Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab partners with TRGroup

Dunleavy, center-right, signs the agreement with TRGroup's Rick Pillow, center-left. Gov. Northam, center, observes the signing.
Dunleavy, center-right, signs the agreement with TRGroup's Rick Pillow, center-left. Gov. Northam, center, observes the signing.

The Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab at Radford University has partnered with TRGroup, LLC to provide cybersecurity training to credit union staff in more than 800 locations across seven states to keep assets secure from cybercrime.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam attended the signing ceremony on April 26 along with the Board of Trustees of the TRGroup. The partnership between TRGroup and Radford University is a direct result of the leadership of Radford University’s President Brian O. Hemphill, Prem Uppuluri and Matt Dunleavy as well as the leadership of the TRGroup including Rick Pillow, Nicole Widell and Rose Gilliam.

TRGroup is a collaboration of seven state leagues of credit unions. Their mission is to empower credit unions to better serve their members, build loyalty, expand market share, realize savings and grow revenue. TRGroup was formed by the trade associations serving credit unions in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Affiliated credit unions in those seven states boast a combined 10 million members, $100 billion in assets and 25,000 employees.

“This partnership is an outstanding example of how the IMPACT Lab is serving businesses and organizations in Virginia and our other partner states to develop the cybersecurity workforce we need to keep our assets and date secure,” said Matt Dunleavy, Ph.D., executive director of the IMPACT Lab.

Dunleavy, Gov. Northam and Alvarez.

Left to right: Dunleavy, Gov. Northam and Radford University Vice President for Finance and Administration Richard Alvarez.

Pillow, president of the Virginia Credit Union League and TRGroup Treasurer, said “Cyberattack is one of the most notable threats for credit unions and the number one concern for credit union regulators; therefore, it is imperative for credit union CEOs to send professionals responsible for cybersecurity through this training to ensure they are more prepared and have another layer of protection for their assets.”

The Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab at Radford University is delivering online, self-paced, competency-based education (CBE) in high-demand workforce areas such as cybersecurity, geospatial intelligence and education throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and several neighboring states.

IMPACT is aligned with the CBE approach, which focuses on teaching specific job-related skills that are needed to perform a critical task in the workplace. The program will be delivered online in an asynchronous, self-paced manner and will be available at a fixed cost, regardless of the timeframe in which it is completed. Working professionals who successfully complete the cybersecurity program will earn 18 credit hours. IMPACT training will also prepare them for professional certification exams.

This non-traditional teaching approach decouples learning from time-based models, such as three-hour credit courses and 14-week semesters and enables Radford University to empower working adults with career-advancing skills while strengthening the university’s strategic partners’ workforce.

In October 2017, IMPACT was awarded a historic three-year, $13.9 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education’s Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant Program. The grant runs through Sept. 30, 2020 and is the largest grant in the history of Radford University.

The SEED grant expands IMPACT to include Appalachian Support for Specialized Education Training (ASSET), which includes the development, implementation and evaluation of online, self-paced, CBE training designed to increase teacher effectiveness and workforce capacity in underserved rural communities in Appalachia.

ASSET will serve 5,000 K-12 educators, with the primary goal of increasing the number of highly effective educators in K-12 high-need schools in rural Appalachia by building educators’ knowledge and skills in evidence-based practices through CBE learning models.

May 21, 2018
Max Esterhuizen