President Scott Miller stated in his Feb. 8 Nota Bene that Virginia Wesleyan University has made a preferred admission agreement and 3+3 program with Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, VA. This agreement will serve as an opportunity for students to complete their law degrees jointly with VWU and ASL. This came to fruition when VWU began communicating with ASL at the end of last year for a partnership that could present new opportunities to students.
The agreement of the two schools consists of two admissions programs; the preferred admission agreement and the 3+3 program. “The preferred admission agreement is an opportunity for students who have a 3.0 GPA or higher to get preferential admission status to law, and the 3+3 program (3 years in VWU and 3 years in ASL), is for students to be able to complete 2 degrees in 6 years,” explained Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Maynard Schaus. VWU Enrollment Counselor Elisabeth Davis brought up the idea to Dr. Schaus for the schools to come together in a 3+3 program.
Schaus also expressed that one of the reasons VWU made this agreement with ASL was the Natural Resources program that ASL has. “We feel that the ASL partnership is an ideal one because they have a good law program that includes a concentration in Natural Resources Law, which may be of interest to many of our students,” Schaus said.
Students from a wide variety of majors can take advantage of this opportunity, not just criminal justice or political science majors. “Students interested in law school often come from a wide range of programs, including political science, philosophy, english, history, and criminal justice. In addition, some of our science majors may be interested in the Natural Resource law track, so it should have wide appeal,” Schaus said. He also expressed interest in the fact that this agreement is a pathway for VWU students and to complete their studies in a shorter period of time.
VWU Enrollment Counselor Elisabeth Davis is an ASL alumna, and she reflected on her times in ASL and described them as a big transition, but awesome. “My experience at ASL was totally different than what I expected, especially coming from such a high-populated area. Moving to the mountains in Grundy took some getting used to, but it helped me focus on my studies and extracurriculars at the same time,” Davis said.
In her time at ASL, Davis was a part of the executive board of ASL Law Review, Appalachian Journal of Law and Moot Court where she specialized in worker’s compensation law. She also was a Teaching Assistant for the school’s Appellate Advocacy Professor and Clerk of the law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta.
“My experience was awesome, considering the ‘culture shock’ one might say I saw, coming across Virginia, and I met a lot of awesome people that I still keep in touch with and consider close friends,” Davis said.
After her graduation, she put her bar exam on hold for personal reasons; however, she expressed that she has found in VWU a career that brings her happiness in her life. “I found the Enrollment Center’s Outreach Office in early 2020, before COVID. I fit in making calls to prospective VWU students and speaking to them about merit scholarships offered, and then was offered the position here as an Enrollment Counselor in August,” Davis said. Although more than three years have passed since she graduated from ASL, she stated that she still wants to seek her bar licensure in the near future.
Currently, VWU is not seeking any additional agreements with other institutions, but there are a number of other accelerated degrees and preferred admission partnerships available to students. Among them are the Cooperative College Program with the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, early admission at Duke University Divinity School, an accelerated degree with the Pre-Engineering Program at Old Dominion University, the Early Assurance and Joint Programs in medicine with Eastern Virginia Medical School, guaranteed admission awards to the Sentara Entry to Nursing Practice Master’s program and a reserved space for VWU Batten Honors College students in the Master of Arts in Marine Science program at William & Mary.
Students that are interested to know more about the ASL program or other programs that VWU has can go to the accelerated programs and priority admissions webpage at https://www.vwu.edu/academics/accelerated-degrees/.
By Steven Serrano-Cruz