A new partnership between Virginia Wesleyan University and Cape Henry Collegiate gives seniors from the Virginia Beach private school the opportunity to earn college credit for their journeys abroad. In a collaboration that mirrors a traditional college travel course, students have dual-enrollment status with VWU and receive academic credit for their short-term travel with the Nexus Global Studies program.
“What really makes this collaboration unique is the dual-enrollment component,” says William Fluharty, Director of the Nexus Global Studies program at Cape Henry Collegiate. “This partnership is one of the first of its kind in the country that offers college credits to secondary students for traveling abroad."
“I’m proud of this partnership and am a strong supporter of dual-enrollment programs,” says Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of Virginia Wesleyan University. “This program is an excellent example of meaningful collaboration, and the impact is significant.”
For Cape Henry Collegiate’s Head of School, Dr. Christopher Garran, the partnership also asserts the significance of experiential education in a student's academic career.
“People talk a lot about the value and importance of global travel and experiences,” he says. “This partnership and the awarding of college credit for a Nexus experience validates what we know—that true learning takes place when a student goes out and experiences another culture and another place.”
The Virginia Wesleyan course, “Travel in the Humanities,” prepared Cape Henry Collegiate seniors for their capstone travel program to Morocco this past summer. Students gained a deeper understanding of Moroccan culture, economics, history and politics through a series of pre-departure classes.
“All of our travel programs have a series of classes built into the school year, but this approach was a bit more in depth,” said Fluharty. “We owe it to our students to provide them with as much background history and information about their destination as possible. That way, when speaking to people they meet in these countries, or living with the families in their homes, our students can engage in more meaningful discussions and learn more about the different cultures around the world.”
Virginia Wesleyan University Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Maynard Schaus, looks forward to further collaborations with Cape Henry Collegiate. In addition to this year’s “Travel in the Humanities” course, 20 more Cape Henry Collegiate students will have the opportunity to take multivariable calculus through a dual-enrollment program at VWU.
“These experiences can give Cape Henry students a chance to see what VWU courses and faculty members are like,” said Dr. Schaus, “and let them earn college credit while they are still in high school.”
According to Dr. Miller, these dual-enrollment courses not only enhance high school transcripts, but also enrich both school communities.
“This is a mutually beneficial program,” he said, “and we are fortunate to develop strong relationships with these students who become familiar with our campus, offerings, faculty, staff, and culture. We are proud to enhance the educational journey of students in our region and provide opportunities that they would not otherwise have.”
Preparations are already underway for the second offering of “Travel in the Humanities,” focusing on Cape Henry Collegiate’s senior capstone travel program to Myanmar. The collaboration with Virginia Wesleyan provides an exciting opportunity for Cape Henry Collegiate students, says Dr. Garran, while also embracing the school’s mission to graduate independent thinkers and globally aware citizens.
“Dr. Miller and the Virginia Wesleyan team have been committed to making this happen because they share our belief in the tremendous value of cross-cultural experiences,” he says. “We know that these experiences make our students better citizens.”
About the Nexus Global Studies Program
Cape Henry Collegiate’s Nexus Global Studies program is recognized as one of the leading global studies programs in the country. This groundbreaking program engages students in a comprehensive curriculum that fosters an awareness of the global community through academic studies, cultural and language immersion, real-world research, field study and service-learning projects that stretch them intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. The Nexus Global Studies program seeks to introduce students to a wide variety of stimulating experiences. Students have the opportunity to travel overseas and experience diverse cultures, explore varied ecosystems, and immerse themselves in the language of their choosing.
As one of the founding members of the Global Education Benchmark Group, Cape Henry Collegiate leverages partnerships with international sister schools and communities as well as numerous educational organizations and foundations, such as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), St. George’s University, Tasuleasa Social, and the Cheetah Conservation Fund, to name just a few.
At Cape Henry Collegiate, the Nexus Global Studies program is integrated into the curriculum at all grade levels. Field-study opportunities range from the 5th grade “Little Nexus” experience to the 12th grade Capstone Trip for interested seniors that requires each student to create, conduct and present their own meaningful Global Studies project.