George Mason University has now moved its location in Loudoun County to partner with the Northern Virginia Community College and will be offering many new opportunities.
Since 2006, Mason has had a presence in Loudoun County with its partnership with NVCC and the Northern Virginia public school systems in the Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program. This program offers students the opportunity for a smooth transition from high school to community college at NVCC to university at Mason. The new location is situated directly across the street from NVCC’s Loudoun Campus. NVCC has leased the space in this building in the past, and through this collaboration joint programming initiatives are expected to follow.
Una Murphy, formerly the executive director for advancement of the Prince William Campus was recently named the director of outreach for the Dulles corridor, Regional Campuses. Her title changed due to the new responsibility of the Loudoun site.
“In keeping with George Mason University’s strategic vision of developing accessible pathways for students, co-locating with NOVA in Loudoun was a way to strengthen these pathways while remaining flexible with programming for graduate, continuing and professional education opportunities,” Murphy said.
The new campus will serve to benefit the current and future Mason students who live and work in Loudoun County as well as develop opportunities in the workforce within the business community surrounding it.
While the layout of the campus remains small, currently comprising of only two floors in Signal Hill Plaza, the future plans for the campus include expanding the academic programs offered there.
“We are delighted to be partnering with NOVA-Loudoun to share space at Signal Hill with them,” Murphy said. “We are well-equipped with four traditional classrooms, one traditional computer classroom, a classroom devoted to continuing education classes, six breakout rooms/meeting spaces, two student lounges equipped with computers for student use, spaces to charge your phone, tablet, or laptop and vending machines video-conferencing capabilities and a new laptop cart, making any classroom a computer classroom!”
Murphy said that the campus will also feature drop-in offices and work-spaces for faculty and instructors to meet with students.
A variety of courses will be offered at the new campus, including those in IT, business, education, leadership studies, nursing and continuing and professional education. In addition, Mason in Loudoun has an innovative program called Osher Lifelong Learning Institute that offers classes and cultural experiences to Northern Virginia residents in their retirement years.
Although there is no specific plan for a Mason shuttle service to the Loudoun campus as of now, there has been exploration into a partnership with NOVA on shuttle service from the Wiehle Avenue metro station to Signal Hill.
As the Loudoun site continues to expand, Murphy makes an appeal for students to be engaged in its expansion and improvement.
“We are always interested in hearing what the students would like to see out in Loudoun,” Murphy said. “So if you have any suggestions, please let me know!”