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News Clips 01/18/2013
Southeastern, USF, UF Rank High for Online Education
Source: Lakeland Ledger, 01/17/13
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By Mary Toothman
Southeastern University and the University of South Florida were among several Florida colleges given shout-outs with the latest ranking from the "U.S. News & World Report" for online education programs.
The report is designed to help students evaluate their online higher education options.
Southeastern University in Lakeland ranked 71st among private universities that offer online graduate education degrees. Statewide, it ranked fourth — topped by the University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of South Florida.
Southeastern University's online MBA program ranked 79th, and, as the university pointed out, second in Florida. It also ranked 71st for graduate education programs.
Gainesville-based UF ranked fourth for its online MBA program, 34th in bachelor's, 18th in graduate education and 26th in graduate engineering.
Tampa-based USF ranked 47th for best online graduate education programs and 22nd for graduate engineering programs.
Only degree-granting programs offered 100-percent online were considered, and they were ranked based on student engagement, faculty credentials and training and students services and technology, the report says.
Admissions selectivity was considered in the online master's degree program rankings, and academic peer reputation was regarded in ranking engineering and business programs.
Southeastern University educators expressed pride over the rankings. Joe Childs, dean of the college of business and legal studies, said it's the first time for a ranking for the program. Some factors he named that contributed included the faculty, for creating and sustaining a quality program, student engagement, variety in the learning experience and smaller classes sizes.
Southeastern's Dean of Education Douglas Roth said the ranking is a tribute to faculty and graduate students.
"We are also blessed to call Lakeland home to our university," he said in an email response.
"This setting allows us to recruit excellent professors and develop quality programs."
At USF, the university reports that about 58 percent of its students take at least one online course.
"Online learning is rapidly becoming an important and integral part of higher education delivery," Provost Ralph Wilcox said in a statement, "... and each of these national recognitions provides evidence of USF's ongoing commitment to expanding accessibility to our many outstanding programs to students for whom the traditional campus-based college or university experience is difficult because of various life factors."
To view more rankings and details on the categories, go to the publication's website at http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education.