As a program of the Virginia Department of Education, Virtual Virginia (VVA) offers online Advanced Placement (AP®), world language, core academic, and elective courses to students throughout the Commonwealth and nation. VVA is committed to providing high-quality, rigorous course content with the flexibility to meet schools’ and students’ varied schedules. VVA program strives to provide instruction that meets the individual needs of students. Virtual learning is the new frontier in today’s educational institutions. The technology of the 21st century provides a unique opportunity for educators to reach students who want the experience of online courses.
The Virginia Department of Education has a long history in providing distance‐learning opportunities for its middle and high school students. Beginning in the 1980s, the Virginia Satellite Education Network (VSEN) offered AP and world language courses via satellite television to students throughout Virginia. VSEN’s primary mission was to serve students in rural and underserved regions by providing courses that were unavailable because of a lack of highly qualified local instructors for those courses or because student enrollment would be too low to offer the courses locally. Thousands of students in Virginia and across the nation successfully completed courses through the VSEN program.
In the mid-2000s, VDOE added web‐based course delivery via the Virtual Virginia Advanced Placement School (VVAPS). Shortly thereafter, VDOE decided to fully embrace online education and merged the VSEN and VVAPS programs to form Virtual Virginia.
Virtual Virginia is a program of the Virginia Department of Education serving students in Virginia public middle and high schools by providing flexible options for the diverse educational needs of students and their families. The program offers equal access to online courses for students who might not be able to take AP, world language, core academic, and elective courses because of a lack of highly qualified local instructors for those courses, because student enrollment would be too low to offer the courses locally, or due to scheduling conflicts within a school.
Projects and highlights:
Online Instruction: Virtual Virginia offers core, elective, world language, and Advanced Placement courses taught by highly-qualified, Virginia certified teachers. Courses include both synchronous and asynchronous components: live sessions, readings, simulations, interactive practice, assessments, discussions, video and audio files. Virtual Virginia courses meet or exceed all applicable state and national standards, and Virtual Virginia’s Advanced Placement courses have been approved by the College Board.
Full-Time Program: The Virginia Department of Education’s Virtual Virginia program offers a full-time program serving 200 students per year. The program offers all required core academic courses and electives necessary to earn a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma in Virginia.
Summer Session: The VVA Summer Session will offers core and elective online courses during an accelerated 6-week term. Summer courses are taught by highly-qualified, Virginia certified teachers and incorporate both synchronous and asynchronous components.
Virtual Virginia Outreach Program: The Virtual Virginia Outreach Program is designed to assist Virginia public school teachers and students of math, science, computer science, and economics and personal finance by providing access to SOL-aligned blended learning resources via the Virtual Virginia learning management system at no cost. Virtual Virginia provides learning management system training and an ongoing Professional Learning Network (PLN) for division teachers participating in this program through an online course facilitated by the Outreach Support Team.
Professional Development: Virtual Virginia offers professional development in blended learning for Virginia teachers through the Outreach Program, as well as the “Teaching Online with VVA” course for teachers interested in learning online teaching methods and pedagogy. In partnership with Virtual Virginia, the Office of Innovation offers several 6-week online professional development courses through the Virtual Virginia LMS that focus on integrating technology into instruction, with an eye to supporting the Profile of a Virginia Graduate and associated initiatives.