Vanderbilt. They are sources of reliable academic and personal advice. They model academic success and personal responsibility. They show how collaborative partnerships with professors are possible.
What makes faculty and student VUceptors successful?
You should become a faculty or a student VUceptor if you…
- Have a desire to learn from and with your first-year students, your VUceptor partner, and the experience
- Are open to facilitate a mentoring and support environment for first-year students that is unlike a classroom environment
- Are willing to embrace a learning paradigm that focuses on lateral learning and community-building and The Commons goal of intermingling the academic/intellectual with the social
- Have a desire to develop a deeper understanding of the transition first-year students at Vanderbilt experience
- Have a desire to work with a VUceptor partner and develop and model a meaningful reciprocal working relationship
- Have intellectual curiosity and interest in people
- Are open to embrace the diversity of opinions, backgrounds, and experiences represented in your group
- Are willing to listen rather than hear yourself talk
- Are willing to take risks and are open to uncertainty
- Have flexibility and adaptability
- Are willing to make yourself vulnerable and share some of your own experiences
With additional questions about how to get involved with the Vanderbilt Visions program as a VUceptor or a campus partner, please contact Assistant Director Natalee Erb.