By SARAH BRADBURY
Many already know Old Dominion University (ODU) has a partnership with New River Community College (NRCC), offering locals the opportunity to earn a four-year or graduate degree via their Distance Learning program.
The Hampton Roads university offers this program at over 45 sites in Virginia, Arizona, Washington, and 15 military locations. The program is a great source of hope and opportunity for those in Pulaski County and the surrounding areas.
“We are fortunate to have had such a long-standing, productive partnership with New River Community College with both the administration and students,” said Andy Casiello, associate vice president for Distance Learning at ODU. “We are proud to say that 2014 will mark our 20th year as a partner with the Virginia Community College System, offering affordable, quality education, at a distance or on campus, to the Commonwealth.”
To date, ODU Distance Learning offers over 70 program options at a distance, both undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of delivery modalities, according to Tammy Dodson, marketing coordinator for the Office of Distance Learning Planning & Development at ODU.
Currently, ODU Distance Learning serves more than 7,400 students across the United States and the world, and has had over 10,000 students graduate through these programs since its inception.
ODU students can learn on-site in a classroom setting or online with the convenience of learning from home on their own schedule. When students enroll in on-site classes, they have virtually the same experience as the students in the actual classroom from where the class is broadcast in real time.
Students are taught by ODU’s top notch professors, the recipients of 26 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Awards. This is the highest teaching honor for the state. More than 75 ODU professors have been named Fellows in national societies and professional organizations. Distance Learning students have the same learning opportunities with the same professors as students enrolled in classes at the ODU Hampton Roads campus.
Online students have the option to participate in asynchronous classes in which they can access course materials online from any location and complete their coursework on their own schedule. These courses have all been developed by experienced faculty and an instructional design team to provide students with the best learning experience possible in a structured online environment.
Online students can also access classes during the live broadcast in online synchronous or web conferencing classes, video stream, or two-way desktop video conferencing classes in which students participate in class via two-way video and audio.
Students have the ability to communicate with their professors and fellow students via microphones which are in all Distance Learning classrooms at NRCC and all other locations. Students learning online have the advantage of learning at home or the location of their choice with the ability to communicate with fellow online learners and their professors in real time chat. Some of the classes offered through this program are hybrid, featuring on-site and online learning experiences.
A number of the students enrolled in ODU’s Distance Learning program at NRCC are considered nontraditional students. Many have full time jobs, families, or some other form of real world responsibilities. ODU’s Distance Learning program caters to these students, providing them with educational opportunities they may otherwise have felt were not possible.
“The biggest contribution to my success at ODU is the helpfulness of the professors and flexibility of courses offered. I could take courses from the comfort of my home or small classes on-site,” said Vicky White, 2011 graduate. “As an adult student, I would not have been as successful in a traditional learning environment. Every moment with my family was a blessing, so I did not want to fight my way through the bustle of busy hallways.” White received her B.S. in Communications through ODU’s Distance Learning program.
For more information on ODU’s Distance Learning program and partnership with NRCC, visit dl.odu.edu/admissions or visit the ODU Site Director at New River Community College, Room 246 Edwards Hall, Dublin.