January 19, 2017
17-9

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Ranked Among the Best by U.S. News and World Report

Valdosta State University is one of the best colleges and universities in the nation when it comes to distance education, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Online Programs rankings released Jan. 10.   

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VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University is one of the best colleges and universities in the nation when it comes to distance education, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Online Programs rankings released Jan. 10.  

This is the sixth year U.S. News and World Report has numerically ranked online degree programs, with the annual rankings being described as one of the most extensive evaluations of United States-based distance education programs ever published. VSU earned coveted spots on the publication’s 2017 Best Online Graduate Education Programs and 2017 Best Online MBA Programs lists.

“This recognition is a tribute to the talented and dedicated faculty whose tremendous expertise and commitment to student success have resulted in the robust, student-centered programs that have made VSU a leader in online education across the state and nationally,” said Meg H. Giddings, director of VSU’s Office of Extended Learning. “Our tradition of high-quality, in-demand online programs and majors, as well as the innovative VSU spirit, continually create new opportunities for Georgia and other learners. We are proud to offer our online students outstanding opportunities to earn their degrees via virtual delivery while still providing the exceptional program quality and student services available to our on-campus students.” 

Best Online Graduate Education Programs

VSU came in at No. 123 on U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Online Graduate Education Programs list. A total of 278 public, private, and for-profit institutions of higher education were evaluated in this category.

“This ranking affirms the hard work and commitment of the faculty in the Dewar College of Education and Human Services to ensure we offer quality online programs for educators,” said Dr. Lynn C. Minor, interim dean of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services. “We are dedicated to providing online programs that offer diverse online learning technologies, a high degree of student engagement, strong student services, and highly qualified faculty who are trained in online delivery. Our educator preparation programs focus on using data for continuous program improvement to ensure our candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to positively impact the learning and achievement of their P-12 students. The faculty will continue to offer high quality programs and to design and implement additional innovative, cutting-edge online delivery models.”

The Dewar College of Education and Human Services is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and all initial educator preparation programs are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Several of the college’s online educator preparation programs are nationally recognized by their Specialized Professional Association (SPA).

Best Online MBA Programs

VSU came in at No. 160 on U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Online MBA Programs list. A total of 255 public, private, and for-profit institutions of higher education across the nation were evaluated in this category.

“The Georgia Higher Learning and Earnings Report just released states that the MBA earned the top earnings spot in Georgia — $82,000 after one year and $107,000 after five,” said Dr. L. Wayne Plumly, dean of the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration. “An MBA from a top-ranked program will put you a leg up in today’s labor market. An MBA is perfect for individuals that do not have an undergraduate background in business. Low cost combined with a high-quality Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-accredited program make our MBA very attractive and worthwhile.”

Online Programs at VSU

VSU offers more than 50 bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees; endorsements; certificates; and minors online.

Undergraduate students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice, office administration and technology, or organizational leadership; a Bachelor of Arts in French language and literature, legal assistant studies, or Spanish language and literature; a Bachelor of Applied Science in human capital performance; a Bachelor of Business Administration in management; or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for registered nurses who want to earn their four-year degree.

Graduate students can pursue a Master of Education in adult and career education, curriculum and instruction in accomplished teaching, early childhood education, education leadership, health and physical education, instructional technology and training, instructional technology, or middle grades math and science; a Master of Science in criminal justice; a Master of Arts in Teaching in deaf and hard of hearing education, special education adapted curriculum, or special education general curriculum; a Master of Arts in English studies for language arts teachers; a Master of Business Administration in healthcare administration or through the Georgia WebMBA initiative; a Master of Library and Information Science; a Master of Public Administration or Doctor of Public Administration; an Education Specialist in coaching pedagogy, educational leadership, instructional technology, school counseling, special education, or teacher leadership; or a Doctor of Education in leadership or curriculum and instruction.

VSU also offers a certificate and an endorsement in English to speakers of other languages; a certificate in European Union studies; a minor in French language and literature, nutritional science, or Spanish language and literature; and more.  

U.S. News and World Report Rankings Methodology

To determine this year’s rankings, U.S. News and World Report looked at the following:

• Student Engagement: Quality online graduate education, MBA, and bachelor’s programs promote participation in courses, allowing students opportunities to readily interact with their instructors and classmates, as is possible in a campus-based setting. In turn, instructors are not only accessible and responsive, but they are also tasked with helping to create an experience rewarding enough that students stay enrolled and complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time.

• Student Services and Technology: Programs that incorporate diverse online learning technologies allow greater flexibility for students to take classes from a distance. Outside of classes, strong support structures provide learning assistance, career guidance, and financial aid resources commensurate with quality campus-based programs.

• Admissions Selectivity: Students entering with proven aptitudes, ambitions, and accomplishments are better equipped to handle the demands of rigorous coursework. Furthermore, online degrees that schools award judiciously will have greater legitimacy in the job market.

• Faculty Credentials and Training: Strong online programs employ instructors with academic credentials that mirror those of instructors for campus-based programs, and they have the resources to train these instructors on how to teach distance learners.

• Peer Reputation: A survey of high-ranking academic officials helps account for intangible factors affecting program quality that are not captured by statistics. Also, degrees from programs that are well respected by academics may be held in higher regard among employers.

Call the Office of Extended Learning at (229) 245-6490 to learn more about online education opportunities available at VSU.

On the Web:
https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/extended-learning/
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