P.O. BOX 2120




August 20, 2002






Patricia I. Wright

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction



Distance Learning Courses for Students and Educators


The Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Satellite Educational Network (VSEN) announce the availability of student distance learning courses and staff development opportunities for the 2002-2003 school year. The following courses are offered via satellite, online, and through recorded media.


Virginia Satellite Educational Network Student Courses


As the 2002-03 school year begins, it is not too late to register K-12 students in courses offered through VSEN. Courses are offered via satellite and include Advanced Placement courses in English, U.S. History, Government, Statistics, and Calculus. Three years each in Latin and Japanese are also available through VSEN. There is no tuition charged for Virginia public school students this year. Students may participate in classes live or tape delayed.

Visit the VSEN website at: for specific information on courses and registration. Schools may enroll students through the first full week of September.


Virginia Satellite Educational Network Staff Development


A number of staff development distance learning courses from VSEN are offered this fall. Staff development offerings will be delivered via satellite, online, or recorded media to enrolled students.


Virginia Tech offers graduate credit for two mathematics courses developed for the Department of Education. The first course focuses on algebra content for middle school mathematics teachers and the second is designed for geometry teachers.


Math 5614 Math Connects - Algebra


Math Connects - Algebra was initially produced by Prince William County for the Department of Education. The course was packaged on videotape and delivered to every school in the commonwealth. Virginia Tech has offered graduate credit for participation in the course for the past four years.

Virginia Tech professor Susan Hagen has tailored this course to address the needs of middle school algebra teachers.


Reduced tuition of $435 is offered to Virginia educators for three graduate credits. The course will only be delivered online and through videotape. The Department of Education will provide a set of videotapes to enrolled teachers upon request.


Registration information is available on the Tech website at


Math 5614A Math Connects - Geometry


Math Connects - Geometry was produced by the Department of Education in conjunction with Virginia Tech. This course is a self-paced, three graduate credit offering delivered via the Internet and CD ROM.


For the fall semester, through a federal grant, Virginia educators are eligible to enroll in Math Connects - Geometry for graduate credit at no charge. Grant funds are limited and

are available only to the earliest enrollees. Registration information is available on the Tech website at


Teachers enrolled in the geometry course are required to attend an orientation session in Blacksburg on September 7. Orientation lodging and meal charges for educators are also paid through federal grants.


Contact course professor Susan Hagen at (540) 231-7229 for specific information.





Praxis I Test Preparation


Old Dominion University has developed a course for provisionally licensed teachers, teachers aides, and others scheduled to take the Praxis I test this fall. On five consecutive Saturdays beginning October 19, Old Dominion University will broadcast via C-Band satellite Praxis test training in the reading, writing and mathematics components of the Praxis examination. The series concludes prior to the fall administration of the Praxis tests.


Tuition for each component is $99 per student per course or $249 for all three. Old Dominion is offering a stipend to schools willing to participate as regional downlink sites. Contact Old Dominion University at (800) 262-0009 for more information on the course or to volunteer as a host site. Information is also available on the Internet at

HIST 604: Civil Rights in U.S. and Virginia History


Civil Rights in U.S. and Virginia History is offered by the University of Virginia Center for Digital History. This three-credit graduate course is based on the documentary series, Ground Beneath Our Feet, and examines Virginia's role in the civil rights struggle. The Standards of Learning for history, civics, and government are emphasized in each lesson. The course examines local perspectives on national and state events through the eyes of participants and focuses on understanding the relationship between national and local civil rights issues in history.


Virginia teachers may enroll for credit at reduced tuition of $435. Educators may record lessons and access course materials on the Internet for non-credit at no charge.


Course information is available online at

Registration is available through the University of Virginias Division of Continuing Education at

The course title is HIST 604 and begins August 28, 2002.





Educational Leadership


The Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute (CEPI) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) announces Leadership for Reform, online and video courses for school leaders.


The host for the multi-media modules is Dr. William C. Bosher, recently named Dean of the School of Education at VCU, as well as executive director of CEPI, and a former State Superintendent of Public Instruction.


The first course, School Finance, consists of six 30-minute video modules with accompanying online instruction. Video modules will be broadcast via satellite and later on public television from the DOE Staff Development Hour. The video modules offer research-based "best practices" through interviews with practicing educators and educational consultants from K-12 and higher education.


Each module focuses on today's emphasis on accountability and its impact on the role of school leaders in these major responsibilities: Data-driven Management, Planning, Personnel Administration, Public Relations, Technology, and Ethical Leadership.


Internet resources supporting the video modules will be available to Virginia educators on the CEPI website at Graduate credit for this course will be available from VCU in the spring of 2003.


For additional information on these or other distance learning courses, contact Greg Weisiger (, associate director of teleproduction, at (804) 692-0335.