What is the New Common Book Program?
In 2015, the Division of Learning Innovation and Student Success launched the new “Common Book Program.” Building upon the nationally recognized Summer Reading program, the new initiative expands the previous program into a year-long, university-wide, “VCU Reads” Common Book initiative. In addition to broadening the scope of the Common Book experience, we have also been charged with the exciting task of encouraging and supporting first-year students’ immersion into the intellectual and cultural life of VCU. As it aligns more intentionally with the integrative learning central to the ‘Learning That Matters’ QEP, the Common Book Program will continue to increase two-campus-wide engagement across the disciplines with each year’s common text.
How can I get involved
The entering class of 2020 received copies of the 2016-2017 Common Book, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Faculty and staff led discussion groups during Welcome Week, and students have been working with the book in their core curriculum throughout the fall semester. The first-year students entering this spring will also receive a copy of the book and several events are in the works leading up to the two-day visit by our Common Book Author-in-Residence, Bryan Stevenson. In partnership with the Cabell Library, we are working with faculty, staff and students to coordinate further explorations of a variety of topics and issues sparked by their engagement with the book. Through the TelegRAM, Common Book website, the Resources Guide / library website, and social media (#VCUcommonbook), we will do general and targeted outreach to encourage active participation in the events prior to as well as attendance at Bryan Stevenson’s public talk.
As we read together this year, we’ll be sharing the experience on Twitter. Join in with your insights, questions, and impressions! #VCUcommonbook
And check out the VCU Libraries Research Guide for resources and inspiration.