College of Education online graduate program ranked No. 5

best-online-programsFor the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the NIU College of Education’s online graduate program among the country’s best.

The COE program was ranked No. 5 out of a field of 188 competing programs offered by institutions across the country, including 10 in Illinois.

Only one of those, the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign, at No. 7, ranked among the top 50. Mid-America Conference schools listed include Ball State University at No. 11 and Central Michigan University at No. 17.

“For U.S. News to have ranked the College of Education’s online graduate programs in the top five every year for the last four is a significant achievement,” said Laurie Elish-Piper, acting chair of the NIU College of Education. “It’s gratifying to have our online program recognized for its excellence. It affirms the high quality of our faculty, staff and curriculum, and highlights the career success our students go on to have.”

The College of Education offers two Master of Science in Education programs completely online:

  • the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment’s (ETRA) program in instructional technology, and
  • the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundation’s (LEPF) program in school business management.

U.S. News ranked the programs in five categories: student engagement, student services and technology, faculty credentials and training, admissions selectivity and peer reputation. As it has in past rankings, the NIU program scored especially well this year in the faculty credentials and training category (91 points out a possible 100) and student engagement (88 out of a possible 100).

“We have a strong faculty and support staff,” said Pi-Sui Hsu, associate professor and online cohort coordinator for ETRA’s instructional technology program. “They have diverse experience and expertise, and are very accommodating to the needs of working adults, which is a critical factor for a successful online program.”

The master’s degree in school business management prepares students to take on leadership rolls in school districts and readies them for Chief School Business Official (CSBO) endorsement. It too benefits from an outstanding faculty, according to Professor Brad Hawk, who oversees the program. “All of our instructors hold doctorate degrees and have years of experience as Chief School Business Officials,” he said.

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