COMPILED BY DAYTONA TIMES STAFF
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide has garnered the No. 1 spot on the 2016 U.S. News & World Report list for online bachelor’s degrees. Embry-Riddle tied for first place with Penn State.
Daytona State College came in seventh on the list, tying with Ohio State University – Columbus, Oregon State University and University of Wisconsin- Whitewater.
For the third consecutive year, Embry-Riddle Worldwide (online.erau.edu) has been named one of the nation’s top online educators, according to the U.S. News & World Report listing released on Jan. 12. Embry-Riddle Worldwide had previously been ranked No. 5. In addition to its No. 1 ranking for online bachelor’s degree programs, Worldwide – which includes the Daytona Beach-based university – also ranked in the top 50 for its online, non-MBA graduate business programs.
U.S. News & World Report ranked online bachelor’s degree programs and graduate business programs in the following categories: student engagement, admissions selectivity (graduate business programs), faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, student services and technology.
Student support touted
“What defines Embry-Riddle’s online education is our attention to student support,” said Dr. Jason Ruckert, Embry-Riddle Worldwide’s vice chancellor for online education. “With decades of experience in distance learning, we are setting the standard for world-class online education by focusing on engagement and services critical to student success. Technology has given our faculty and advisors the ability to interact with students in new and exciting ways, and we’re constantly looking to improve the overall student experience.”
Embry-Riddle’s residential campuses in Florida and Arizona also have consistently earned top honors by the publication as reflected in the 2016 Best Colleges guidebook. In the specialty category of “Best Undergraduate Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering Programs” category, the Daytona Beach campus was named No. 1 for the 16th year in a row, and the Prescott, Ariz., campus is No. 3 for the 13th straight year.
“Acknowledgment of the innovative, quality education that Embry-Riddle provides, whether it is online or in a traditional classroom setting, serves as affirmation and a source of pride, but it also motivates us to do even more,” said Embry-Riddle Interim President Dr. John R. Watret. “As we celebrate 90 years as the world’s largest and oldest university educating the future leaders of aviation, aerospace and beyond – we will never stop evolving.”
The university is widely known for its aviation and aeronautics programs, degrees in non-aviation disciplines such as engineering, project management and information security are delivered through its colleges of Business, Arts and Sciences and Aeronautics. Embry-Riddle Worldwide serves more than 22,000 students online and at 130 campuses in the United States and globally.
Daytona State College (DSC) President Dr. Tom LoBasso also commented on his school’s ranking.
“We’re delighted to once again earn a Top-10 ranking, especially with the field becoming more competitive each year,” said LoBasso. “This recognition for Daytona State reaffirms our delivery of high-quality online bachelor’s programs. Our continued success comes through the shared vision and hard work of our innovative faculty, student-support teams and technical staff.”
In the bachelor’s programs rankings, Daytona State stood among the best based on criteria such as the quality and experience of its faculty, instructional delivery, and student engagement. DSC entered its fully online baccalaureate degrees – the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management, Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology for the rankings consideration.
Daytona State began offering bachelor’s degrees in 2006 in response to a statewide need to increase Florida’s college-educated workforce. The college now offers 11 bachelor’s programs, seven Bachelor Science in Education degrees and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Over 1,650 baccalaureate students have enrolled in DSC online courses so far this school year.
Overall, 12,628 students took online DSC classes during the 2014-2015 academic year.
“Staying on top of best practices for online delivery and faculty training is critical to maintaining our excellent service to students,” said Dr. Andrea Reese, chair of online studies at DSC. “We optimize digital platforms to give our online students the best learning experience possible.
“With many of our students back-to-school working adults, they have as much to learn from each other as they do from faculty. Our online classrooms reflect that; they’re highly interactive and team-oriented, offering engaging and dynamic online learning that teaches applied skills immediately useful in the workplace.”
Also in the top 10 were Western Kentucky University, University of Illinois – Chicago, University of Georgia and Temple University.
Other Florida schools in the top 50 were University of Florida (11) and the University of Central Florida (20). Florida State University and Palm Beach Atlantic University tied for 34th place and St. Leo University captured a No. 43 slot.