U.S. News and World Report ranked UF College of Education’s online program No. 2 and UF Online’s bachelors program No. 12 on lists published Tuesday.
The ranking for the College of Education was down from No. 1 on last year’s list of America’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs while the UF Online’s bachelors program rose eight places on a list of U.S.’s Best Online Bachelor's Programs, according to two UF press releases.
U.S. News and World Report considers student engagement, student services and technology, faculty credentials and training and peer reputation when it calculates its rankings, according to its website.
“We are thrilled with the rankings,” said Evangeline Cummings, the assistant provost and director of UF Online, which was also ranked first in Florida.
Cummings said the program will continue to improve year after year until it’s No. 1 nationally.
“I think (the ranking) reflects years of work and effort to provide a program of the same, or of an even higher quality, of that of our residential students,” Cummings said.
Cummings said UF’s online program is unique in the U.S. because courses are taught by the same professors who teach on-campus, and every online student has their own academic adviser.
UF College of Education’s online program carried its streak as best in the state on the list released Tuesday but was replaced by Clemson University as No. 1, ending UF’s two-year streak as the best in the nation, according to Alligator archives. The list ranks the top 40 online graduate education programs of 292.
UF and Florida State University, which tied with Auburn at No. 13, are the only two Florida schools to make the list.
Tom Dana, the UF College of Education senior associate dean, said quality interaction between students and faculty sets UF apart from other online programs.
“We’re thrilled that for three years in a row we’re considered among the best in the nation, and we’re good role models for other colleges of education,” Dana said.
The online graduate program, which offers nine web-based degree programs, caters to teachers, counselors and superintendents looking to improve their certification.
Director of E-Learning Jason Arnold said the college cares more about the students’ experiences than rankings.
“We’re very meticulous about making sure that each experience students have in the online course is positive,” Arnold said.