Lamar Younginer is CEO and co-founder of Virtical Education LLC.
Mr. Younginer is the co-developer of a comprehensive online education training system that maximizes student success rates and retention in a form that produces both ease-of-use and proven results for student, faculty, and online administrator alike. This system has been implemented most notably at a two-year technical institution in the Southeast, producing an 8% increase in student success rates and a 20% increase in overall enrollment in online courses. In collaboration with his business partner, Derk Reichers, this system development culminated into a #1 ranking for this institution among all South Carolina technical colleges and #5 ranking among all colleges and universities in South Carolina in 2018.
Mr. Younginer has been working in higher education for over 28 years. He has worked at both 2-year and 4-year institutions. His work experience includes human resources, admissions, student support services, website services, IT help desk and online education. Mr. Younginer worked on developing the first online course offered in South Carolina in 1998. He has spent the past twenty years working primarily in online education with a two year period serving as both the Director of the Online College and the Director of the IT helpdesk and a three year period serving as both the Director of the Online College and the Director of Web Services.
Over the past twenty years, Mr. Younginer has served on his institutions SACSCOC accreditation team and helped lead the college through complex changes in online education. He has played an integral role in assisting administrations with the Federal audit process, most recently saving his higher education employer potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties by using his unique skill set and thorough knowledge of LMS systems to provide auditors and campus administrators with the critical information they needed to accurately assess the audit criteria.
Mr. Younginer’s educational background and professional accomplishments include a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Francis Marion College (1990) and a Master of Science in eBusiness from Capella University (2003). In addition to his being a part of the SACS committee, Mr. Younginer has served on numerous state-wide Online Education and Distance Learning steering committees and has presented at a multitude of state and national conferences on a wide variety of Online Education and Distance Learning topics. He was a part of the team that developed and taught the first online course (English 101) offered in the state of South Carolina in 1998.
Derk Riechers is COO and Co-Founder of Virtical Education, LLC.
Mr. Riechers has worked many years in higher education overseeing faculty development, accreditation standards, and online college operations in addition to being a business faculty member. One of the most recent notable accomplishments was the development of the number one ranked online college within South Carolina based on enrollment growth and course quality.
Mr. Riechers has presented at numerous national conferences with topics ranging from academic affairs to strategic online college operations with the implementation of lean management principles. One of Mr. Riechers specialized research interest deals with the pedagogy of teaching online in term of faculty and program development. He is highly skilled in data and statistical analysis and has a unique ability to decipher and then successfully apply his findings to vastly improve online learning outcomes, student success rates, and retention. He has also participated in various case studies including academic/magazine publications.
Regarding Mr. Riechers Education, he holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Economics from Francis Marion University and a Master’s degree in Management and Leadership & Human Resources Development from Webster University with honors. In addition, he holds a Master of Business Administration and a Post-Master’s Teaching Certificate from Capella University. Furthermore, he is a graduate of the Instructional Technology Council (ITC) Leadership Academy and currently serves on their New Initiatives Committee.
Lynn G. Mack is an educational consultant with over 40 years of experience in higher education, including extensive experience in teaching, distance education and administration.
Mrs. Mack is known for being an innovative and visionary leader and administrator. She was the recipient of her state’s Innovator of the Year award in 1998. She was one of the first instructors to be chosen to teach in the distance education (DE) modality at her college and she continued to teach distance education courses for more than 15 years. Lynn was nominated for the U.S. Professor of the Year Award by her college in 2011. From 1996 to 2016, Lynn served as co-principle investigator for several major National Science Foundation (NSF) grants for her state and college and assisted the state and her college in obtaining and administering these highly successful grants. She began her Distance Education (DE) leadership and administrative role in 2000 and was instrumental over the next 17 years in helping her college expand its DE program to include more than 200 online/hybrid course offerings offered via more than 500 sections.
In 2017, under her leadership as Dean of Distance Education and Instructional Development, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) conducted off-site and on-site reviews. Both reviews included an extensive focus on the college’s DE program. The on-site review team chose to include several in-depth interviews with Lynn, addressing a wide range of questions about the operations and administration of the college’s DE program. The college was reaffirmed with NO recommendations and the DE program received compliments on professional development of faculty and attention to addressing accessibility standards. Lynn also assisted her college with addressing both state and institutional Department of Education (DOE) reviews that included specific attention to their DE offerings. These reviews focused on course design including adheres to accessibility standards and regular and substantive instructor facilitation practices,
Her online learning leadership background also includes assisting her college with continued membership in the Southern Regional Electronic Board (SREB) ECampus from 2007-2017 and subsequently in 2016 helping her college be one of the first in the state to apply for and receive approval for both the state and NC-SARA distance education agreements. Her role was instrumental in assisting the college in meeting the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (CRAC) Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education, as required by the state and national agreements.
Under Lynn’s leadership, with the assistance of lead and veteran DE faculty, numerous quality initiatives were implemented. These included: a quality rubric review process of all courses, focusing on design and facilitation practices; a standardized syllabus process, required by all courses, traditional and online/hybrid; master courses, designed by lead faculty: on-going synchronous and asynchronous professional development workshops, including state-of-the-art training on course design and course facilitation with a major focus on student engagement and retention. These actions helped student success rates increase and withdrawal rates decrease.
Lynn taught in the DE modality for over 14 years and developed numerous hybrid and online courses. She wrote and assisted her college with a National Science Foundation grant, Maximizing Learning and Retention in Online Courses for Electronics Students with Interactive Laboratory Experiences, this grant involved developing multiple hybrid courses and labs. Her work with this grant culminated in saving the college’s evening program and revitalizing its day program providing students more opportunity to complete course work and labs, with much work done from a distance, saving them time and money.
Lynn has completed numerous online training programs, most recently obtaining an Online Educators certificate on Web Accessibility (2014) and previously completing the Faculty Development for Getting Results: Facilitator Training Workshop sponsored by AACC. She has publishing experience including co-authoring Developing and Implementing an Integrated Problem-based Engineering Technology Curriculum in an American Technical College System.
Lynn’s formal educational background includes a Certificate (18 hrs.) of Graduate Study in Higher Education from the University of South Carolina (MAY 2007), a Master of Science from North Texas University (May 1976), and a Bachelor of Science from Winthrop University (May 1974).