Tech, UVa open new Northern Virginia grad centerBy Carolyn Fray
Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 16 - January 16, 1997
On the football field, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia are fierce rivals, but off the field the two universities have solidified a unique academic partnership.
The new Virginia Tech/University of Virginia Northern Virginia Center, a 105,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility located adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro station, officially opened for business on January 13 with the start of the spring semester.
"Together, we are able to meet the diverse needs of Greater Washington's workforce in a way that we couldn't separately," said Judy C. Pearson, Virginia Tech's center director. "Our combined resources allow us to offer a full range of graduate and continuing-education courses at a convenient and attractive location."
The four-story, glass-and-brick structure features classrooms equipped with a fiber-optic backbone, multiple Internet connections, and satellite capabilities for educational broadcasts.
Since 1981, Virginia Tech's Northern Virginia Graduate Center and the University of Virginia's Division of Continuing Education have shared a rented facility on Telestar Court in Falls Church, jointly serving more than 13,000people each year. The new building is the first permanent home for both universities in Northern Virginia.
Virginia Tech has offered continuing education and Extension programs in the region for more than 80 years. In 1969, Virginia Tech first began offering graduate-degree programs in a Reston farm house. By 1973, the graduate center needed more space and moved to the first floor of the Dulles International Airport Gateway 1 building before joining the University of Virginia at the Telestar Court site.
Today, Virginia Tech has 45 resident faculty members and offers 24 graduate-degree programs at the center. Current degree offerings include adult learning and human-resource development; applied physics; business administration; computer science and information systems; economics; education; civil, electrical, systems, and environmental engineering; engineering administration; interdisciplinary applied mathematics; marriage and family therapy; public administration and policy; and science and technology studies.
The center's curriculum is specifically designed to meet the needs of the area's government and private-sector work force. This semester, for instance, Virginia Tech is launching an information-technology initiative to serve the region's thriving technology sector. Under the initiative, the center is expanding its technology course offerings and faculty.
Among the University of Virginia's new academic offerings is its Professional Development Series, which features nine certificates including executive management, small-business management, excellence in management, business information technology, microcomputers, public relations, engineering, criminal justice, and health care.
UVA will continue to offer master's-degree programs in engineering, including chemical, civil, electrical, systems, material sciences, aerospace, and nuclear; education with emphases in social foundations, gifted and talented, reading, and educational administration; urban planning; and information sciences (library science in conjunction with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville).
Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia will co-host a dedication ceremony on March 15 led by Virginia Tech President Paul Torgersen and University of Virginia President John Casteen III. In addition, Virginia Tech will host "Virginia Tech in Northern Virginia," a community-wide celebration March 15-22 to mark the center's opening. Events will include speeches, panels discussions, professional workshops, and other activities designed to showcase the center and its programs.
NEW VIRGINIA TECH MAIN TELEPHONE NUMBERS AT THE NORTHERN VIRGINIA CENTER
Adult Learning and Human Resource Development
Career Development Center
Center Director's Office
Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics
Marriage and Family Therapy
Science and Technology Studies