THE CVCU METHOD
The CVCU Method
CVCU was launched to address three of the primary social ills of modern American academia: Ineffective methodology, sweeping secularization, and financial irresponsibility. In partnership with parents and the local church, CVCU offers flexible, affordable education that inspires self-directed learning through a biblical worldview. It’s a new breed of university for a new era. Through the utilization of a tutorial, apprenticeship model, CVCU embraces the proven success of one-to-one academic mentoring, not a mass, one-size-fits-all educational shoebox. CVCU caters to the independent learner, offering students unique learning modalities and ongoing career-focused training that helps them plot their goals, track their progress, and achieve their dreams.
CVCU is an integrated model featuring the capstones of coaching and mentoring ideologies along with the “flipped classroom model,” which is built on the findings of Millennial and Generation Z learning styles, andragogical (adult learning) applications, and the parent-directed (homeschool) education movement. Upon acceptance to the University, students will complete a Career Plan assessment to set a course for their academic pursuit based on goals, giftings, callings, interests, and abilities. Students then begin a cohort study in their field of interest, with specialty classes offered in Socratic learning modules at the CVCU campus with hybridized options for all general education courses. Studies are built on a Career Plan that helps them determine the necessary job skills required in their field of study. The goal is not solely the pursuit of a piece of paper, the achievement of an ethereal degree. Instead, through their experience at CVCU, students will gain a career-focused, mentor-modeled, well-rounded education that prepares them to be workers and citizens of the modern world. CVCU professors recognize that they're doing more than simply teaching the students of today; they're training the culture-shapers of tomorrow.
Students work alongside their Faculty Mentor to complete studies in a variety of general education and major specific options, offering individually-paced coaching for these courses of study. Through this blended system, students experience the benefits of social sharpening, networking, discussion-based learning modules, mentorship, and teamwork. Two days a week, students attend regular discussion group classes for presentations, group projects, small group discussions, and networking opportunities. The other three days, they study, talk with their Faculty Mentor, work and/or volunteer in the community. Through this model, and with the addition of dedicated summer coursework, highly-motivated, self-directed students can earn their BA or BS degree in as little as three years at a highly competitive rate (see Tuition page for rates and special spring discount information).
Failures of the Traditional University Model
Any experienced (and honest) academician will admit that, to be successful, the youngest generations need educational methodologies that differ from the lecture-driven systems of the path. However, tragically, most aging university vessels have grown so cumbersome and resistant to change that they are unable to fully access the creativity required to meet the academic and socioemotional success of the next generation. Instead of embracing innovation, many traditional institutions of higher learning in America are weighed down by towering hierarchies and overly indebted building programs, investing millions of dollars into bricks and mortar instead of millions of dollars into the most valuable resource of all: the next generation.
First, ineffective methodology has dramatically impacted student success, as evidenced in a number of significant hurdles facing the traditional university system today: Illiteracy rates, falling retention rates, and crippling student debt are all rampant. Practical skill acquisition and job placement rates are suffering. Colleges and universities have failed to adapt to the new modalities of learning required by the current generation, who have been raised in the era of constant connectivity and instant information access. As a result, college dropout rates are soaring. Though high school retention and graduation rates in California have improved over the last decade, retention rates in California state colleges remain abysmally low. According to 2018 report by EdSource, only 47% of Latino students who begin college in California complete their degrees, only 38% of Black students, only 60% of White students, and only 68% of Asian students. Clearly, students are not being effectively served, mentored, or coached. As Time Magazine (2008) noted, these stats point to two significant challenges: a high dropout rate and a delayed completion rate — 40% of students don't even finish their undergraduate degree within six years. The US higher educational system is pushing a one-size-fits-all model that is ineffective in meeting the needs of today’s generation.
Furthermore, the sociopolitical environment of most modern universities serves to undermine rather than nurture what students have been taught in the home and the church. Parents often make extraordinary financial sacrifices to educate their children in a biblical worldview K to 12, only to see them walk away from those values in college. A 2017 report by Campus Renewal found that almost 70% of Christian students attending secular universities leave the faith by the end of their freshman year in college. It's no wonder that, as Barna notes, Gen Z is the most "unchurched generation in history." Bad company corrupts good character. Luke 6:40 says that the student, when he or she is fully grown, will become like the teacher, and the evidence of this behavior modeling is played out today in a generation that has now been defined by astronomical rates of anxiety, depression, suicide ideation, and STDs. As Plato once quipped, the two most important questions any civilization must ask are, "Who is teaching the children, and what are they being taught?" CVCU takes extraordinary care in the selection of professors who are not only academically qualified but who are, most importantly, grounded in the DNA of the faith, who inherently demonstrate the "guide on the side" model, who are committed to the local church, and who are "relationally warm" and spiritually mature -- professors whose lives exhibit a harvest of good fruit. Education reform is vital for the socio-emotional, relational, and spiritual health of the next generation. As Lieutenant Colonel Ray Moore once said, "If we don't change the way we do education, we will lose our country." CVCU is stepping up to this call in order to change the trajectory of higher education within our realm of influence. It is our goal to nurture the investment parents have already made into the next generation, protecting and equipping our most important asset: our children.
Ineffective methodology and sweeping secularization, however, are not the only significant issues affecting students. Today’s college students are the first generation whose student loan debt now surpasses the nation’s credit card debt. In California alone, there are 3.7 million student borrowers who owe a total of $141.9 billion in student debt, and California's students hold approximately one-tenth of the nation's $1.5 trillion student loan debt. An entire generation is being sent out into the adult world carrying the unnecessary and overwhelming burden of educational debt, another statistic connected to their high levels of anxiety, depression, and “perpetual adolescence.” Furthermore, those that do graduate often report leaving college with no sense of direction, no specific calling or goal, and no hands-on, job-related experience. In fact, the majority of American college students – 60% -- actually end up in jobs that share no commonality with their college degree. Inattention to students’ individualized and generationally-specific learning needs is one root of the multifaceted problem. Most US colleges and universities today are built on Industrial Era information-dispensing ideologies that are now short-circuiting the educational prowess of America’s youngest students. The vast majority of Millennials and Generation Zs are not auditory learners, students who absorb material by sitting quietly and listening to a lengthy lecture. Instead, most are kinesthetic or visual learners, students who learn by seeing, doing, and discussing. The educational model of the future must fan the flame of learning within the student, creating a thirst for knowledge and a lifelong love of learning. This is the CVCU model.
CVCU's Distinctive Approach: Rigor Meets Relationship
CVCU is one of the first modern universities to be built almost entirely on the mentorship format, which allows for flexible, affordable education at a fraction of the cost of traditional private higher education. Because CVCU utilizes a learner-driven model, providing a "guide on the side" instead of a "sage on the stage," we are able to offer a financially responsible model of Christian higher education. Instead of being encumbered by debt or restrictive scheduling, CVCU students have the freedom to pursue their passion within the protective margins of affordability and flexibility. CVCU offers an excellent education within the boundaries of financially responsible stewardship, giving families the opportunity to invest into worthwhile ventures instead of wasting valuable resources on overpriced academic systems.
As professors, practitioners, parents, homeschoolers, and business owners, our leadership team knows from both experience and from research that the tutorial model is the most effective training method for the vast majority of GenZ students. CVCU is structured for the GenZ learner, an entire generation that has been nurtured in a learner-driven modality where every imaginable question is instantaneously answerable at one's fingertips. In such a knowledge-based economy, the tutorial, discipleship-based methodology is the most rational response to the academic needs of this generation. Additionally, students gain practical skills that help them acquire the vital attributes of problem-solving and critical thinking. At CVCU, students are given the opportunity for self-government, independent learning, and local leadership. Students are required to serve in field-based internships to gain practical, real-world experience before they earn their degree. Thus, graduates will have both the education and the practical skills to compete in today’s complex and multifaceted world of work. CVCU offers an academically-driven, practitioner-approved, mentor-supported model: It's a place where rigor meets relationship.
CVCU represents a new modality of education that taps the needs and learning styles of GenZ. With the goal of addressing the ills of modern American academia -- ineffective methodology, sweeping secularization, and financial irresponsibility -- CVCU endeavors to train up a next generation of culture shapers and world changers. Instead of utilizing a one-size-fits-all educational shoebox, CVCU partners with parents and the local church to offer flexible, affordable education that inspires self-directed learning through a biblical worldview. Through its distinctive academic methodologies and financial affordability, CVCU endeavors to catch the students who are currently falling through the net of apathetic academia and empower them to live, to dream, and to activate their futures. CVCU is a new breed of university for a new era.