January 26, 2021
21-11

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

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

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University is once again 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 2021 Best Online Programs rankings released today.

This is the 10th 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 public, private, and for-profit institutions of higher education ever published. VSU earned coveted, highly ranked spots on the publication’s 2021 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs, Best Online MBA Programs, and Best Online Master’s in Education Programs lists — and as an added bonus was ranked No. 2 on U.S. News and World Report's list of the 10 Affordable Online Colleges for Out-of-State students.

“We are very pleased to attain this recognition from U.S. News and World Report,” said Dr. Robert T. Smith, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at VSU. “Our faculty have worked very hard to develop and maintain outstanding online programs, meeting the needs of students located throughout Georgia and beyond. We are especially proud to bring a high-quality VSU education to meet students’ needs, particularly in rural areas of Georgia, where low-cost quality education is hard to come by.”  

VSU came in at No. 122 on U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list, up from No. 143 the previous year. VSU also came in at No. 75 on U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans list and No. 35 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs list..

“We are excited to receive national recognition for our online programs and rise in ranking from last year,” said Marsha B. Dukes, associate director of VSU’s Center for eLearning. “At VSU, we care about our students, and we strive to remove barriers to their success. During the pandemic, our online degree programs were flexible to empower working professionals and undergraduate students to continue their studies and advance their careers even during life challenges. The latest ranking of online programs from U.S. News and World Report reflects our ongoing commitment to providing innovative, high-quality online education and recognizes the expertise of our faculty and their dedication to student learning.”

VSU came in at No. 123 on U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best Online MBA Programs list, up from No. 229 the previous year.

“It is an honor to have our Master of Business Administration program recognized by U.S. News and World Report,” said Dr. Ellis B. Heath, director of Graduate Studies for the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration at VSU. “Our MBA program has been built with great faculty, a focus on student engagement, and an expectation of excellence. We strive each and every day to provide our students with the tools necessary to compete in the global marketplace.”

VSU came in at No. 132 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Master’s in Education Programs list. VSU’s James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, as well as an American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education award-winning institution. All initial educator preparation programs are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Several of the college’s online educator preparation programs are accredited or nationally recognized by their specialized professional organizations.

Online Programs at VSU

VSU offers more than 60 bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees; endorsements; certificates; minors; and certifications online.

Undergraduate students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Office Administration and Technology, Organizational Leadership, or Psychology; a Bachelor of Arts in French (Language and Culture Track or World Languages and Cultures Track) or Spanish (Language and Culture Track or World Languages and Cultures Track); a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Development; and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management.

Graduate students can pursue a Master of Education in Adult and Career Education, Curriculum and Instruction in Accomplished Teaching, Education Leadership, Elementary Education, Health and Physical Education, Instructional Technology and Training, Instructional Technology: Non P-12 Technology Applications, Instructional Technology: P-12 Technology Applications, Instructional Technology: School Library Media, or Middle Grades Math and Science; a Master of Science in Criminal Justice; a Master of Arts in Teaching in English to Speakers of Other Languages, Foreign Language Education (French or Spanish), Health and Physical Education, Special Education: Adapted Curriculum, Special Education: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education, 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 via 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 in Physical Education, Educational Leadership, Instructional Technology: P-12 Technology Applications, Instructional Technology: P-12 Technology Applications with Library Media Add-On, Instructional Technology: Technology Applications (Non P-12 School Personnel), School Counseling, Special Education, or Teacher Leadership; and a Doctor of Education in Leadership or Curriculum and Instruction: Learning and Development.

Students have opportunities to enhance their education and training through the pursuit of a Certificate in Online Teaching, European Union Studies, Nonprofit Management, Public Management, Spanish for Professionals, or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages; a Certification in Educational Leadership (Tier I), Performance-Based Leadership (Tier II), or School Library Media; an Endorsement in English to Speakers of Other Languages, Gifted In-Field, K-5 Mathematics, K-5 Science, Online Teaching, or Reading; and a Minor in French, Nutritional Science, Psychology, or Spanish.   

VSU also offers students an accelerated option for completing all of the core coursework for a bachelor’s degree in a non-science major in as little as three semesters. Through SmartPath Core, these classes are never full, always available, offered in eight-week sessions, and taught by VSU faculty.

An additional 10 degree programs are offered in a hybrid format — Bachelor of Science in Education in Workforce Education and Development; Master of Social Work; Master of Science in Nursing; Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership or Counselor Education; Master of Science in Criminal Justice; Master of Science in Nursing in Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Doctor of Education in Adult and Career Education or Curriculum and Instruction: P-12 Disciplinary Concentration; and a minor in Health and Physical Education.

A Look at How U.S. News and World Report Determined the Rankings

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

• Engagement: Quality online graduate education 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.

• 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.

• Student Excellence: 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.

• Expert Opinion: 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 Center for eLearning at (229) 245-6490 to learn more about online education opportunities available at VSU.

On the Web:
https://www.valdosta.edu/academics/online-programs/
http://www.usnews.com
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