The New Michigan Virtual
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.
Our 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!
About the Author
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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