The University of Colorado College of Nursing’s online program in graduate nursing was named an honor roll program in the first-ever edition of Top Online Education Program rankings by U.S. News & World Report. There are four indicator rankings for online master’s of nursing/doctorate of nursing practice degree programs. The rankings include: admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training, student engagement and accreditation and student services and technology rankings. In order to make U.S. News’ honor roll of top online graduate nursing programs, a school needed to place in the top third of ranked schools in a least three of the four categories.
Here's how CU’s College of Nursing ranked in each of the four categories:
- Student Services and Technology (3rd)
- Student Engagement and Accreditation (10th)
- Faculty Credentials and Training (13th)
- Admissions Selectivity (24th)
The U.S. News ranking marks a significant milestone for the years nursing faculty spent transforming quality nursing education into an online format. The online program began in 1996.
“The College of Nursing is thrilled to be on the U.S. News Honor Roll List,” said Diane Skiba, PhD, FAAN, FACMI, professor, College of Nursing. “This is a great recognition of our collective efforts to provide a quality online program. The college has been fortunate to receive several grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration Division of Nursing to create our online informatics, health systems and mental health graduate specialties.”
In April 2010, the College of Nursing also received a $2.6 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which has provided much-needed additional resources to update and expand its online informatics program.
In addition to graduate nursing programs, U.S. News ranked online bachelor’s degree programs and graduate online degree programs in business, engineering, education and computer information technology. These rankings were created in response to today’s high demand for education provided in a flexible manner. Online education has become increasingly popular due to its flexibility.
While U.S. News applied some of its rankings standards used for traditional schools, many new measures were developed to evaluate online programs. In order to be considered for the rankings, online degree programs need to have at least 80 percent of their course content available online.
Online bachelor’s degree programs were ranked in three different categories: student engagement and assessment, faculty credentials and training and student services and technology. The online master’s degree programs were ranked in similar categories, but were evaluated on student engagement and accreditation as opposed to assessment. There also was a separate indicator ranking for admissions selectivity.
There were no numeric rankings for overall program quality this inaugural year. Instead, U.S. News created non-numeric honor roll lists of online programs. There is one honor roll for online bachelor's degree programs and one each for the master's degree programs, excluding computer information technology. Each list includes programs that performed well across a series of numeric indicator rankings.
Data was collected from both for-profit and not-for-profit schools.