West Virginia University has awarded nearly $115,000 in grants for academic units to develop new, online collaborative programs, Provost Gerald Lang announced today.

The grants, funded by Extended Learning and the Provost’s Office, were designed to encourage collaboration across WVU campuses to create more educational opportunities for students across the state. The goal is to create degree programs or collections of courses that lead to a defined program of study, such as areas of emphasis within the Regents Bachelor of Arts program. Successful applicants must initiate their programs by the fall 2004 term.

“There is a growing demand for online educationespecially among adults who can’t always travel to campus,”Dr. Lang said.”We are in a unique position to pool together the technical and academic resources of our campuses to serve more students around the state.”

Grants have been awarded to the following units:

* WVU School of Physical Education Athletic Coaching Education Program and WVUIT Athletic Coaching Education Program $35,000.

The faculty plan to transform the master’s degree program in athletic coaching education from a traditional classroom-based model to a blended instructional model that consists of both online and on-site classes in Montgomery and Morgantown. This program will offer flexibility to complete course at times which are convenient for coaches who frequently work evenings and weekends. The need for the program will increase during the next decade when an unprecedented number of new coaches will be needed to replace a retiring generation of teachers and coaches. Project leaders are John McGrath at WVU and Sandra Elmore at WVUIT .

* WVU Potomac State College and WVU Parkersburg Criminal Justice Departments $36,850.

This collaboration proposes to deliver the associate of arts degree program in criminal justice online. The project includes a plan for shared course development and delivery, beginning in fall 2004. The program will target those already employed in the field of criminal justice wishing to advance their positions and those attracted to the growing array of opportunities presented by an emphasis on homeland security. This includes an estimated 23 percent of those working in the field in West Virginia. Employment in criminal justice related fields is expected to increase faster than average for all occupations through 2010. Program graduates will matriculate easily into a baccalaureate degree program or enter fields of law enforcement, correction, security, probation and parole. Project leaders are Doug Wilmes at WVU Potomac State College and Joe Badgley at WVU Parkersburg.

* WVU College of Human Resources and Education Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling&Counseling Psychology and International Center for Disability Information $31,008.

This grant supports the development of a blended program of study leading to a graduate certificate in vocational evaluation and job accommodation. The courses will be offered in the rehabilitation counselor education program at WVU in collaboration with the International Center on Disability Information. The intent is to recruit, educate and graduate students to work in the public or private arena as vocational educators. The WVU program has the full support and collaboration of the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services. The coursework will be offered in a format that increases access to working professional and current rehabilitation counseling graduate students. The primary mode of instruction will be delivered online. Necessary face-to-face classroom instruction will be provided in an intensive format in a summer week-long session and the practicum experience will be monitored via distance but will occur in a community vocational education evaluation center under the supervision of a trained vocational evaluator. Project leaders are Margaret Glenn and Richard Walls from WVU .

* WVU Libraries and WVU Parkersburg Library $11,574.

WVU Libraries plans to convert the successful”Introduction to Library Research”course to the online environment and offer the course in collaboration at WVU Parkersburg. While WVU offers 10 sections of the class each term with 30 students in each section, regional campus libraries currently do not offer formal library instruction courses. This online course will not only increase the number of class sections, but offer greater outreach and scheduling flexibility. The web-based version of Introduction to Library Research will be easily modified for a custom experience in each regional campus library. Project leaders are Francis O’Brien and Penny Pugh at WVU Libraries and Stephen Hupp at WVU Parkersburg Library.

The grant competition was open to WVU system institutions, including the main campus in Morgantown, WVU Parkersburg, Potomac State College of WVU and WVU Institute of Technology.