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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Continuing Education offers on-line registration

By Catherine Doss

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 35 - July 17, 1997

The Division of Continuing Education, an outreach service of Virginia Tech, has begun offering on-line marketing and registration for the classes it coordinates for MCI employees in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. The concept was developed in response to a recent survey of MCI employees that indicated they wanted more convenient registration options for continuing-education classes.
"When Continuing Education began this project in April, it was the first on-line registration service we offered," said Mike Schroder, assistant program director. "It has been an enormous success, and we've added several more since then." Others include the Mid-Atlantic Waste Conference, Healthy Buildings/IAQ `97 International Conference, and a recent conference on Durability of Composite Systems.
MCI employees total approximately 6,000 in the northern-Virginia area. In the past, they reviewed brochures about upcoming course offerings, then registered through an internal e-mail address that was then directed to Florence Delaney, program administrator for Virginia Tech's northern-Virginia Continuing Education campus. Now employees review course schedules and offerings, ask questions about specific classes, and register by accessing a customized MCI web page on Continuing Education's home page. The page was designed by Becky Shelor, marketing and web specialist.
"The process has made registration more convenient, saved printing costs for brochures and other marketing materials, and actually increased registrations last quarter," Schroder said.
In the near future, MCI employees also will be able to complete course evaluations and needs-assessment surveys via the Internet, thereby providing timely feedback for Continuing Education to regularly monitor the scope and quality of its programming.
Continuing Education has been in partnership with MCI for 10 years. The company's budget and training department works with Continuing Education to development and coordinate a comprehensive array of courses every three months. Virginia Tech faculty members from the university's northern Virginia campus serve as instructors in courses such as: Technical Project Management, Stress Management, World Wide Web Home Page Creation, Local Area Networks, and Financial Management. MCI employees are able to take the courses free of charge. The company then reimburses the university according to the number of registrants.
"We hope to expand this service to other business and industry partnerships as well as the general public," Schroder said. "The on-line registration system enables participants from around the state, country, and world to obtain information on continuing-education programs 24 hours a day. It's convenient, efficient, and user-friendly."
For more information about the MCI partnership or about developing training or continuing-education courses for the private sector, call Schroder at 1-5433 or e-mail him at schroder@vt.edu.