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Online programs nationally ranked
Daniel Bissell / Staff Writer
Online graduate degree programs from the UNT education and business colleges were recognized in the top in the nation by US News & World Report in its Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.
College of Education
The College of Education was ranked No. 13 in the U.S. for Best Online Graduate Education Programs, making it the top school in Texas on the list.
The college was recognized for its master’s degree in educational psychology, with a focus in gifted and talented education, as well as a new accelerated online educational leadership master’s program.
“We started with individual classes in the late 90s,” College of Education senior associate Dean Michael Sayler said. “The degree has been online – first as a special education masters and now an educational psychology concentration – since the early 2000s. We’ve had students from all over the state, country and world. This is one of the first online programs in gifted education, and it’s been around for a long time.”
College of Education Dean Jerry Thomas said the online program offers an alternative to traditional classroom courses, allowing those seeking further education to choose the timeliness and location of their studies.
“Students can sign up for eight-week courses, two at a time,” Thomas said. “They can start at the beginning or in the middle of spring and fall. They can actually finish their master’s in a year.”
Sayler said this convenience provides students with the opportunity to complete their master’s programs while continuing their daily lives. He said many students who use the program are faculty members who wish to acquire a leadership position at their schools.
“We’re set up to reach people where they are and allow them to do the courses without having to physically travel to the campus,” Sayler said.
Both programs are built in Blackboard and they include include online interactions, discussions, chats and joint projects.
College of Business
The College of Business’ online M.B.A. program was ranked No. 20 in the nation in the publication’s Best Online Business Graduate Programs list. The program provides concentrations in strategic management, finance and marketing.
“Our online graduate programs offer the same outstanding curriculum and faculty that we provide to on-campus students,” Marilyn Wiley, College of Business senior associate dean said to UNT News. “We are pleased to earn national recognition for this degree that has played such an important role in the career success of our graduates.”
According to the US News & World Report, the rankings are based on factors including faculty credentials and training, student engagement, services offered to students and admissions standards.
“What I think this reflects is that our faculty are working hard at developing these programs, and that they are doing a good job,” Thomas said. “When they teach those courses, and students feel they are getting their money’s worth and think they’re learning what they should learn to be principals or leaders in their schools, it reflects positively on this program and this university.”