Michigan Virtual VP, Joseph R. Freidhoff, Receives Fulbright Specialist Award

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Freidhoff to Serve as Expert for Distance Education Project

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Virtual’s Vice President Dr. Joseph R. Freidhoff has received a Fulbright Specialist Program award from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.  

Through this program award, Dr. Freidhoff will support a project for the Kosova Center for Distance Education with the intent to exchange knowledge and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities both in the U.S. and overseas through a variety of educational and training activities within education. 

“Dr. Freidhoff is nationally recognized as one of the top authorities in online and blended learning for K-12 students. His research has helped to identify and shape best practices and ultimately improved learning opportunities for students in Michigan and elsewhere,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of Michigan Virtual. “His leadership at Michigan Virtual, combined with this designation as a Fulbright Specialist, serves a wonderful testimonial to the value of having his input on the future of flexible learning environments for students.” 

Dr. Freidhoff is one of over 400 U.S. citizens who share expertise with host institutions abroad through the Fulbright Specialist Program each year. Recipients of Fulbright Specialist awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in their field, and their potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the U.S. and abroad. 

“The Future of Learning Council applauds Dr. Freidhoff and Michigan Virtual for leading thought and academic growth on flexible learning environments right here in Michigan, and now, representing our great state in front of an international audience on the future of digital learning,” added Dr. Christopher Timmis, President of the Future of Learning Council & Superintendent of Dexter Community Schools.

Fulbrighters address critical global issues in all disciplines, while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 60 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 88 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 39 who have served as a head of state or government. 

“Over the last decade, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute has become world-renowned for its work in online learning and innovation. The Fulbright award makes possible the opportunity to take what we have learned on our Institute’s journey to accelerate the development of a promising young organization in Kosovo to create something similar for their country,” said Freidhoff. “I am both humbled and honored to be selected to carry out this important work and excited to exchange ideas and practices to strengthen digital learning opportunities for students in Michigan and abroad.”  

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. 

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, visit For more information about research on virtual learning in Michigan, visit  


About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual is a nonprofit educational organization that is leading and collaborating to build learning environments for tomorrow. Driven by student success, we have a strong record of supporting Michigan education that spans more than two decades. While many know us for our research-based, quality online learning options for students and professional development for educators, we also do a great deal of work behind the scenes to conduct original research, test innovations in learning, and provide consulting partnerships to promote effective practices. Education is changing faster than ever. Discover new models and resources to move learning forward at


Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.