VCU ASPiRE students learn in both the classroom and the community as they interact with faculty, community members and peers. The program’s curriculum is designed to help students integrate conceptual knowledge, reflective practice and real-world experience. Co-curricular experiences offer additional learning opportunities, such as lectures, discussions, workshops, conferences and service trips.

The four-semester VCU ASPiRE course sequence is comprised of an introductory three-credit Community Studies (CMST) course followed by three one-credit CMST seminars. In these courses, students learn fundamental concepts and best practices in community engagement, explore the history and character of Richmond’s diverse neighborhoods, study social issues and advocacy and reflect upon their experiences in the program and plan for their future community engagement. In addition to the four CMST courses, UNIV 200 is also required for the Certificate of Completion in Community Engagement.