September 12, 2012

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Affordable Online Degrees: College of Education Program Named a Best Buy at VSU

VALDOSTA -- GetEducated has named the Education Specialist in Instructional Technology degree program at Valdosta State University a Best Buy.

Founded in 1989 by psychologist and educator Vicky Phillips, the Vermont-based GetEducated is reportedly the only consumer group in the United States dedicated to helping students compare and rate online colleges and universities. It serves to protect distance learners from online education fraud.

VSU’s Education Specialist in Instructional Technology degree program was among 367 similar degree programs across the country to be independently reviewed. Of those, 114 programs were found to offer a high quality education at a cost that ranks well below the national average.

VSU came in at No. 24 and was the only institution of higher education from Georgia to make the list.

“The [James L. and Dorothy H.] Dewar College of Education has a variety of online programs,” said Dr. Brian Gerber, interim college dean, “and we are always looking to expand these to meet the needs of our students. The Best Buy recognition afforded the Education Specialist in Instructional Technology is indicative of all our online programs. The faculty pride themselves in teaching research-based content through innovative delivery mechanisms that allows every student a personalized learning experience.”

VSU’s Department of Curriculum, Leadership, and Technology first began offering an online Education Specialist in Instructional Technology degree during the summer of 2000. Applications are accepted in the spring and fall. Georgia media specialists, technology coordinators, and other educators and trainers with a master’s degree in any field are invited to apply. This degree upgrades Georgia Teaching, Service, and Leadership certificates to the sixth-year level.

“Established over a decade ago, the Education Specialist in Instructional Technology online program is the hallmark of the Dewar College of Education’s online programs,” said Dr. Don Leech, associate college dean. “Recognizing that graduate students have a variety of needs, other online programs in the college have followed in the rich tradition of our Instructional Technology program by emphasizing innovative teaching and learning opportunities applied to professional interest of our students.”

Dr. Lorraine Schmertzing, program coordinator, said that the Education Specialist in Instructional Technology degree program is nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teaching Education (NCATE) and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). She said the program has a high retention rate “due mostly to quality advising and faculty who work one on one with students to provide a great deal of feedback throughout their coursework. Many of the courses are tailored to provide learning experiences that directly relate to the environment in which the student works.”

As of the fall 2012 semester, the graduate e-Tuition and fees for students entering an online graduate program was $263 per credit hour plus a $48 technology fee and a $10 access card fee per semester, Schmertizing shared. This rate is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students, she added.

The Dewar College of Education faculty and staff hope the GetEducated recognition will encourage other students to “look into our programs and consider Valdosta State,” said Meg G. Moore, director of the Center for Online Teaching and Learning.

Visit for more information on each of the Dewar College of Education’s online programs, including the Education Specialist in Instructional Technology degree program.

Contact Meg Moore at (229) 259-5095 or to learn more.

On the Web:

GetEducated says:
“A million online students visit annually seeking advice on which of the 3,000-plus online education programs best meet their needs. We are pleased to showcase … [VSU] as a top contender. … You are a member of an elite group of innovators ensuring higher education access … in a time when college affordability has become a critical national concern.”

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