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The New Michigan Virtual

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2018 marks our 20th anniversary as a nonprofit organization. We have witnessed the unparalleled growth of new technology tools that leverage the power and reach of the Internet to address business, entertainment, education and communication needs. It is hard to believe that more than 10 years have passed since Michigan became the first state in the nation to adopt an online learning requirement for high school graduation.

The next two decades will likely prove to be as turbulent, unpredictable and exciting as the past 20 years. In an effort to guide our next three years, we took considerable time to conduct an environmental scan, listen to our stakeholders in new ways, and reflect on our vision, mission and core strategies.

As part of our planning activities, we were able to answer a fundamental question regarding our purpose. We are proud and passionate about our answer: Improving Learning, Improving Lives. This simple, yet powerful phrase defines our purpose as an organization. We believe the only way to accomplish this lofty undertaking is by working with Michigan’s K-12 community in new and deeper ways.

Cover of the Michigan Virtual Strategic Plan 2018-2020Our updated mission is to: Advance K-12 digital learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships. This mission statement reinforces our vision to grow effective partnerships with policy leaders, school administrators and teachers to ensure that every person can use digital learning to reach his or her full potential. An electronic copy of our strategic plan can be accessed here.

During the past 20 years, we have developed different programs and services with associated sub-brands. Having multiple brands created confusion for some and diluted our messaging effectiveness. We listened to our stakeholders as part of our recent strategic planning efforts and have decided to consolidate and refresh our overall brand and discontinue a reference to “university” and “school.”

I am excited about our new look for the start of the 2017-18 school year! To support our new strategic plan, Michigan Virtual University®, along with the Michigan Virtual School®, will now be known as Michigan Virtual™. The modern, clean design of the new brand elements reflect our continued commitment to improving education and improving lives. This new approach not only simplifies and streamlines our communication with students, parents and school personnel, but is also reflective of the transformational changes taking place within the organization.

In addition to refreshed logos for Michigan Virtual and our research institute, Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®, we have launched new websites that utilize modern, clean design, and are ADA-compliant, ensuring that all users find helpful information and resources quickly and easily. They can be found at michiganvirtual.org and mvlri.org, respectively.

Michigan Virtual continues to play a unique role in working closely with stakeholders from all sectors to identify challenges, develop solutions, advance policy and research best practices. In a market with a growing private sector presence, our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status allows us to make business decisions that prioritize learner outcomes over profits. We take pride in doing what’s best for learners while making efficient use of financial resources. As an integrator, we partner with public and private organizations to grow healthy ecosystems for online and blended learning that positively impact student achievement.

We hope you like our new look, but we hope you like our services even more. We are doing everything possible to build on our long history of innovation and commitment to excellence. Please feel free to tell us what you think about our new strategic plan or brand refresh!

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Jamey Fitzpatrick

Jamey Fitzpatrick

Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of Michigan Virtual™, serves as a catalyst for change and a champion of innovation in education. He provides strategic leadership for Michigan Virtual, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization focused on advancing K-12 digital learning and teaching. In addition to his previous leadership roles at the Michigan Department of Education and Saginaw ISD, Jamey also worked in the private sector for Pitney Bowes Corporation. He serves on the Board of Trustees for Olivet College.

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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.