What is Keystone? - DSA Staff

Division of Student Affairs
Division of Student Affairs
noun: keystone; plural noun: keystones
a central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together.
· the central principle or part of a policy, system, etc., on which all else depends.
"cooperation remains the keystone of the government's security policy"
Division of Student Affairs
Keystone Mission
The Keystone Experience is an opportunity for students to better understand
and put into practice the Aspirations for Student Learning. The Division of
Student Affairs and campus partners will provide learner-centered experiences
that engage students in an opportunity to learn, participate, and model the five
Division of Student Affairs
Goals of the Keystone Experience
• Introduce students to the Aspirations for Student Learning and have them engage in experiences that meet the introductory level
of each aspiration (what is each aspiration and why is it important?).
• Provide a clear and intentionally sequenced path for students to engage in numerous and varied experiences that allow them to
learn, practice, and model the Aspirations for Student Learning.
• Provide the resources for students to track and reflect on their experiences through a co-curricular transcript.
• Assist students in making meaning of their VT experience through community interactions (peers/mentors/faculty/staff), with
opportunities for students to reflect on their experiences with faculty, staff, and peers.
• Provide students with the opportunity to engage in activities that prepare them for in-depth reflection so that the quality of their
learning is enriched and the relationships that are created or strengthened can flourish.
• Ensure that all of the division’s programs, events, and services link to our core values so that we connect with as many students as
possible with the goal to provide every student an opportunity to engage in dynamic learning environments.
Division of Student Affairs
Division of Student Affairs
Keystone Experience
The Keystone Experience is the co-curricular experience created by the Division of Student
Affairs for students at Virginia Tech. The Division of Student Affairs provides co-curricular
experiences for students that are focused on the Aspirations for Student Learning. The
Keystone Experience operationalizes the five Aspirations for Student Learning through the
Learning Outcome frameworks.
Departments offer experiences in the form of programs, events and services. Students are
encouraged to create their own Keystone Experience, one that is self-directed and selfauthored.
Division of Student Affairs
Keystone Experience
You’ll discover dozens of passions that will build on one another to form your Virginia Tech
career, things that excite you and things you aspire to be. But, what will become the
foundation to all of that? If you look around Virginia Tech, you'll start to notice that
there are a lot of arches on campus. At the center of many of these are keystones:
the apex of the curve the locking piece, the heart of the arch.
Your Keystone Experience is what will hold your passions together.
It's up to you to create it through everything you engage in.
Division of Student Affairs
GobblerConnect is Virginia Tech’s online student involvement and organization
registration system. As a new student, you can use GobblerConnect to explore the
details of all these student organizations and groups. The more time you put into
building your profile—selecting your likes from a list of available options—the more
helpful GobblerConnect will be in matching your interests to compatible student
groups. And, if you don’t find the perfect group for you, there is the option to create
your own group using GobblerConnect.
• Home to the Keystone Happenings
• Home to the Involvement Transcript
Division of Student Affairs
Keystone Happenings
• The programs, events, and services – the experience that make up the
Keystone Experience will be called “happenings”. Internally, DSA may most
often refer to these as “experiences” but students will see these programs,
events, and services most often in GobblerConnect and these will be pushed to
the APP that students will download on their mobile devices. In promoting
these experiences, we will call them Keystone Happenings.
• Students participate (tracked by self-report, swipe-in, or by roster uploaded by
staff) and reflect on these experiences, and track their progress using the CoCurricular Transcript in GobblerConnect.
Division of Student Affairs
Involvement Transcript
Co-Curricular Transcript – students will know this as their Involvement Transcript
The CCT is a record of student involvement and engagement. The CCT can be
used in a variety of ways from a personal record for the student or to share with
an employer. The CCT can be printed directly from GobblerConnect by going to
the My Involvement tab at the top. The transcript will record experiences for
students that are listed in GobblerConnect or a student can enter an experience.
Division of Student Affairs
Keystone APP
The Keystone Experience APP will be introduced as students move-on/return to
campus. For many students, first exposure to the APP and the Keystone
Experience may be at GobblerFest. The APP will introduce students to the
Aspirations for Student Learning. The APP provides a way for students to learn
about each aspiration, find out about happenings that are entered in
GobblerConnect, provides a robust campus map, and opportunities to earn
badges/awards by attending Keystone Happenings. The APP will also introduce
students to GobblerConnect. The APP will also highlight Student Government
Association events and programs.
Division of Student Affairs
Keystone Field Guide and HRL
First-year students need guidance in how to engage and begin to create their
own Keystone Experience. Resident Advisors (RAs) and HRL staff will serve in this
role. The Field Guide is a printed book that is provided to all students living oncampus. RAs will use the Field Guide as a tool to engage in one-on-one
conversations and check-ins with residents. Students will use the Field Guide as
a place to record reflections, write down their Strengths, keep track of
important experiences, respond to prompts to engage with community
members, etc. RAs may also use the Field Guide in community meetings.
Division of Student Affairs
Division of Student Affairs

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