[ skip to content ]

More Information about this image

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

ODU Joins Statewide Initiative Promoting Improved Higher Ed Access

Old Dominion University recently joined "4-VA" - a collaborative initiative among the state's top universities that is intended to improve access to higher education for all Virginians.

The mission of 4-VA is to promote inter-university collaboration that leverages the strengths of each partner school to accomplish more than could be achieved individually. In accepting the invitation, ODU joins the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, James Madison University and George Mason University, in the partnership.

Collaborative efforts by 4-VA are framed within four major focus areas:

  • Course sharing, which provides access to curriculum offerings that would otherwise be unavailable to students
  • Collaborative research projects that increase the competitiveness of each partner institution through collective work
  • Resources to support course redesign, focusing on the discovery of new instructional models that maximize learning and provide insights into the cost of instruction
  • Fostering cross-institution degree completion opportunities that will enhance the competitiveness of Virginia

"We are delighted Old Dominion University accepted our invitation to join 4-VA. As one of Virginia's distance learning and technology pioneers, Old Dominion's legacy of leadership in online course development will benefit the consortium, and our students, in innovating and expanding online education in STEM and other high-need areas," said Nick Swayne, 4-VA executive director.

Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick shared Swayne's enthusiasm for embracing new opportunities presented by the partnership.

"We are pleased to be a part of 4-VA and appreciate the invitation from our colleagues at UVA, Tech, JMU and GMU to join them on this terrific venture," he said.

President Broderick also noted that the University brings numerous strengths to the 4-VA effort, including an innovative Center for Learning and Teaching that is recognized by Sloan-C, a leading online learning consortium. The center offers eight course and program design teams consisting of instructional, content and technology experts who are recognized for their online course development expertise.

ODU, which began offering degree completion programs in the 1990s, is a nationally recognized leader in distance learning. Today, the University enrolls more than 8,000 full time equivalent (FTE) students in 70 online degree and certificate programs.

The University's advanced technology infrastructure includes multiple bridging systems allowing up to 100 sites to interact simultaneously. Given this foundation, ODU is well-positioned to assist 4-VA members by offering telepresence systems, disaster recovery support, multiple and joint testing sights, as well as sophisticated scheduling systems allowing seamless sharing of course content.

ODU also brings an active research agenda to the collaboration, including efforts that generated $88 million over the past year through more than 400 ongoing projects. The University is already engaged in multiple research projects with 4-VA schools in the areas of modeling and simulation, bioelectrics, maritime and health systems, alternative energies and nanotechnologies as well as climate change and sea level rise.

"Joining 4-VA is perfect given ODU's work in distance learning as well as our unique research programs," President Broderick said. "In addition, joining this collaboration further addresses our strategic goals of enhancing the University's academic and research excellence while strengthening engagement with our local and statewide community."

With over 20 years of successful partnerships with Virginia's community colleges in offering 2-plus-2 degree completion programs, ODU is an excellent collaborator in augmenting courses that the partner 4VA institutions and students need for degree completion.

Joining the 4-VA collaborative aligns closely with the University's mission and strategic plan. Access to a broader array of curriculum offerings, collaboration in research projects and opportunities to examine and redesign course delivery are a few of the possibilities presented to ODU faculty and students through the partnership.

"ODU is a very strong and natural addition to the 4-VA initiative," Broderick said. "We will work hard alongside our colleagues in Virginia to raise the bar on quality instruction and shared resources."

To learn more about the partnership, visit the 4-VA website.

Site Navigation

Experience Guaranteed

Enhance your college career by gaining relevant experience with the skills and knowledge needed for your future career. Discover our experiential learning opportunities.

Academic Days

Picture yourself in the classroom, speak with professors in your major, and meet current students.

Upcoming Events

From sports games to concerts and lectures, join the ODU community at a variety of campus events.