School of Education partners with community for better health

While Virginia Tech’s School of Education embraces the traditional mission of enriching the lives of children, it is also leading the way to better health. Whether assisting corporations with medical education through technology transfer or advocating for youth with disabilities, the school is at the forefront of health promotion.

Center for Instructional Technology Solutions in Industry and Education (CITSIE)

    A doctor (right) and a representative talking

Collaboratively designed to focus on specific industry needs, the programs the center provides offer truly customized learning experience.

Corporations commonly turn to institutional partners for the development of training programs that incorporate relevant coursework into comprehensive and cost-effective learning solutions, often for college or university credit.

Barbara Lockee, professor in the School of Education, has assisted with instructional design for various regional companies, including Carilion Healthcare Systems, Donnelley Publishing, Volvo, and most recently, Certified Medical Representatives (CMR) Institute.

An independent, not-for-profit educational organization, CMR Institute provides more than 15,000 healthcare representatives with continuing education, professional development, and certification.

Lockee has helped the company implement innovative learning strategies and a flexible distance education curriculum to assist healthcare organizations and sales professionals stay current on critical industry-related advancements.

    A manager giving a presentation in front of a group

In this manner, the center brings value to industry not only through shared coursework or customized training programs, but also through leveraging the intellectual property of institutional personnel for corporate problem solving.

Lockee’s faculty colleagues in instructional design and technology, along with advanced graduate students, work collaboratively with businesses to determine training needs and create effective solutions. Center personnel have developed corporate e-learning programs and often serve as external program evaluators, lending a third-party perspective that can illuminate performance issues.

Virginia Tech has recently approved the transfer of CMR Institute coursework into master’s degrees in Health Promotions and Instructional Design and Technology. Both graduate degree options are available online, providing flexible learning opportunities and career advancement potential for busy healthcare professionals.

Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC)

The School of Education is also home to the Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC). The center works collaboratively with other centers and organizations across Virginia to provide services to children and youth with disabilities.

    A child working on an art project

T/TAC strives to improve educational opportunities and contribute to the success of these children and youth (birth-22 years).

To do so, the center has taken aim on increasing the capacity of schools, school personnel, service providers, and families to meet the needs of the center's constituents. T/TAC also fosters the state improvement goals for personnel development by enhancing the knowledge, skills, abilities, and performance of all personnel who work with it.

The center is an advocate for achievement in the least restrictive environment and its services are provided in the context of a school’s improvement plan in collaboration with building and division administrators.

    A child participating in a workshop

It provides regional training through workshops on various topics. Individual consultation tailored to specific needs is also available by phone and e-mail, through on-site visits, or during center-based visits. Technical assistance for transition between schools, from high schools to work, community participation, and post-secondary education is yet another of the center's specialties.

The center also offers a variety of resources. The T/TAC Bulletin is published four times per school year. The website holds archived newsletters, a database of library materials, information on workshops, links to related sites, and more. Resources available for loan include print materials, videos, instructional and assistive technology, and augmentative communication devices.

These services are provided free of charge with the exception of small workshop registration fees.

Online Master’s Degree in Health Promotion

Health Promotion is an online master of science program designed to provide students with an understanding of many of today’s health problems. Students acquire skills and competencies to develop, implement, and evaluate programs or interventions that are designed to promote, protect, or improve the health and well-being of various clientele.

The first online master’s program in this discipline in the United States, this program combines the latest in technology and a variety of innovative instructional styles. Intended primarily for working professionals, the delivery of courses in this program enables even those with the most hectic and varied work schedules to earn a master’s degree.

Students are afforded an opportunity to study and achieve their graduate goals in a relaxed and flexible atmosphere, while completing the program in two calendar years or less.

  • For more information on this topic, contact Jean Elliott at, or call (540) 231-5915.

From the homepage


Barbara Lockee and a doctor sitting at a table talking Virginia Tech's Barbara Lockee (left) and Patton B. Saul, M.D.

Saul is the Medical Director and Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Lewis Gale Cancer Center in Salem, Va.

His role as the Vice Chairman of the CMR Insitute Board of Directors positions him to work collaboratively with Lockee as part of the institutional partnership between Virginia Tech's CITSIE and the CMR Institute.

CITSIE special projects

Instructional Technology Master's Program (ITMA)

  • Designed specifically for public school teachers
  • Focuses on the integration of technology in curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Identifies successful practices that can complement existing practices

Instructional technology professionals in Malawi

  • Develops instructional technology to enhance educational systems in Malawi
  • Works to prepare Malawi educators to serve as intructional technology specialists and as technology trainers for other Malawi teachers

Preparing tomorrow's teachers to use technology

  • K-12 technology integration project to solve instructional problems
  • Locates or creates products and programs that meet instructional needs and national standards
  • Creates a collection of databases and services that can connect users to an archive of training materials and grade/content-appropriate tools

T/TAC events

The center offers a variety of training days, management strategy workshops, conferences, and open houses.

See their upcoming events.

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