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Three UT colleges receive top marks for online graduate-level education

U.S. News & World Report recently recognized three colleges at The University of Toledo as top performers in the nation for students enrolled in online graduate education.

usnews-badgeThe College of Engineering was No. 18, while the College of Business and Innovation and College of Education ranked 48 and 95, respectively, for their master’s degree categories.

“UT has long been a leader in distance learning, and the recognition by U.S. News & World Report validates the efforts of our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Scott Scarborough, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We are preparing to take the next steps in high-quality distance learning, and I am looking forward to what the future will bring.”

The ranked degree-granting programs offer classes that are 100 percent online — the federal government standard for qualifying as distance learning programs — rather than blended programs that combine classroom and online education.

“Programs such as these require that we pay attention to the special needs of each and every student so that the practicing professional derives the value she or he is seeking through this program,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the College of Engineering. “The continued ranking among the top programs in the nation is additional evidence that our College of Engineering is developing and sharing relevant online educational experiences consistent with the needs and aspirations of practicing professionals.

“While such online programs are getting increased attention today, we are proud of the fact that our college set this in motion more than a decade ago,” Naganathan said.

Online courses offer a slew of benefits, including the ability of working students to pursue their education without having to put their jobs on hold.

As the University administration continues to expand opportunities for current and potential students, Dr. Cam Cruickshank, interim vice provost for enrollment management, has been tapped to lead the UTXNet World Campus initiative.

“UTXnet World Campus is a temporary moniker we have assigned to online and blended learning at The University of Toledo,” Cruickshank said. “While some of the details are yet to be worked out, we know that we will be offering high-quality, media rich, interactive courses delivered online and facilitated by the best faculty The University of Toledo has to offer.”

The College of Business and Innovation, the only Ohio business program listed among the top 50 in the rankings, was recognized for the second year in a row.

“This recognition reflects the hard work of the College of Business and Innovation faculty and staff as well as our commitment to be at the forefront of using the latest technology and techniques to deliver high-quality programs,” said Dr. Thomas Sharkey, interim dean of the college.

While technological advances are having impacts on educational practices in a variety of media, online courses offered by the Judith Herb College of Education are providing students with experiences to better prepare them for future employment.

“With technology being used so extensively in K-12 education, it is really critical that our students come out understanding how online learning happens at all levels,” said Dr. Virginia Keil, executive associate dean of the Judith Herb College of Education. “Having experienced it firsthand makes our graduates more effective in their own classrooms because they themselves have been students — they see it through the eyes of the instructor and the student.”

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