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Ferris Ranked Among `Best Online Colleges' Revolutionizing Online Education

Ferris State UniversityFerris State University’s online education efforts were recognized in the Affordable Colleges Online “Best Online Colleges” top 35 list.

Ferris ranked 13th as the list cited, among other noteworthy items, that the university boasts the nation’s No. 1 online nursing program, according to U.S. News and World Report. That ranking, one that highlights the Master of Science in Nursing, was released this summer and can be viewed here. The Affordable Colleges Online rankings noted that the cited graduate-level programs are 100-percent online and specialize in Nursing Administration, Nursing Informatics or Nursing Education.

“With the today’s technology, we can provide a rich learning experience for students while at the same time provide added flexibility for those students who work or have family commitments and are unable to travel to a more traditional face-to-face classroom,” said Deborah Thalner, executive director of online learning in Ferris’ Extended and International Operations division. “We have a great cadre of innovative and entrepreneurial faculty, who are willing to try new technology.”

Thalner saluted faculty for adapting their instruction methods to deliver a positive and quality online education to Ferris students.

“With all of the new options available today, like synchronous meetings, recorded videos and simulation software packages, there are a wide variety of engaging learning experiences that our faculty can incorporate into online education,” she said.

Dan Schuessler, founder of AC Online, saluted colleges and universities for embracing online education to meet the needs of today’s students.

“Email, chat and other basic technologies may be the backbone of online education,” he said. “But some top colleges have taken distance learning to an entirely new level, leveraging tablets, real-time question and answer, Twitter, Skype and other platforms to deliver world-class materials to thousands of students daily.”

Ferris and Michigan State University were the only state schools recognized in the rankings. MSU, highlighted by its Master of Science in packaging degree, was ranked 10th in the nation by AC Online. Tufts University, based in Medford, Mass., was ranked No. 1. The list of national colleges and universities recognized alongside Ferris, MSU and Tufts includes Clemson University, the University of Colorado (Boulder), the University of Georgia, Harvard University, The Ohio State University, Princeton University, Southern Methodist University, Syracuse University, the University of Tennessee, Texas A&M University and others.

“We are very excited that our online programs are being regarded as innovative and high-quality,” Thalner said. “Our Nursing RN to BSN and Masters programs in particular have earned a lot of recognition for their great teaching and the outstanding support they provide to our online nursing students.”

Thalner is enthusiastic about the future of online education at Ferris.

“We are also excited that we have added new online programs and expanded our mix of programs we have available,” she said. “With the addition of our degree completion program in Automotive Management this year, we have added four online degree programs and five online certificates in the past two years. I’m very pleased that we have such a wide range of programs now online, from nursing to HVAC. ... It’s great that we can extend the unique programs that Ferris provides to more regional and national audiences.”

AC Online conducted research that involved hundreds of online courses and methods at top universities from around the nation.

Affordable Colleges Online provides students with information about affordable higher education options. The website offers financial aid videos, expert advice and cost savings ideas. AC Online is a trusted resource for college stats and rankings. Most recently the site launched a feature that provides students with a categorized directory of free online introductory, or “101,” classes from several top-named U.S. universities such as MIT, Michigan and U.C. Berkeley.