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Edinboro University’s online education programs ranked among best in nation

01/16/2013

Edinboro University’s online education programs rate among the best in the country, according to rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News’ 2013 Best Online Graduate Education Programs ranked Edinboro’s offerings 32nd of 208 online master’s degree programs in education. The rankings evaluated the programs based on statistical information about admissions selectivity, student engagement, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.

Edinboro’s ranking is the best among Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institutions and third among all Pennsylvania colleges and universities.

Dr. Alan Biel, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, said Edinboro’s place among the top education master’s degree programs “really speaks to the commitment of the University to online learning in its dedication of both staff and technology. It also speaks to the commitment of our faculty to investing the extra effort in making these excellent programs available.”

The ranking took into account extensive statistical information about seven Edinboro online programs: Master of Art in Art Education, Master of Education in Early Childhood Education, Master of Education in Educational Leadership, Master of Education in Educational Psychology, Master of Education in Middle & Secondary Instruction, Master of Education in Reading, and Master of Education in Special Education.

Enrollment in those programs during 2011, the period reflected in data used in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, totaled 1,278.

Edinboro has been offering online degrees since 2001, when it launched the online Master of Education in Special Education, said Rick Wagonseller, director of Graduate Recruitment and Marketing.

In a little more than a decade, Dr. Biel said, online offerings have grown to play a significant role among the University’s graduate programs, accounting for about 60 percent of graduate enrollment in fall 2012. In addition to seven master’s degree programs in education, degrees available online include Master of Arts in Communication Studies, Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Social Work.

Dr. Biel praised the efforts of faculty in ensuring the excellence of the University’s online offerings by taking on extra training, including participation in the quality assurance program Quality Matters. The program trains peer reviewers to certify the quality of online courses.

In U.S. News’ 2013 Best Online Graduate Education Programs survey, Edinboro ranked 21st in the nation in the area of Student Engagement, a measure of student-instructor interaction as well as graduation and retention rates.

Dr. Andrew Pushchak, program head for Educational Leadership Programs, said the score reflects one of the core strengths of the University’s online graduate programs.

"The continued success of graduate online programs at Edinboro University can be directly linked to faculty and students,” Dr. Pushchak said. “The dedicated faculty actively engage their graduate students in rigorous, high-quality, and relevant online course work. And, the graduate students dedicate their time, energy, and resources to make the commitment required to pursue their graduate degrees."

U.S. News & World Report previously rated online graduate programs primarily on the size of enrollment but began in 2012 to move toward assessment of quality. This is the first year that overall rankings were calculated. The intent, according to an explanation on the publication’s rankings website, is to help prospective students weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the programs when deciding to enroll.

The rankings, and accompanying program profiles, are available online at www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings.

For more information on Edinboro University’s online graduate programs, visit http://gradschool.edinboro.edu, or call the School of Graduate Studies and Research at (814) 732-2856.