CSU Online Graduate Programs in Business, Education Garner National Recognition

bestnCOLUMBUS, Ga. — Fresh off a Top 50 ranking in 2012, Columbus State University learned Monday that its online graduate degrees in business and education finished No. 33 and No. 34 respectively, compared to others nationwide, in new U.S. News & World Report rankings

Highlights of the assessments, released today, will be included in the magazine’s Best Graduate Schools 2014 and Best Colleges 2014 guidebooks often used by prospective students and their parents. Columbus State learned last September that it was ranked No. 46 by U.S. News as an overall institution among regional public universities in the South in its Best Colleges 2013 guidebook.

“Receiving this kind of recognition among peer institutions is a great validation of the quality of programs delivered by faculty at Columbus State University,” President Tim Mescon said. “We recognize this as evidence of great work on campus and an acknowledgement of more work to do.”

The online Master of Business Administration degree program offered by CSU’s Turner College of Business was ranked No. 33 among the 148 programs listed in the new Best Online Graduate Business Programs. Columbus State’s online MBA is offered through the Georgia WebMBA consortium of six University System of Georgia business schools, all accredited by AACSB International, which is short for the global Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

“This is the ideal program for the career-minded professional seeking career advancement,” said Linda Hadley, dean of CSU’s Turner College of Business. “We continually strive to make our Georgia WebMBA students feel like they’re part of our thriving campus through close communication from staff and faculty who are committed to their success.”

Columbus State’s online graduate education program ranked No. 34 among the 143 schools listed in the new Best Online Graduate Education Programs. In education, CSU offers an online Master of Education in curriculum and instruction (formerly known as an M.Ed. in accomplished teaching), a Master of Education in educational leadership and two Master of Arts in Teaching degrees — one designed for high school math teachers and another designed for high school science teachers.

Barbara Buckner, dean of CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions, said her faculty had been working to ensure a high level of student engagement within online courses.

“Being able to offer online degrees assists us in meeting the needs of those individuals who are in rural areas or who have other reasons they are unable to meet on campus,” Buckner said. “As dean, I am committed in assisting all school districts in having highly qualified teachers in the classroom. This is just one way we can meet that need.”

Columbus State ranked No. 140 among the 2013 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. CSU offers five bachelor’s degrees online: a general Bachelor of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in sociology. In fall 2013, Columbus State will begin offering a totally online Bachelor of Arts in communication that emphasizes civic leadership. That’s the result of a partnership with the USG, funded by a $1 million grant that’s part of a national initiative to improve college completion rates.

Methods used in ranking business, education and other online programs vary, but among the factors emphasized by U.S. News are student engagement; faculty credentials and training; student services and technology, admissions selectivity and a program’s reputation among its peers.

U.S. News & World Report develops the rankings by conducting surveys among institutions and gauging performance in several areas according to responses from the schools. For the online graduate programs in business rankings, U.S. News surveyed 628 business schools. In looking at comparable education programs, U.S. News collected information from 679 education programs.

For more on all CSU online degrees and courses, visit http://ColumbusState.edu/online. For more on the new U.S. News education rankings, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education.

Ever since Columbus State began offering online courses, university officials have promised to ensure academic standards would be just as rigorous as in traditional classroom instruction. That’s still a paramount concern, one administrator said Monday.

“As more and more students complete courses and entire degree programs online, educators and administrators must ensure that the online course or degree is comparable to the traditional face-to-face platform,” said Greg Domin, associate provost for graduate education, distance learning and international affairs. “This recognition demonstrates CSU's commitment to provide a high quality, flexible, online graduate education at an affordable price that meets the needs of today's graduate student.”

# # #