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Arkansas State ranks among U.S. News and World Report 2013 Best Online Education Programs


JONESBORO, Ark. — U.S. News and World Report has ranked Arkansas State University in two categories of the publication’s Best Online Education Programs: No. 11 for graduate business programs and No. 20 for graduate education programs.

The notice comes on the heels of ASU’s selection for the third straight year as one of the elite institutions of higher education in the southern region by the news magazine.

“Arkansas State places importance on our high-quality distance learning and top-choice academic programs to students throughout the nation and the world. It’s pleasing to see how our faculty has embraced the online masters degree,” said Dr. Tim Hudson, Chancellor at ASU. “Our online graduate numbers continue to grow as our students are provided with opportunities to prepare for employment and challenges they will face in this globally competitive marketplace.”

ASU’s No. 11 ranking in Graduate Business Programs comes from a field of 148 colleges and universities. This is the second straight year that Arkansas State’s online Graduate Business Programs were chosen. In January 2012, the list was known as the publication’s “honor roll.”

Selection is based on several factors including level of accreditation, reputation for excellence among peer institutions and academic and career support services offered to students. A two-step process was utilized including compilation of business schools that offer master degree programs online and then collecting data such as faculty credentials and training; student services and technology; student engagement and admissions selectivity.

“We are extremely honored and pleased to have achieved high ranking by U.S. News for our online MBA, both in the initial honor roll last year, and in the rankings this year,” said Dr. Bill Roe, associate dean and College of Business
 director of Graduate Business Programs.

“To be named two consecutive years as the number one online MBA program in Faculty Credentials and Training speaks volumes about the quality and dedication of our graduate faculty, the commitment of our Graduate Programs Committee to ensuring high quality online management education, and to ASU’s Interactive Teaching and Technology Center for providing the training and technology support for our faculty to deliver their courses in this format.  To be ranked eleventh out of 148 online MBA programs is, indeed, quite an accomplishment, and distinguishes us among many high profile Colleges of Business throughout the country.”

ASU is one of 959 regionally accredited institutions who responded to the survey’s questions regarding masters degrees in business through internet-based distance education courses.

The ranking by ASU for Best Online Graduate Education Programs follows a similar methodology for selection based on level of accreditation, admissions selectivity and academic and career support services offered to students. ASU is one of 1,043 regionally accredited institutions that received statistical questionnaires that granted a master’s degree in education.

ASU ranks No. 20 in the final list of 143 colleges and universities.

“Taking courses taught entirely online is becoming an important part of higher education,” said Brian Kelly, editor of U.S. News and World Report. “We collected information from over 850 programs. It’s important to know that we collected information on programs and not schools. The methodology makes clear that these are degree-granting programs offering classes that are 100 percent online—the federal government standard for qualifying as distance learning programs.”

U.S. News and World Report includes eligible institutions of higher learning that met the required definition of distance education courses. The United States Department of Education defines distance education programs as “those programs for which all the required course work for program completion is able to be completed via distance education courses that incorporate Internet-based learning technologies.

“Distance education courses are courses that deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously. Note: Requirements for coming to campus for orientation, testing or academic support services do not exclude a program from being classified as an online master's in education degree program."