Excelling Online | Beaufort County Now | Graduate programs in business, criminal justice, education, nursing recognized

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Crystal Baity.


East Carolina University's online graduate programs in business, criminal justice, education and nursing have been recognized as best in the nation in a new U.S. News & World Report ranking. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


    East Carolina University's online graduate programs in business, criminal justice, education and nursing have been ranked best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

    Online master's programs in the College of Nursing were ranked in the top 15% or 29th out of 194 schools listed in the 2022 U.S. News Best Online Programs announced today.

    ECU nursing also was ranked fifth out of 25 U.S. schools offering the best online master's programs for veterans. Schools on this list had to be regionally accredited and certified for the GI Bill, and enroll a critical mass of students with military backgrounds.

    "Delivering high-quality online programs that help nurses advance in their career while maintaining their practice has never been more important," said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. "To have our online master's programs consistently rank among the best in online advanced nursing education is a testament to the excellence of our dedicated faculty and IT staff."

    ECU's online graduate program in criminal justice is the only school in North Carolina on the list, ranking 21st out of 85 and in the top 25% of schools recognized.

    "We are gratified to see our graduate program maintain its high ranking among the top criminal justice graduate schools in the nation, many of which are esteemed doctoral-granting institutions," said Dr. Heidi Bonner, associate professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

    "Our 2022 ranking is even more laudable given the challenging conditions that have existed over the past year and is a testament to the department's commitment to providing a quality educational experience for our students. I commend the graduate faculty who uphold our mission of academic excellence in educating the next generation of criminal justice leaders."

    Online master's programs in the College of Education were ranked 60th of 338 schools, in the top 20% on the list. Eight Master of Education (MAEd) online programs were reported in the U.S. News survey including adult education, curriculum and instruction, elementary education, instructional technology, science education, reading and literacy studies, special education, and middle grades education.

    "The ECU College of Education continues to be recognized as a leader in online graduate education," said Dr. Art Rouse, acting dean of the College of Education. "The faculty provide students a world class educational experience using cutting edge technology to support the teaching and learning environment. Hence, students graduate from our programs prepared to make a significant impact on the communities they serve."

    The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in the College of Business is in the top 35% of programs recognized, ranked 121st of 356 schools. The program has been offered fully online since 2005 - the first online MBA program in the state.

    "The Thomas D. Arthur Graduate School of Business and its online MBA program offer today's learners, whether in a professional setting, the military or just after graduation, opportunities to continue their education while fitting in perfectly with a busy schedule," said Paul Russell, director of graduate programs. "The value of our program is something that gives us pride."

    ECU's online graduate programs have been recognized for several consecutive years, and were evaluated this year on the following criteria:

  • Engagement (includes indicators such as graduate rate, class size, retention rates and time to degree completion)
  • Faculty credentials and training (number of faculty with terminal degrees, number of tenured faculty and preparedness of faculty to teach distance learners)
  • Services and technology (technological infrastructure and student support services)
  • Expert opinion (based on surveys of high-ranking academic officials)
  • Student excellence (acceptance rates of programs and undergraduate GPA of new students).

    For more information on the rankings, visit here.
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