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Classroom and community merge in new, VCU program

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – This school year, some students at Virginia Commonwealth University are settling into new digs- a residence hall centered on merging what’s being taught in the classroom with life lessons on helping the community.

CBS 6 got a tour of VCU’s New West Grace South apartments Friday. The five-story residence hall is home to students in the ASPiRE (Academic Scholars Program in Real Environments) program.

Dr. Katherine Howard, Vice-Provost for Community Involvement at VCU, said ASPiRE students are scholars with a focus on addressing needs in education, health, sustainability and  vibrant communities.

“Students are learning in all kinds of settings in the classroom, on campus, and in the community, and that’s a really important value for VCU,” said Howard.

The ASPiRE program is a first-of-its-kind living-learning community at VCU for Sophomores and Juniors.

The new residence hall is a $22.9 million project complete with classroom and living space for ASPiRE and other student.