WSU online programs ranked among best in nation

Fairborn Daily Herald

FAIRBORN — U.S. News & World Report has named Wright State University’s online bachelor’s degree programs as well as its online graduate programs in business, education, engineering and nursing as among the best in the nation for 2018.

The magazine based its rankings on instructor engagement with students, student services and technology, faculty credentials and training, admissions selectivity and peer reputation.

U.S. News ranked Wright State’s online master of information systems and master of science in logistics and supply chain management programs offered by the Raj Soin College of Business 19th among the 165 schools responding to the magazine’s surveys.

The programs’ score of 82 ranked higher than those of such schools as Michigan State University, the University of Georgia and the University of Cincinnati. It marked the first time the programs ranked in the Top 20.

The specialized programs offer a hybrid approach through on-campus and online learning experiences. Each online class is five weeks long, with students taking one class at a time. The programs enable students to continue working full time while obtaining their master’s degree in just one year.

Wright State’s online master of education program offered by the college of education and human services was ranked 46th among those of the 309 respondents. Its score of 80 was better than schools such as the University of Virginia and the University of Cincinnati.

The college offers four online programs, two leading to a master of education and two leading to an educational specialist degree.

Two of the programs focus on curriculum, instruction and professional development for educators who want to mentor younger teachers, develop curriculum, improve teaching strategies or oversee special programs for students. The other two programs provide coursework for those who aspire to be principals and superintendents.

These online programs have their roots in the former teacher leader program, which began in the 1970s as a way to reach out to students by sending faculty members to teach courses in outlying areas where there were a significant number of students, such as Lake Campus, Marysville, Madison Plains, Mason and Fairfield.

As online technology developed, the program morphed initially into a hybrid model and then to asynchronous online delivery. All four programs are adding web conferencing sessions to enhance student and instructor interaction. The programs, which are delivered by faculty in the department of leadership studies in education and organizations, currently have more than 120 students.

“The programs’ success can be attributed to our faculty’s student-centered approaches in online course delivery and their ongoing desire to improve emerging school leaders,” said Grant Hambright, director of educational leadership programs.

The online industrial and human factors engineering program offered by the college of engineering and computer science was ranked 67th among those of the 93 respondents.

Online and on-campus students are integrated in the master in industrial and human factors engineering program, experiencing the same lectures, assignments and instructor interactions. Program graduates work in industries such as automobile, aerospace, health care, military, logistics and supply chain, retail, defense contractors and many others.

Frank Ciarallo, associate professor of biomedical, industrial and human factors engineering, said the online course content is very fresh.

“Lectures are captured on video here on campus and made available to program students online within a few hours,” he said. “The online option is a great convenience for the working engineer, both in the Dayton region and farther away. Students can further their careers with a master’s degree in our excellent program while working it into a busy professional and personal life.”

The program, which accepts students with bachelor’s degrees in many engineering and other disciplines, is staffed with seven full-time, tenure-track faculty as well as full-time instructors.

“Faculty really go out of their way to serve student needs,” said Ciarallo. “We know that online students will be focusing on course-related work on weekends and late in the evenings, so we’re ready to respond at all hours.”

Online graduate programs offered by the College of Nursing and Health were ranked 91st among those of the 159 respondents.

The online MBA program offered by the Raj Soin College of Business ranked 128th out of the 282 considered. Its score of 48 put it above schools such as Wichita State University, New Mexico State University and Kent State University.

Wright State’s online bachelor’s degree programs were ranked 153rd among the 357 respondents. The programs’ score of 67 put them above those of schools such as the University of Oklahoma, Eastern Michigan University and the University of Louisville.

Fairborn Daily Herald

Story courtesy of Wright State University.

Story courtesy of Wright State University.