On Sunday, April 3, Lance Collins, vice president and executive director of the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, presented an update on campus progress to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. Collins focused on Innovation Campus faculty, enrollment growth in Northern Virginia, and the transition to project-based learning.

“The Innovation Campus will be adding an excellent first cohort of faculty, who are joining us from the computer science and computer engineering departments,” said Collins. “They are currently based in both Blacksburg and Northern Virginia. This first faculty cohort will play an essential role in recruiting leading faculty to Virginia Tech, developing the campus governance structure, and establishing the research themes as we prepare for the campus launch in 2024.”

Collins noted that the faculty also will take the lead in the transition to project-based learning, as the Innovation Campus focuses on building new and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. In contrast to most master of engineering degree programs in the country, Virginia Tech's master of engineering from the Innovation Campus will be primarily based on completion of a collaborative, externally sponsored project. Students will be divided into teams, each of which is paired with a faculty mentor and personnel from the sponsoring organization. Learn more in the Innovation Campus Strategic Plan.

This semester, the Innovation Campus Project-Based Learning is in its first “pilot” stage, with graduate student teams working on two projects provided by Boeing.

There are currently 200 master of engineering students taking courses in Falls Church. In his presentation, Collins told the board that, thanks to enrollment marketing strategies, he expects the number of students to increase to 350 for fall 2022.

Virginia Tech broke ground on the Innovation Campus in September. Academic Building One of the Innovation Campus is set for completion in 2024, and the first classes will start at the new campus in the Potomac Yard district of Alexandria in fall 2024.

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