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Online Programs See Sharp Rise in U.S. News Rankings


JONESBORO – The latest results from U.S. News and World Report's online program rankings reflect extremely well on A-State Online and the faculty and staff who make quality programs available through Arkansas State University, according to Dr. Thilla Sivakumaran, executive director of global engagement and outreach.

U.S. News and World Report released the annual national rankings today on its website, www.usnews.com/education/online-education.

The largest online provider in the state, A-State Online received improved rankings in all but one area in the 2019 report.

In the category of online graduate education programs, A-State jumped up to No. 115 in 2019 from 180 last year.  At that level, it is tied with 10 other institutions, including Colorado State University, Georgia College & State University, Ohio Dominican and Maine.

"At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, this year's U.S. News rankings attest to the high quality online programs we have seen developed and offered by Arkansas State University," Sivakumaran said.  “By achieving higher rankings almost across the board, it shows our commitment to online education.  Arkansas State was among the first in our state and region to offer 100 percent online degree programs.  We’ll soon reach a milestone of 10 years of online programs, and the combination of our state-leading enrollment and our years of experience in online delivery with our faculty and staff support is reflected in our overall rising rankings.”

The most dramatic increase was in undergraduate online programs, where A-State shot up to No. 114 in the 2019 national rankings.  This is a significantly sharp increase from the institution's ranking of 259 last year.

With a score of 73, A-State is tied at No. 114 with eight other institutions, including Kentucky Wesleyan, Colorado-Colorado Springs, Louisiana-Lafayette and Missouri.

Another example of improvement was online engineering, which was not ranked previously, is now ranked No. 79.

For the Master of Business Administration online program, A-State moved from No. 12 to No. 45 this year.  While the ranking dropped from 2018, it is attributed to a change that actually makes the program more accessible for prospective students, not a decline in program quality.  The ranking at No. 45 is still considered very high in the national survey of more than 300 universities.

The online MBA program now allows students with at least a 3.0 gradepoint average or those with at least five years of employment with managerial or leadership responsibilities to enter the program.  Previously, a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score were required for incoming students.  The lower number of students admitted on the basis of the standardized tests resulted in the reduced ranking, according to Dr. C. William Roe, associate dean of the Neil Griffin College of Business and director of graduate business programs.

A-State's online MBA program has been ranked in the top 15 in the past six consecutive years, and remains the highest ranked online program in the upper Delta region.  In addition, the A-State program is ranked number 1 in "faculty credentials and training" with a score of 100 out of 100 for the seventh straight year.

U.S. News evaluates programs on a system that considers dimensions of engagement, including interaction among professors and classmates; services and technologies, including learning assistance, flexibility and career guidance; faculty credentials and training; and expert opinion among high-ranking academic officials and employers.

Additional information about A-State Online is available at AState.edu/Online.

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