RD358 - Status Report per Item 253 of the Special Session I, 2018 Appropriation Act Online Virginia Network

Executive Summary:

Old Dominion University and George Mason University have partnered on an online degree completion initiative called Online Virginia Network (OVN). The initiative will attract many of the estimated 1.1 million Virginians who have earned credit at a Virginia institution but who have not yet earned a four-year degree. The Commonwealth is also home to the second-largest population of active-duty military in the United States and, while 92% of enlisted personnel have earned a high school diploma or some college credit, only 6% have earned an undergraduate degree. Completing their degrees through online course offerings is a viable and attractive solution for these non-traditional and military affiliated students seeking flexible schedules as they balance school, work, and family responsibilities.

As public institutions, it is our obligation to fuel Virginia’s economy by preparing a highly skilled, highly qualified workforce in a growing economy. Higher education institutions in Virginia have focused primarily on enhancing enrollment, retention, and graduation rates in the pursuit of this goal. The same emphasis needs to be directed toward identifying those individuals with some college credit, but who have not attained a degree, and providing easier pathways for those who are place bound or working to complete their degree.