The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

January 21, 2013

WVU online grad programs listed among nation’s top 30


MORGANTOWN — Three online graduate programs at West Virginia University — nursing, education and business — have been ranked among the top 30 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The online graduate nursing program was ranked 21st overall in the rankings announced last week, education was 26th and business 29th. U.S. News reviewed 101 online master of nursing programs, 208 education programs and 213 business programs.

“These very strong rankings are a credit to the faculty, staff and students at WVU,” President Jim Clements said.

“The rankings also underscore elements in our strategic plan about the importance of graduate programming, as well as growth in quality online offerings that are critical to our state and nation in general. Certainly health, education and business are three such vital areas.”

The “impressive rankings” is “excellent news,” said Katherine Karraker, interim associate provost for graduate academic affairs.

“WVU continues to work to provide the citizens of West Virginia and others access to high quality educational programs both in the traditional classroom setting and online,” she said.

“Our online and distance learning programs expand opportunities for education and training to students who may not otherwise be able to participate in these programs. We hope to continue building our capacity to provide educational opportunities through additional high quality online programs.”

Since WVU began offering online classes in 1998, “we have carefully expanded with an eye towards quality,” said Sue Day-Perroots, dean of extended learning.

“Faculty have embraced online learning when they see how effective it can be. Our iDesign unit provides the support and expertise needed to create courses that engage the student. Growing enrollment and this national recognition shows that our efforts have been rewarded.”

In ranking the online programs, U.S. News reviewed student engagement; faculty credentials and training; admissions selectivity; and student services and technology. The business evaluation also included reputation among peers.