U.S.News and World Report
has ranked the University of Minnesota, Crookston among the nation's "Best Online Bachelor's Programs" for 2013. The U of M, Crookston was ranked in the top quartile at #60 out of the 247 higher education respondents in this year's survey. Rankings were based on factors such as graduation rates and academic and career support services offered to students among others. The campus ranked especially high in the sub-category Student Services and Technology coming in at number 18.
U.S.News & World Report published these rankings for the first time in 2102 in response to today's high demand for education provided in a flexible manner.
"Our faculty and staff are leaders in the field of online education and have been working for more than a decade to provide access to our high quality degree programs in a manner that is consistent with our public land grant mission. Their experience with and understanding of online students is unparalleled," said Fred Wood, chancellor of the U of M, Crookston. "This recognition is confirmation of the exemplary efforts of our faculty and staff to provide quality programs and the best online learning experience for students who need the flexibility that online learning affords."
The U of M, Crookston currently offers ten degree programs entirely online (these degrees are also offered more traditionally on-campus as well). They include Accounting (B.S.), Applied Health (B.A.H.), Applied Studies (B.S.), Business (B.S.), Communication (B.S.), Health Management (B.S.), Information Technology Management (B.S.), Manufacturing Management (B.M.M.), Marketing (B.S.), and Quality Management (B.M.M.). The online programs are administered through the Center for Adult Learning and delivered via three academic departments: Business; Liberal Arts and Education; and Math, Science, and Technology. The campus currently has more than 700 online only degree-seeking students.
While U.S.News has applied some of its rankings standards used for traditional schools, measures were developed and used to evaluate online programs. U.S.News defined a distance education program as "a program for which all the required coursework for program completion is able to be completed via distance education courses that incorporate Internet-based learning technologies. Distance education courses are courses that deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously."
Online bachelor's degree programs were ranked in three different sub-categories: Teaching Practices and Student Engagement, Faculty Credentials and Training, and Student Services and Technology. Ranking indicators for the Teaching Practices and Student Engagement category included class size, teacher response timeframe, student collaboration policy, and anti-plagiarism screening policy among others. Student services and technology-based indicators included live tutoring and 24/7 tech support, the ability for students to receive classes through both audio and visual, and having all courses centralized into a single student information system, such as Blackboard or Moodle.
Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 27 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of nearly 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu