Recently, leaders in higher education, industry, government, foundations, and professional associations have encouraged the development of T-shaped students and professionals. A T-shaped individual has deep knowledge of a discipline and/or way of thinking, often seen in higher education as a student's major. This is complemented by breadth in a variety of disciplines and ways of thinking coupled with crosscutting skills such as communication, project management, and critical thinking.
Virginia Tech looks to expand this model, creating "VT-shaped students." The "V" enriches the model bringing in technological literacy, informal communal learning, and guided experiential learning. The "V" is achieved through a variety of intentional activities at Virginia Tech, including the curriculum itself through things like undergraduate research, a robust general education curriculum that allows for opportunities like internships and education abroad, and First Year Experiences courses to set students up for success from the beginning of their time here at Virginia Tech.
“We want to prepare students who can tackle the complex global problems and opportunities of the future,” said President Tim Sands. “To do that, students need to be adaptable, resilient, and culturally competent, seeing the world through the lens of empathy and our university’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).”
Watch President Sands' presentation on VT-shaped students from the 2016 T-Summit Conference in March 2016:
Find out more about VT-shaped individuals:
- Beyond Boundaries task force charged with envisioning the graduate of the future introduces the VT-shaped student to the Board of Visitors
- Beyond Boundaries concepts explores the VT-shaped individual
- "Preparing Students" task force report, May 2016
- Virginia Tech Magazine envisions the Class of 2047