National spotlights continue to shine on Emporia State University.
OnlineColleges.net notified the university this month that its online master’s degree in educational administration has been recognized as one of the best in the country.
Emporia ranked 14th of the top 25 universities and was the only Kansas institution to make the list.
Dr. Melissa Venable, education editor for Houston-based OnlineColleges.net, said that her organization had carefully studied academics, student experience, financial aid and enrollment as criteria to select the best programs in the country.
“You’ve clearly put great emphasis on creating a program that prepares students for success, and that played a major role in our ranking,” Venable said in a notification letter to the university.
The program is for students seeking licensure as principals and athletic directors at building or at district level for pre-K through 12 schools.
Since the university first offered online courses in 1996, it has flourished through interdepartmental collaboration, innovation, original materials, administration support, and dedicated faculty who are nationally well-known in their professions, according to Dr. Kathy Ermler, dean of graduate school and distance education.
Ermler, who came to Emporia in 1989, was part of the team that produced the first online classes.
“We had some programs that were the first online programs in the world,” Ermler said.
Original coursework created by Emporia State faculty continues to be a foundation of the university’s online education.
“The faculty that teach online believe in it,” Ermler said. “Others buy classes. It’s an instructor, hired by a company, that is not there in the class. ... That’s something we have never bought into.”
The Information Technology department has enabled distance students in some courses to join the classrooms in real time to interact with other students and faculty members, Ermler said, or to access materials through archives at a more convenient time.
“The learning management system is so rich in the ability to interact with students,” she said. “Our faculty gets to know students.”
At $5,614 for in-state tuition, Emporia State’s top-quality education comes at the lowest cost of the 25 institutions. Its out-of-state tuition — $17,388 — ranked third-lowest of the group.
Earlier this semester, Affordable Colleges Online ranked Emporia State the No. 1 online college in Kansas, with a score of 99.65%. More than 91 Kansas institutions were included in the rankings process. That recognition followed a January 2015 analysis by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Emporia State’s online graduate education programs No. 11 in the United States and No. 1 in Kansas.
The top 25 top institutions in the OnlineColleges.net assessment were:
- George Washington University, Washington, D.C.;
- University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio;
- University of Florida at Gainesville;
- University of South Carolina at Columbia;
- North Carolina State University at Raleigh;
- The University of Texas at Arlington;
- University of Nebraska at Lincoln;
- Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana;
- Texas A&M University, College Station;
- Concordia University, Chicago;
- California State University, Northridge;
- Brandman University, Irvine, California;
- DePaul University, Chicago;
- Emporia State University;
- Texas A&M University, Commerce;
- University of Central Florida, Orlando;
- Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida;
- The University of Tennessee, Knoxville;
- Columbia International University, Columbia, South Carolina
- The University of Texas at Tyler;
- University of Cincinnati;
- Concordia University, Portland, Oregon;
- Iowa State University, Ames;
- Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant;
- University of South Dakota, Vermillion.