Western Carolina University is listed among the nation’s best providers of online degree programs in a collection of rankings released Tuesday, Jan. 15, by U.S. News & World Report.
“As a regional university, Western Carolina University must meet the needs of the region and the state,” said Susan Fouts, director of WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach, which supports online degree programs. “High quality online degrees are one of the ways we are able to meet the needs of the region. We are committed to online students and supply not only high quality instruction, but high quality support and experiences for students. This customer service philosophy sets us apart from other universities. Results of a recent survey of distance students shows WCU meets and exceeds the expectation of students for both value of their degree and the quality of their instruction and student support.”
In its examination of undergraduate and graduate online programs offered by higher education institutions across the country, the magazine put WCU at 58th for online bachelor’s degree programs out of 367 institutions. It also listed WCU as 78th in the nation for online graduate business programs other than MBAs, out of the 150 institutions evaluated in that category.
WCU offers online bachelor’s degree programs in birth-kindergarten education, criminal justice, emergency and disaster management, emergency medical care, engineering technology, business administration and law, and entrepreneurship, plus a program allowing registered nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing. Master’s degree programs provided online by the university are construction management, entrepreneurship, health sciences, human resources, special education, nurse educator, nurse administration, project management, school administration, and elementary and middle grades education.
U.S. News & World Report assessed schools based on four general, weighted categories for online programs: student engagement (35 percent); student services and technology (25 percent); faculty credentials and training (20 percent); and peer reputation (20 percent).
For non-MBA online graduate business programs the assessment was based on student engagement (28 percent); student excellence (25 percent); a survey of high-ranking academic officials in business (25 percent); faculty credentials and training (11 percent); and student services and technologies (11 percent).
WCU’s online programs have continually been ranked among the highest by U.S. News & World Report, now in the eighth year of collecting data from distance education providers.