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Online Graduate Business Programs Named to U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll


Arkansas State University’s online graduate business program in the College of Business has been selected as a member of the distance learning honor roll compiled by U.S. News and World Report. The honor roll is the first ever for the prestigious magazine. ASU is a tier I institution as selected by the editors of the publication in America’s Best Colleges for 2011 and again achieved tier I ranking in America’s Best Colleges for 2012.       

Honor roll recipients made the top online business degrees list by ranking in the top third of three out of four indicators. Arkansas State is ranked first in “Faculty Credentials and Training,” ninth in “Student Engagement and Accreditation,” twenty-first in “Student Services and Technology” and thirty-sixth in “Admissions Selectivity.”

“As a consequence of the importance ASU places on high-quality distance learning courses and programs, I am particularly pleased to see how well faculty members in the College of Business have prepared for and embraced online delivery of the master of business administration (MBA) degree program,” said Dr. Dan Howard, interim chancellor. 

“Also, I recognize fully and appreciate deeply the visionary leadership from Dean Len Frey and the commitment from Dr. Roe and Dr. McDaniel of the College of Business, and contributions from Henry Torres, director of the Interactive Teaching and Technology Center, that helped make this achievement possible.”  

Arkansas State earned top honors in “Faculty Credentials and Training” by being the only university to receive a score of 100. Scoring criteria include faculty years of experience in teaching online courses, the amount of training online faculty receive and the degree to which the institution is financially committed to online instructional training.

Torres and his staff developed and taught a rigorous customized training program to aid online faculty members in teaching their courses, according to Dr. Frey. He also pointed out that the College of Business initially began to explore the online MBA option five years ago but did not fully develop and pilot the program until spring of 2009. Frey praised the faculty for their dedication to providing the highest quality experience for the online MBA students.

In the “Student Engagement and Accreditation” category, ASU ranks ninth. Frey indicated that the college made a concerted effort to ensure that the student experience for online students is as close to the classroom experience as possible.

Dr. Bill Roe, associate dean and director of graduate programs for the College of Business said, “The graduate committee and the online MBA taskforce that implemented the online program were very sensitive to need to ensure that students were fully engaged in the learning experience. With the assistance of The Interactive Teaching and Technology Center, the college was able to develop a common platform, look, feel and touch, to the online MBA.”

The College of Business is accredited AACSB International—the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.  

The “Student Services and Technology” category includes services such as live tutoring, online simulations and specialized applications that help students earn online business degrees, while the “Admissions Selectivity” is derived from the programs admission standards.

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