Beckley, W.Va. – West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) has received a prestigious grant from Meta, the parent company to Facebook, and Bodyswaps, a virtual reality soft skills training provider. WVU Tech is the only school in West Virginia, one of only 19 schools in the United States and one of only 100 institutions of higher learning in the world to win the Immersive Soft Skills Education grant this cycle.
These virtual learning opportunities will help students become even more competitive in the global market. The grant allows students to enhance their soft skills with access to Bodyswaps’ library of resources that they experience through Meta’s Quest 2 headsets. Students can practice soft skills, such as communication, public speaking, job interviews, management, leadership and more in realistic scenarios through the virtual reality headsets.
The grant was won with a collaborative effort from several departments across Tech’s campus.
“We’re committed to serving our students the best way possible and bringing the latest tools and technology to the classroom is a key element. The team is excited to explore the educational possibilities with this latest Meta technology and we are happy to be among the few institutions receiving this grant in the United States. A special thanks to Scott Robertson who initiated this effort and formed the team. This is a great collaboration between institutional teams, Career and Professional Development, TRIO student support services and the College of Engineering and Sciences,” said Dr. Kenan Hatipoglu, Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering said.
“Receiving the Bodyswaps and Meta Immersive Skills Grant is a fantastic opportunity for WVU Tech to be on the cutting edge of using virtual reality in higher education and provide students with resources that prepare them for the working world,” says Scott Robertson, Assistant Dean of Students.
“The introduction of this technology provides many exciting opportunities for WVU Tech students. Possibly the largest beyond learning soft skills is the actual use of virtual reality (VR) technology. VR is an evolving and growing industry, so allowing students to use this technology will make them stand out in the workforce. I look forward to assisting students with adding this knowledge to their resumes,” says Susan Wood, Director of Career and Professional Development.
WVU Tech has been training leaders in engineering for more than 65 years. Ranked in the top 15% of earning potential in the country by PayScale and among the top undergraduate engineering programs in the nation by US News and World Report, WVU Tech has a rich history of academic excellence.