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Contact:  Kirsten Nelson
(804) 225-2627
For Immediate Release

December 27, 2011

SCHEV Announces New Link to Highlight Innovation

RICHMOND — The passage of the Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011 calls on the Commonwealth’s institutions of higher education to create or enhance programs that lead to more college graduates, greater employability, and a strong economy for the future of all Virginians. In the spirit of this ground- breaking legislation, SCHEV has created a web page that highlights the innovative programs underway at Virginia’s colleges and universities aimed at achieving these goals.

The launch of “Innovation in Higher Education” ( includes submissions from ten schools. The page links to programs such as “The Scholar-Citizen Initiative” at Radford University, which is designed to increase retention by getting students involved in activities that speak to their interests and passions. There are also a number of programs that share resources among institutions. One example is the "4-VA" consortium, which is led by George Mason University (GMU) and allows GMU, James Madison University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech to conduct meetings, share classes, and collaborate on research initiatives that are not available to all the institutions on an individual basis.

The private institutions of higher education also are represented on the “Innovation in Higher Education” site. In alignment with Governor McDonnell’s goal of increasing degrees in high-demand areas such as healthcare, the Virginia campus of George Washington University School of Nursing developed a program that allows students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field to pursue a Bachelor’s of Nursing in an expedited manner. 

The website will be updated regularly to feature new and ongoing activities that expand opportunity, improve student success, and strengthen Virginia’s quality of life.

“Virginia already is a leader in so many ways,” said SCHEV Interim Director Peter Blake. “We are excited to be able to showcase the many innovative ways our colleges and universities are addressing the Commonwealth’s needs.”

SCHEV provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly, and is a resource for information on higher education issues. For more information, contact Kirsten Nelson, Director of Communications and Government Relations at  or (804) 225-2627.