Cardinal Education’s core mission is to serve as the Virginia distance-learning provider of post-baccalaureate education for practicing engineers and scientists who want to maintain and enhance their skills. Cardinal Education works closely with faculty at a set member institutions to encourage the development of educational materials relevant to working scientists and engineers in Virginia. Using state-of-the-art distance learning technology and a network of content receiving institutions, Cardinal delivers course content to Virginia’s workforce. As a result, Cardinal contributes to the economic development and social well-being of Virginia through workforce training and life-long learning.


Cardinal Education promotes economic development and social well-being through delivery of advanced engineering and science post-baccalaureate educational opportunities to the citizens of Virginia. It provides a geographically dispersed community of engineers and scientists with the knowledge tools necessary to craft economic success in markets driven by advanced engineering and science. By joining world-class faculty, an internationally recognized corporate base, and a community of dynamic and diverse students, this program distributes knowledge of high technology for the benefit of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Cardinal Education is a consortium of six (6) Virginia universities established in 1983 to deliver graduate engineering education to Virginia’s scientists and engineers through state-of-the-art distributed learning technologies. It is the longest running educational cooperative in the Commonwealth, with a strong history of successful industry-university collaboration. The program is designed to support Virginia’s high-tech industry sector by provide working engineers and scientists with an opportunity to obtain graduate degrees and certifications through a collaborative course sharing model and distributed learning technologies.

Strategic Plan

Cardinal Education, formerly known as the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP), was established in 1983 to deliver graduate engineering education to Virginia’s scientists and engineers through state-of-the-art distributed learning technologies. The six universities that make up Cardinal Education have worked closely with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), an industry advisory group and other stakeholders to identify the needs of the Commonwealth of Virginia related to engineering and science education. The result is a work plan based on four strategic goals:

A graphic showing Cardinal Education's four strategic focus areas: collaboration, evaluation, marketing, and product management.

1)      Collaboration – Explore a broader collaboration effort with other similar programs such as 4-VA, Online Virginia Network, Tech Talent Pipeline, and others.

2)      “Product” Management – Develop a formal process that collects feedback on industry needs and supports the development of courses, degrees, and credentials to meet those needs

3)      Outreach – Develop and implement a communication plan that includes rebranding, expanding awareness and promoting benefits of program.4)      Evaluation – Develop and implement a stronger evaluation and assessment program to meet the needs of SCHEV and General Assembly.