The excellence of Ferris State University’s online instruction has been assessed by U.S. News and World Report, as bachelor’s and post-graduate offerings have been included in the publication’s “Best Online Programs” rankings, released in January 2016.
The university’s highest marks were received in bachelor’s degree instruction as Ferris was ranked 46th among 195 institutions who make special accommodations for veterans pursuing a bachelor’s online, and 49th among 290 qualifying schools considered for the best online bachelor’s program.
Deborah Thalner, Ferris’ executive director of online learning, said that the U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of programs quantified graduation rates, faculty credentials, the availability of technology support and the amount of student engagement in online programs.
“Our faculty and staff work very hard to ensure that students obtaining their degree, online, have completed the same coursework as the traditional, campus-based program,” Thalner said. “They develop high-quality online learning experiences for our students and provide real-world examples and applications within the course content.”
Graduate programs offered online at Ferris were also reviewed. The non-MBA Business curriculum rated 65th among 123 ranked schools while the Master of Science in Nursing listed 69th among 147 schools.
Jennifer Dirmeyer, the interim director of Ferris’ MBA program in the College of Business, said that the 2016 U.S. News and World Report rankings show the university 152nd among 221 institutions on their report, but they anticipate greater consideration for this training in years to come.
“The program has been completely revamped with changes that were approved by the state of Michigan in 2015,” Dirmeyer said. “We’ve moved away from a narrow focus to a broader consideration of 11 key business competencies.”
Dirmeyer said that the College of Business has worked on a unique opportunity for the online MBA where advisors can help shape assignments specific to the student.
“Classwork can be coordinated to focus on areas specific to the student’s career life,” Dirmeyer said. “You actually have a work product at the end; something to present to your employer.”
Thalner said that Ferris will continue to revamp programs, and consider additional offerings, as the university responds to those students who seek to pursue higher education online.
“We provide excellent student support through our advisors and technical support teams,” Thalner said. “We are really excited that the rankings are reflective of the importance we place on high-quality online programs.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University has 969 students taking coursework online in the Spring 2016 semester.
Last updated: 02-04-2016