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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Old Dominion and GMU Join Forces to Help Virginians Complete their Degrees Online

Old Dominion University and George Mason University have launched the Online Virginia Network (onlinevirginia.net), a state-supported initiative that will simplify the enrollment process and make it easier for more Virginians to complete their undergraduate degrees.

The Online Virginia Network builds on the commitment of both universities to making college more accessible for working adults and non-traditional students. The initiative targets adult learners who may have college credits but never finished their degrees. Many of these students live too far from a traditional campus or are without the luxury of time to attend classes in person.

The Online Virginia Network (onlinevirginia.net) is a state-supported initiative aimed at Virginians with some college credits but no degree. The network brings a selection of George Mason and Old Dominion online programs to one web portal, allowing busy adult learners to find and enroll in high-demand degree programs and finish their bachelor's degrees online.

"This online platform opens higher education, in an innovative way, to more than 1.1 million Virginians who began their college education but never finished," Old Dominion President John R. Broderick said. "We are grateful for Governor McAuliffe's and the General Assembly's support of this collaboration to expand opportunity for tomorrow's future leaders."

The Online Virginia Network gives students the option to earn an Old Dominion or George Mason degree online, in the program of their choice.

"By George Mason and Old Dominion joining forces, Virginians now have greater access to college programs from two of the Commonwealth's largest public research universities," George Mason President Ángel Cabrera said. "These online programs will offer the same high-quality faculty, courses and support as our on-campus programs."

As two of the commonwealth's largest and most diverse universities, George Mason and Old Dominion are well-positioned to lead the state effort to increase higher education access to adult learners. Online programs provide a convenient option for working adults who stopped pursuing their college degrees to work or support a family and were unable to resume their education in a traditional classroom-style environment.

"Our institutions recognize the balancing act required of adult learners," said Michelle Marks, vice president of academic innovation and new ventures at George Mason. "Online programming enables us to take the classroom to our students and allows them to fit education into their busy lives."

Old Dominion and George Mason have a long history of serving diverse populations, including military-affiliated students. The two public universities are strategically located in Virginia to serve military bases and civilian federal employees and have extensive experience working with these populations.

Increasing the number of Virginia's degree completers has implications for the state's economy. By 2018, 64 percent of Virginia's jobs will require some form of post-secondary education. Expanding higher education opportunities will ensure that Virginia has an educated workforce prepared to meet critical workforce demands.

Through this online education partnership between George Mason and Old Dominion, the Online Virginia Network hosts more than 37 college programs in high-demand areas, such as cybersecurity, business, computer science, engineering technology, human services, teacher preparation and nursing.

"I applaud Old Dominion and George Mason for using their distinctive educational assets to help fuel Virginia's economy by growing a highly qualified and skilled workforce," said Delegate Kirk Cox, the speaker-designee of the Virginia House of Delegates.

"We have championed this effort between George Mason and Old Dominion to open access for Virginians to continue their education online," said Ellen Neufeldt, vice president for student engagement and enrollment services at Old Dominion. "With continued support from the Commonwealth, we hope to grow the Online Virginia Network to include degrees from more universities across Virginia."

For more information about the Online Virginia Network or to enroll for 2017-18, visit: onlinevirginia.net.