Lansing – The Elearning! Media Group has named Michigan Virtual to the annual Learning! 100 list for creating an online program that helps teachers who serve special education students as they transition from high school graduation to life after school.

The Learning! 100 Award recognizes 60 corporate and 40 public sector organizations for outstanding learning culture, innovation or collaboration that drives performance. Honorees cut across all industries and organization sizes, from five to 1.6 million employees.

Through the Michigan LearnPort program, special education teachers and staff received instructional content related to transition planning and transition assessment. Michigan LearnPort is Michigan Virtual’s online professional development portal for K-12 teachers and school administrators.

“It’s great to see Michigan represented on the Learning! 100 list,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, Michigan Virtual President & CEO. “This recognition is a great testimonial to our leadership efforts to innovate on how educator professional development services are delivered.”

The program was part of a multi-prong effort to improve teachers’ and administrators’ federally mandated special education services. The content also contributed to raising compliance rates in school districts. In the year after the content was delivered, statewide compliance rose from a very low rate to nearly 100 percent. Meridian Knowledge Solutions, a leading provider of learning management systems, powers Michigan LearnPort.

“We worked with our partners to create a virtual location to post documents and other resources, review progress and keep a calendar of milestones and progress for the special education transition courses,” said Jason Marentette, program manager for Michigan LearnPort. “The innovation and collaboration that comes from our partnership with Meridian made this program a success, and led to the award.”

Michigan LearnPort and its extended team have created more courses for the special education initiative. A fourth about post-school vision is in development.

Michigan teachers, administrators and other staff use the eLearning portal to earn recertification credits and take compliance and professional development courses. Michigan LearnPort offers more than 1,000 high-quality online courses and recorded over 30,000-course enrollments in the last fiscal year.

The Elearning! Media Group publishes Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines. The publisher will honor the Learning! 100 at the Enterprise Learning! Conference & Expo at an awards reception on August 26, 2013, in Anaheim, Calif. Michigan Virtual is joined in the Learning! 100 by NASA STEM, Stanford University – H-Start Institute, University of Central Florida and U.S. Distance Learning Association.

About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual for Students and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

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