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Three OHIO programs among 'Best Online Programs'

Business, education and engineering colleges recognized

Three online graduate programs at Ohio University are listed among U.S. News & World Report's "Best Online Programs" rankings announced last Wednesday.

The College of Business, Patton College of Education and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology all received high marks among the rankings.

According to U.S. News & World Report, nearly 1,000 distance education programs submitted information last summer comparing degree programs that offer courses entirely online, an increase of 16 percent participation over last year. This is the third year the outlet has collected data from distance learning education programs and developed rankings to help potential students identify their best educational options.

Information was gathered through surveys of programs offering online master's degree level programs in business, computer information technology, education, engineering and nursing, and for the online bachelor's degree programs. The rankings are based on programs, not schools.

"Online education is becoming an essential part of the higher education landscape," U.S. News & World Report Editor Brian Kelly said in a release. "Students and employers are increasingly finding value in the way subjects can be mastered in a digital environment."

According to U.S. News & World Report, this is the first time the rankings include peer review data based on school's evaluations of each other. The new rankings also give greater weight to one-year retention rates, graduation rates and required time to graduate. Selectivity has less weight in some of the master's disciplines and again is not a ranking factor used in the online bachelor's programs rankings, since most online undergraduate programs don't require standardized test scores or high school transcripts.

OHIO rankings

#31 - Patton College of Education - Best Online Graduate Education Programs
U.S. News: Some school districts require their teachers to have a master's degree within five years of entering the profession, so earning an education degree online can lead to career growth for current and future educators. A master's degree is also required for teachers who may want to become school counselors or administrators. U.S. News evaluated several factors to rank the best online education degree programs, including faculty credentials, graduation rates and student services and technologies.
"I am so proud of this national recognition because it represents years of work by The Patton College's faculty and staff creating and maintaining comprehensive online programs," said Dean Renee Middleton. "Our college prides itself not only on our diversity of majors, but on the diversity of our students. Through our online programs, we are able to share a world-class educational experience, literally with the world."

#46 - Russ College of Engineering - Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs
U.S. News: There are several academic routes for those earning an online engineering degree to pursue, including civil, software and electrical engineering, among other specializations. Some masters of engineering programs require students to participate in an internship, and a few require a comprehensive exam. U.S. News evaluated several factors to rank the best online engineering degree programs, including reputation, faculty credentials and student services and technologies.

"I was happy to hear that the master of engineering management program remained in the top 50 of the online engineering programs," said Robert Judd, chair of the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. "This indicates that the outstanding faculty deliver a quality program. The online delivery enables many of our students to attain a graduate degree while still being able to manage their work and family commitments. We are constantly updating the material to improve the program based on new developments in the field and on student feedback."

#95 - College of Business - Best Online Graduate Business Programs, including MBA

U.S. News: An online master's degree in business can equip students with leadership skills and industry connections that are vital to advancing careers. By earning a business degree online, working students don't have to put their jobs on hold. Besides an MBA, other online business degrees include master's programs in accounting, marketing and entrepreneurship. U.S. News evaluated several factors to rank the best online business degree programs, including reputation, faculty credentials and graduation rate.

"We are pleased to be included in the U.S. News & World Report rankings for the Best Online Business Programs," said Dean Hugh Sherman. "Our online and Professional MBA programs are designed for the working professional that sees the workplace changing and wants to hone their analytical and creative thinking skills to become the strategic business leaders of tomorrow."