University/Industry Collaboration Offers Students Cutting-Edge Technology in a Virtual Classroom

March 18, 2002

MANASSAS, Va.—George Mason University has formed a partnership with

Inc.®, an application services provider based in Arlington, to introduce a

unique approach to web-based training in information technology. The first course

begins April 15, originating from a studio at the university’s Prince William


"This is another endeavor by George Mason’s Train to Technology program in

the School of Information Technology and Engineering to address the demand for

qualified professionals in the high-technology industry in Northern Virginia,"

says Eugene Norris, director of IT&E professional education programs.

George Mason is the first university in Virginia and the Washington, D.C.,

area to offer this interactive, instructor-led synchronous instruction, according

to Norris. Unlike other distance learning programs, the audio and chat features

of this collaborative learning experience allow students to see and hear the

instructor, ask and answer questions, view slides and chat with other students

in the virtual classroom. Students attend class from their homes, offices or

libraries — wherever they connect to the Internet.

In addition to the technological advances of this e-learning program, Norris

points out the practical advantages. "Eliminating the need to travel to

a classroom is a benefit for our students," he says. "We also are

able to deliver instruction to corporate sites without additional space or cost

requirements." Inc.®, with more than 12 years of experience in developing

and delivering IT courses, offers a collaborative solution that meets the requirements

of academic institutions for web-based training. "Our e-learning solution

derives from years of intensive development of IT content and understanding

the related pedagogical requirements," says Rafael Itzhaki, vice president

for business development. "Our technology enables us to serve the needs

for practical and efficient e-learning. George Mason’s Train to Technology program

fully implements our solution while using its own qualified instructors to deliver

the courses."

There is a high demand in the Washington, D.C., area for virtual classroom

instruction, says Norris. "This collaboration is another step in George

Mason’s implementation of a learning management system that allows us to reach

students throughout the region."

For more information visit the web site at,

or call (703) 993-8461.

Media Contact: Patty Snellings,