The University of South Carolina College of Education’s online graduate education programs have been ranked 18th nationally out of 252 surveyed colleges for 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
“We are proud to have our college represented within the top 20 online programs,” says College of Education Dean Lemuel Watson. “It is due to the hard work of our faculty and staff who require the same quality and rigor for our online programs as our traditional programs.”
The College of Education offers online graduate programs that cater to the unique needs of diverse students. Enrolled students include not only those who recently completed undergraduate studies, but also professionals who wish to advance their career, take on higher-level leadership roles, or change jobs within the education field itself.
The college offers a blended model with on-line delivery augmented by targeted face-to-face sessions. It focuses on visiting students at their sites, informing the college as well as the student. This is consistent with the college’s focus on impact and collaboration. Faculty and students engage in both asynchronous and synchronous deliveries, and use multiple technologies including Facebook, wikis, Pinterest, Prezi and Canvas to further enhance delivery.
Dean Watson also notes, “We are committed to providing access to high quality programs to students all over our state, and I am proud of our faculty who are diligent in their care to provide the kind of learning experiences that prepares students for their professional fields.”
The College of Education's online graduate programs were also ranked in the top 20 nationally in 2014.
U.S. News ranks programs based on these five categories:
- Student engagement — quality online graduate education programs grant aspiring teachers and educational administrators opportunities to readily interact with their instructors and classmates.
- Student services and technology —programs that incorporate diverse online learning technologies allow greater flexibility for students to take classes from a distance.
- Faculty credentials and training — strong online programs employ instructors with academic credentials that mirror those of instructors for campus-based programs, and they have the resources to train these instructors on how to teach distance learners.
- Admissions selectivity — student bodies entering with proven aptitudes, ambitions and accomplishments can handle the demands of rigorous course work.
- Peer reputation — a survey of high-ranking academic officials in education helps account for intangible factors affecting program quality that are not captured by statistics.
The college's online graduate education programs have recently witnessed a tremendous surge in enrollment, and the college anticipates continued increasing demand for online content and continued development of web-based curriculum.