Friday, January 27, 2012

US News Ranks Top Online Education Programs

It’s not news to hear that online education continues its high-growth pattern; it is simply worth noting that US News & World Report has created a ranking of online degree programs, similar to the rankings it has long given to colleges and universities and the traditional degrees they offer. The new rankings published by US News help confirm that online education is here to stay and holds a legitimate place in the higher education experience.

According to US News’s Kelsey Sheehy, an all-time high number of students are enrolled in online courses, totaling more than 6.1 million. “Enrollment in online classes doubled between 2007 and 2011, driven largely by a stagnant economy and competitive job market, but also by robust online offerings from established public and private institutions,” Sheehy wrote.

In its introduction to the online education rankings, US News stated, “Pursuing a bachelor’s degree online is great for students who need to attend classes on their own time, who are working or who are older students with some of their bachelor’s degree already completed, or for students who are simply uninterested in more traditional campus life.”

The publication ranked 196 online bachelor's degree programs and 523 online master's degree programs in business, engineering, nursing, education, and computer information technology. To be considered for the rankings, a program needed to have at least 80% of its course content available online.

While the online IT programs at the undergraduate level were not ranked, top master’s programs in IT were. Top rankings in four categories include Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering in Baltimore (student services and technology), Penn State University—University Park (faculty credentials and training), Southern Polytechnic State University in Georgia (student engagement and accreditation), and North Carolina State University—Raleigh (admissions selectivity).

Further results of the rankings can be viewed online at Top Online Education Programs.

1 comment:

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