Cox named Chair of Online Virginia Network Authority created to increase educational opportunities

irginia House of Delegates Speaker-designee Kirk Cox was elected Friday Chair of the newly established Online Virginia Network Authority (OVN). Cox carried legislation during the 2017 General Assembly session, a major component of the House Republican legislative agenda, establishing OVN to create more opportunities for non-traditional students and adult learners to complete their degrees. Online Virginia Network is a consortium of online classes from various state universities with one-stop shopping for scheduling, registering, advising and coursework.

“Almost 1 million Virginians started a college degree but never finished. Online Virginia Network will help working adults, non-traditional students, and our military members achieve their education goals by giving them flexible access to courses without sacrificing quality of faculty, programs, or support,” said Cox (R-Colonial Heights). 

OVN brings a selection of George Mason and Old Dominion Universities’ online programs to one web portal, allowing busy adult learners to find and enroll in high-demands programs and finish their bachelor’s degrees online. In the future, OVN hopes to include community college and other state university course offerings in the portal.

Increasing the number of Virginia’s degree completers will strengthen our Commonwealth’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 the needs of our employers. Online course access will also lower costs, a longstanding priority of the House of Delegates.

“As a father to four boys who have either graduated or are starting college, I understand the enormous costs associated with getting a degree,” said Cox. “That’s why when we crafted this legislation, we included language that requires the Authority to provide degree options that are more cost-effective than a traditional degree and seek to reduce the unit cost of online education.”

OVN held their first board meeting at Old Dominion University campus Friday. The Authority set enrollment goals, refined a media strategy, and strategized on how to identify candidates for the program. This fall they will meet at George Mason University campus to review progress made and outline goals for the next year.