Online bachelor’s degree programs as well as graduate online degree programs in business, engineering, nursing, education and computer information technology were ranked.
While U.S. News has applied some of its rankings standards used for traditional schools, many new measures have been developed and were used to evaluate online programs. In order to be considered for the rankings, online degree programs needed to have at least 80 percent of their course content available online.
“Northwestern State is pleased to be in the first U.S. News and World Report rankings of online education programs,” said NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb. “The university seeks to provide the highest quality programs in all areas. Northwestern State has become the state leader in online education by offering a variety of programs that meet the needs of students.”
Online bachelor’s degree programs were ranked in three different categories: student engagement and assessment, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. The online master’s degree programs were ranked in similar categories, but were evaluated on student engagement and accreditation as opposed to assessment. There was also a separate indicator ranking for admissions selectivity.
Northwestern State’s online bachelor’s in education was ranked in the top 35 in teaching practices and student engagement and in the top 50 in student services and technology. The master’s programs in education were ranked in the top 60 in teaching practices and student engagement and in the top 75 in student services and technology. NSU’s ranking in teaching practices and student engagement in the master’s program and student services and technology and teaching practices and student engagement in the bachelor’s program were the highest of any Louisiana college or university.
There were no numeric rankings for overall program quality this inaugural year.
“The rankings show how hard our outstanding faculty and staff have worked to create and expand our online programs,” said Dr. Darlene Williams, vice president for technology, research and economic development. “We have invested in programs that meet the needs of students who want the flexibility of online degree programs that allow them to earn degrees wherever they are.”
Northwestern State has 29 degree programs available online and the university is looking to place additional programs online. For more information, go to ensu.nsula.edu.
Data was collected from both for-profit and not-for-profit schools. For more information about the rankings methodology, please go to usnews.com/onlinemeth.
For more information on the U.S. News Top Online Education Program rankings, go to usnews.com/education/online-education.