Our goal is to "provide multiple pathway and delivery formats to serve the needs of different students."

George Mason University's Strategic Plan, Goal 2

Our Charge

As part of the Office of the Provost, New Ventures collaborates with faculty and staff across the university to ensure that every Mason student, regardless of age, location, or circumstance, will find an accessible, affordable pathway to degree completion.

Why New Ventures?

Today, a college degree remains out of reach for too many Americans. The current higher education landscape is challenged with barriers and inefficiencies—broken transfer pathways, ballooning college prices, increasing student debt—that keep students from realizing their educational goals. Many students are no longer well served by a traditional delivery model.

Committed to Access

At Mason, our students are more diverse than ever. More are the first in their families to go to college. More are veterans and transitioning military. More are returning adults with some college credit but no degree. More are bachelor degree holders who would like to pursue a graduate education but are unable to stop working to continue their studies. And more come from outside the United States.

It takes a Community

Actualizing our ideas is hard work. No single office or department can accomplish these goals alone. Creating new educational models and modernizing our student experience requires the participation of the entire Mason community. We work together to launch our initiatives and expand educational access to all.

Positioned for Partnerships

As recognized leaders in innovation, Mason excels by questioning current thinking and putting new ideas into action. While we have creative ideas for increasing education opportunities for anyone who has ever dreamed of earning a degree, we can’t always go it alone. We need partners that share our commitment to affordable access and can help us bring our big ideas to life.

How We Build VALUE

We build partnerships that expand access and create extraordinary value for our students and our community.

Partners & Employers
Students & Families
Faculty & Staff

Partners & Employers

Mason builds partnerships that bring big ideas to life.

Students & Families

At Mason, we are committed to serving the evolving needs of our students.

  • The ADVANCE program is making it easier for community college students to achieve their educational goals.
  • Learn how the Online Virginia Network can help you finish what you started and complete your degree.
  • INTO Mason is creating program pathways for international students that are interested in a Mason education.

Faculty & Staff

At Mason, our goal is to ensure that every Mason student finds an accessible, affordable pathway to degree completion.

How We Innovate

New Ventures is a dedicated team of project managers, administrators and communicators working together to turn Mason’s big ideas into action. Here's how we do it…



Understand the challenge from a student-centered perspective


Create innovative strategies to solve the challenge


Develop a model with cross-functional input


Revise model based on stakeholder feedback


Forge relationships to leverage external expertise


Launch and operationalize the new initiative

New Ventures

In fall 2016, Academic Innovation & New Ventures was established under the Office of the Provost to formalize the exploration, launching and sustaining of new educational ventures at Mason. New Ventures leads the university in forging partnerships that accelerate the development of accessible academic pathways for Mason’s diverse student population, including adult learners, part-time, military and first generation students.


Marc Austin, PhD

Executive Director

Teresa Finn

Digital Communications Specialist

Stephen McWilliams

Business Development and Implementation Manager

Janette Kenner Muir, PhD

Associate Provost, Academic Initiatives and Services

Stephen Nodine, PhD

Director, Digital Learning

Robin Rose Parker

Director, Strategic Engagement and Communications

Sarah Parnell

Executive Assistant for the Vice President

Innovation News & Updates

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