Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 23.1. Institutions of Higher Education; Other Educational and Cultural Institutions
Chapter 31. Educational Authorities, Centers, Committees, Funds, Institutes, and Partnerships
4/20/2021

§ 23.1-3137. Duties of the Authority.

The Authority shall:

1. Expand access to affordable higher education in the Commonwealth by establishing the Online Virginia Network (the Network) for the purpose of coordinating the online delivery of courses that facilitate the completion of degrees at George Mason University, Old Dominion University, James Madison University, and comprehensive community colleges;

2. Encourage each public institution of higher education and each consortium of public institutions of higher education that offers online courses, online degree programs, or online credential programs to offer any such course, degree program, or credential program through the Network;

3. Oversee a process of approval for public institutions of higher education and consortia of such institutions to participate in the Network, with such funds as are appropriated for such purpose and made available to it;

4. Serve as a resource for residents of the Commonwealth and disseminate information regarding the opportunities for online learning offered by institutions and consortia that participate in the Network;

5. Coordinate the maintenance of an online portal through which potential students may examine and enroll seamlessly in Network offerings;

6. Collaborate with institutions and consortia that participate in the Network to ensure that the needs of enrolled students are met before, during, and after enrollment through online student support systems;

7. To the extent practicable, ensure that courses and degree programs offered through the Network (i) are accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or authorized by the Council, as applicable; (ii) expand access to underserved populations based on income, race, geography, and age; (iii) are responsive to the employment demands of the Commonwealth; (iv) employ learning and delivery technologies, which may include competency-based and experiential learning, in an efficient and cost-effective manner to promote flexibility for each student to pursue online courses and programs at his own pace and in his own location throughout the year; (v) minimize student expenses and reduce time-to-degree or time-to-credential; and (vi) are offered in collaboration with existing public and private providers of online courses;

8. Promote the refinement and implementation of articulation agreements to ensure that credits earned through the Network are transferable to each other public institution of higher education and contribute to on-time degree completion at each such institution;

9. Assist in developing processes to help institutions and consortia that participate in the Network to expand their online offerings;

10. Ensure that the Passport Program and the Uniform Certificate of General Studies Program, established pursuant to § 23.1-907, be made available through the Network;

11. Develop specific goals for meeting the demand in the Commonwealth for affordable and accessible higher education through online learning;

12. Review and report annually to the Governor and the General Assembly on the cost structure of funds allocated to the establishment, maintenance, and expansion of the Network. In addition, the Authority shall examine ways to reduce the cost of online education and develop a budget that incorporates estimated expected tuition revenue from online students and its use in supporting the Network and assumes that any financial aid will come from existing financial aid programs; and

13. Accept, administer, and account for any state, federal, or private moneys that it may receive. Any moneys, including interest thereon, that have not been expended by the Authority by the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the accounts of the Authority.

2017, c. 686; 2018, cc. 199, 200, 832, 845; 2020, cc. 174, 340.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.