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Project Title:Improving Cooperation and Effectiveness between State Institutions of Higher Education: Maximizing Performance in an Era of Reduced Funding and Increased NeedInstitution Name:Old Dominion University Innovation Category:Program Design and Delivery Project Director:Andy Casiello, Associate Vice President for Distance LearningContact Information:(757) 683-3726, acasiell@odu.eduWebsite:http://dl.odu.edu/news/09302010.shtml
Project Description:Old Dominion University and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) recently completed a joint planning initiative, laying the cornerstone for a new pact and a vibrant future for Virginia college students. During the 18-month effort, a unified planning team designed a road map to the future for online and distance learning in Virginia, and outlined objectives for the next generation of this long-standing, strategic alliance. The group committed to shared goals and mutually beneficial collaborations, and to promoting the combined value of their institutions. The team also agreed to establish innovative, streamlined, coordinated student support processes and solutions, and it drafted a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cement the education accord.
Objectives:
  • Jointly plan the future of the VCCS/ODU distance learning relationship in order to most effectively benefit both institutions and our mutual students.
  • Develop articulation agreements to establish clear pathways for community college students to obtain the last two years of their four-year degree at ODU.
  • Provide for changes in technologies and learning environments, so as to keep the program innovative and relevant for all involved.
  • Focus on opportunities for collaboration involving technologies, faculty, facilities, and programs.
Outcomes:
  • Developed over 100 new articulation agreements between ODU and the VCCS that will streamline opportunities for students and minimize time to degree.
  • Created a new Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations that outlines creative program, technology, finance, student support, marketing and pedagogical cooperation.
  • Designed, created and installed new learning pods and other flexible delivery system configurations at 12 community college locations for use by the joint VCCS/ODU students.
  • Created plans for new joint four-year online degree programs between the institutions which will be co-marketed and co-supported.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:The agreement with the community college system covers all 23 community colleges, and has to be acceptable and relevant for each college. Budget cuts over the past several years have come at a time of raised enrollment for all public higher education schools. This agreement seeks to support even more students, with no additional funding. Cooperation was at a peak to bring this agreement, and essentially more workload, to already overcrowded institutions. 
Evaluation Approach:The workgroup assigned by Chancellor Dubois and President Broderick are responsible to track milestones, such as number of students supported (headcount), number of degree articulations created, overall credit hour requirement for each articulation,  time to degree, enrollment in various delivery modes, number of joint online degree offerings. ODU’s Office of Distance Learning has added these goals and milestones to its internal audit processes, and is responsible to report to the President, Provost and VCCS Chancellor with annual reports. Student performance (GPA) will be tracked between distance students and on-campus students.
Potential for Replication:Partnerships like this one could work in every state in the United States. Partnerships to jointly support students with lower division at the community college, and upper division at the four year institutions makes sense for students, parents and the state (by reducing cost of education and decreasing time to degree).  Institutions should work together to leverage and share resources with each other to the benefit of the State.  
CEO-to-CEO Contact:John R. Broderick , Presidentjbroderi@odu.edu
(757) 683-3159
Date Published: Saturday, April 30, 2011