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Responding to the workforce needs of Virginia Beach, Old Dominion University President Roseann Runte and Virginia Beach Mayor E. Meyera Oberndorf on Jan. 11 announced plans to open a four-year branch campus at ODU's Virginia Beach Higher Education Center, concentrating on bachelor's and master's degree programs in health services and education and counseling.

Students will be able to enter as freshmen or graduate students, or as transfer students from local community colleges, to pursue degrees on a full- or part-time basis.

ODU at Virginia Beach will open the majority of the programs to 500 freshmen and junior transfer students in fall 2006. The remaining programs will be initiated the following year with a second cohort of 500 students.

"This plan simultaneously supports our strategic goals related to meeting regional needs with high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs, and city of Virginia Beach strategic goals related to quality of life, K-12 education, health care and workforce development," Runte said. She further noted that the initiative is responsive to a recent comprehensive review conducted for the university by MGT of America, a consulting agency.

"As the most populous city in the Commonwealth, Virginia Beach taxpayers have long been subsidizing Virginia's public universities but until now have not been able to actually get their degree at one without having to commute to another city," said Oberndorf. "By allowing our citizens to avoid the commute to Norfolk, this new initiative will allow our young people to get their degree right here in their hometown, and it will increase opportunities for adults looking to further their education, which only leads to a stronger workforce."

The following degrees will be offered in health services:
• B.S. in health sciences (leading in the fifth year to an M.S. in community health)
• B. S. in psychology
• B.S. in medical technology
• B.S. in nursing
• M.S. in community health
• M.S. in nurse leadership.
The health services programs will collaborate with the Sentara-Eastern Virginia Medical School Academic Center.

The following degrees will be offered in education and counseling:
• B.S. in human services counseling
• B.S. in interdisciplinary studies - teacher preparation (leading in the fifth year to an M.S.Ed. degree in elementary, early childhood or special education)
• M.S. in education/PK6/elementary
• M.S. in education/reading specialist
• M.S. in special education.

Additional degrees to be offered include:
• B.S. in communication
• B.S. in interdisciplinary studies - work and professional studies
• B.S. in professional writing.

A premedical track degree and the M.S. in engineering management degree are also under consideration.

Current senior faculty from Old Dominion's Norfolk campus will be relocated to the higher education center and additional faculty will be hired to work under their supervision.

"All degree courses will be offered live by on-site faculty," said ODU Provost Thomas L. Isenhour. "In addition, the targeted degree programs will be supplemented by our award-winning TELETECHNET distance learning network." Isenhour added that students will have the benefit of taking classes from many of the state's best faculty, noting that 17 ODU professors have won State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty awards, three have been named Virginia Scientists of the Year and three have won recognition as U.S. Professors of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Approximately 4,500 ODU students live in Virginia Beach, and more than 3,500 students take classes at the center each year. Further, 475 faculty and staff live in Virginia Beach, and the city is home to some 15,700 ODU graduates.

Old Dominion University opened the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center, located on Concert Drive between Princess Anne and Rosemont roads, in August 1999. The $14.5 million facility was built on 36 acres of land donated by the city of Virginia Beach. ODU oversees the operation of the 89,000-square-foot center, which also offers selected Norfolk State University classes. Prior to fall 1999, ODU and NSU operated the Virginia Beach Center on Little Neck Road, which opened in 1988.

This article was posted on: January 12, 2006

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.