U.S. News: Nebraska's online programs among nation's best

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U.S. News: Nebraska’s online programs among nation’s best

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Craig Chandler | University Communication

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s online education programs were recognized in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Online Programs listing, with several ranked among the best in the nation and within the Big Ten.

The university’s online Bachelor of Science in applied science and a bachelor’s in early childhood education in a mobile society ranked in the top 10 percent of all programs — 35th among 357 institutions — and third among Big Ten universities.

Among online graduate programs evaluated by U.S. News, Nebraska ranked 42nd (second in the Big Ten) for the Online Master of Business Administration and 29th for the Online Master of Engineering Management. Nebraska’s Online Graduate Education programs for teachers and school administrators ranked 12th (second in the Big Ten.)

“The rankings underscore excellence,” said Amber Williams, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management. “But more importantly, they show how Nebraska is successfully meeting students where they’re at as individuals. Our students can achieve balance as they progress toward their personal goals and maintain work and family commitments.

“As our reputation for excellence grows, we also have the opportunity to serve even more students beyond our physical campus. It’s an honor to be recognized for helping people from across the globe gain the knowledge and skills they need to make an impact in an increasingly connected world.”

The Bachelor of Science in applied science degree is a degree completion program that allows students to transfer up to 60 credit hours they’ve earned from other institutions — often from multiple disciplines — and combine them with 60 credit hours of online classes at Nebraska to complete their degree.

The result is a degree tailored to students’ interests and career goals, said Dan Cotton, coordinator of extended education for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“The strength of the program is the strength of a Nebraska degree in agriculture or natural resources – it’s an excellent and well-rounded education for students who are interested in careers in Nebraska’s leading industry,” Cotton said. “We have strong relationships with community colleges in the region and we provide strong advising support to our students. Every one of our students gets personalized attention.”

The bachelor’s degree in early childhood education is offered through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, with faculty from a consortium of seven universities – Iowa State, Texas Tech, Michigan State, Missouri, and South Dakota State. The program, which was created at the request of the U.S. military, provides training in how to best serve children in mobile populations, including those who serve in the military or who have other careers that require frequent relocation: immigrant families, homeless families and families living in poverty.

“Our students are Nebraska students,” Richard Bischoff, chairman of the Child Youth and Family Studies Department said. “They live in Nebraska, but they are unable to come to campus. This program expands our reach to people who might not be able to give up jobs to come to campus.”

The online MBA, which has also been ranked the number one value for the money in the world by Financial Times, offers students the same curriculum and faculty as the on-campus program, but optimized for online delivery.

MBA@Nebraska is really one of the best investments professionals can make,” said Tammy Beck, associate dean of graduate programs and executive education. “Our success has been driven by delivering on proven career outcomes — graduates receive an average salary increase of 37 percent after graduation. With fair tuition, students save almost $18,000 compared to similarly ranked programs.”

The online master of engineering management, combines advanced engineering and MBA courses to train professional engineers to meet the business and technical challenges of advancing in their careers.

“The success of Nebraska’s MEM is built on our combination of preparing students with both technical knowledge, like project management, decision analysis, reliability engineering and risk analysis with in-demand business skills like leadership, conflict resolution, communication and engineering law,” said Jena Shafai Asgarpoor, master of engineering management program director.

U.S. News evaluated several of Nebraska’s online graduate offerings in education: in family and consumer science education, P-12 educational administration, special education, and German language education.

“We are proud of the rigor in our programs and the quality of our graduates,” said Beth Doll, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. “Our graduates are in a variety of leadership roles and making a difference each day across Nebraska, the United States and the world.”

The ranked programs are among dozens of University of Nebraska-Lincoln online educational programs, most involving disciplinary categories not evaluated by U.S. News. The four institutions of the University of Nebraska system combined offer more than 100 degree, certificate and endorsement programs online.

“These rankings show we have outstanding programs,” said Marie Barber, executive director of online and distance education at Nebraska. “We’re at the top in the Big Ten and among the top 50 nationally.”

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