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IDT Program at Emporia State Recognized Among the Best

February 22, 2016

The Instructional Design and Technology program at Emporia State University has been recognized as one of the best online programs of its kind in the nation.

The university recently was notified by that the program, housed within The Teachers College, had been ranked 13th of the top 24 universities and colleges offering similar programs.

Emporia State was the only Kansas institution included in the rankings.

“As most courses include computer-based subject matter, this degree can be perfectly tailored to an online format,” according to information from “Students will learn from distance education experts about distance education in a distance format.”

“I think it’s a recognition of the quality program we’ve had over the last 20 years,” said Dr. Zeni Colorado, associate professor and chair of the department.

Emporia State’s program is unique in the state, she said. Others offer some components of the program, but none are as comprehensive.

“For example, a lot of our students are learning how to create web-based instruction or online courses. Some are multimedia development and so they become learning developers, things like that.”

Many students in the program already had bachelor’s degrees and were teaching in the K-12 system, so distance learning provided a route to an advanced degree without interrupting their employment. Now, instructional design and technology is becoming a job of the future, as government, healthcare, corporations and non-profit organizations realize the opportunities for widespread training and continuing education for their employees.

“More and more of our students are people that are in the private sector,” Colorado said. “It’s amazing. ... One of our students just got a job at Ford Motor Company.”

The 2016 rankings are based on a refined formula that utilizes academic quality, online offerings, cost and student aid to determine a final score, according to information from

Academic quality accounts for 50 percent of the score, with admissions and graduation rates each accounting for 50 percent of that category; online offerings make up 30 percent, with half of the score keyed to the number of online programs and half to the percentage of undergraduates taking online courses; cost and student aid constitute 20 percent, with average net price and loan default rate each carrying equal weight in that category.

The totals of those scores determine the final scores and rankings.

Emporia State has long been an innovator in distance education. The university’s IDT students also have excelled in the Pacificorp Instructional Design and Technology competition, since Emporia State began competing in 2007.

“We’ve won it six times,” Colorado said. “... What’s interesting about that competition is that organization tends to have a lot of doctoral level students who enter. Our master’s students for those years were able to compete against the doctoral level students.”

Within the last several weeks, Emporia State also recently was ranked No. 1 for Best Online College in Kansas for 2015-2016 by Affordable Colleges Online.

U.S. News & World Report also ranked Emporia State the highest in Kansas for both online graduate education and online non-MBA programs, as well as No. 3 of Kansas schools for online MBA programs.

The Top 24 rankings were: 1. Michigan State University, Lansing, 2. North Carolina State, Raleigh, 3. New Jersey City University, 4.  Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C., 5. East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., 6. Duquesne University, Pittsburg, 7. Georgia State University, Atlanta, 8. Indiana University, Bloomington.

Also, 9. Concordia University, Chicago, 10. California State University, Fullerton; 11. University of Central Florida, Orlando, 12. Webster University, St. Louis; 13. Emporia State University; 14. University of North Iowa, Cedar Falls; 15. Texas A&M University, College Station, 16. University of Arizona, Tucson.

Also, 17. University of West Georgia, Carrollton; 18. University of Dayton, Ohio; 19. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, 20. Texas A&M, Texarkana; 21. Wayne State University, Detroit; 22. Brandman University, Irvine, Calif., 23. Boise State University, Idaho; 24. West Texas A&M, Canyon.



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