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Rankings of online college and graduate programs released

Reflecting growing interest in -- or at least curiosity about -- online education, U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday released its first rankings of fully online college and graduate degree programs. The magazine has for decades ranked more traditional brick-and-mortar higher education campuses.

Pace University in New York was ranked the best online bachelor’s program in the nation, followed by Daytona State College of Florida, St. John’s University in New York, Westfield State University in Massachusetts and Graceland University in Iowa. Two California schools were listed among the top 20 online bachelor’s programs: Brandman University, which is part of Chapman University, was eighth, and University of La Verne, 13th.

The magazine said it examined student engagement and assessment, student services and technology and faculty credentials. To be considered, a program needed to offer at least 80% of its course content online.

Many other colleges and organizations, such as UC or the Coursera group, offer online courses; but those were not evaluated because they do not constitute a full degree.

Among other areas, online graduate business degree programs were ranked, with Washington State University on top, followed by Arizona State, Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, the University of Florida and Cal State Fullerton. The best online graduate education programs were St. John’s in New York, Auburn University in Alabama, South Dakota University, Northern Illinois University and University of South Carolina.


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