4-VA:  The Intersection of Innovation and Collaboration in Higher Education

4-VA is a partnership between eight Virginia universities, created to foster collaborations that leverage the strengths of each university and improve efficiencies in education across the commonwealth.  Thanks to 4-VA, unprecedented alliances between schools, departments, faculty, and students generate significant, innovative solutions to educational and real-world challenges.

Through each university’s RFP process, faculty submit requests for pilot research projects to generate initial data and create connections with faculty at partner schools. This seed funding is designed to springboard the research for future external funding such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Since its inception, 4-VA has pioneered a broad range of advancements in education.  These include primary research, pilot courses, redesigned courses, shared courses, online programs, STEM education, industry-focused adult degrees, new technologies, interventions, workshops, conferences, and paths to degree completion. Although nimble and agile in the development of cutting-edge education and research, 4-VA has maintained its commitment to utilizing the latest technology to achieve success.



4-VA was created based on recommendations from the Governor’s Higher Education Commission and the Governor’s Commission on Economic Development & Job Creation. 4-VA’s founding schools — George Mason University (GMU), James Madison University (JMU), the University of Virginia (UVA) and Virginia Tech (VT) — were tasked to better position Virginians for a variety of dilemmas facing education and growth.  These included considering emerging technologies and businesses, workforce demands, and jobs of the future.


Old Dominion University (ODU) enters the collaborative.


Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) joins 4-VA.


William and Mary (WM) and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) are accepted as partner schools.


4-VA alters its governance structure to facilitate that each school rotate terms in the roles of Chair, Vice Chair, and Past Chair, ensuring a smooth yet robust leadership transition.