by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President
The following article will appear in the Valley City Times-Record the week of April 1, 2013.
Earlier this year, US News and World Report recognized the Master of Education program at Valley City State University for the second consecutive year. US News established this new recognition in 2012 to honor online graduate programs, and VCSU is proud to be ranked during each of the first two years. This recognition for the graduate program is in addition to VCSU being named for the second consecutive year as the highest-rated public regional college in the Midwest in 2013's US News' Best Colleges rankings.
This new ranking system for online graduate programs also includes other academic disciplines in addition to Education (such as Business, Engineering, Information Technology, and Nursing); VCSU is the only college or university in North Dakota that has been included in back-to-back years in the Online Graduate Education category. These rankings take into account such important criteria as admissions selectivity, student engagement, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.
VCSU lands in the #22 position among 143 colleges and universities for 2013 in the Online Graduate Education category. Within these rankings, VCSU ranked ahead of such national leaders as Michigan State University, Florida State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Southern California. The caliber of colleges and universities included in this category is truly impressive, and VCSU's inclusion and high ranking certainly demonstrates the overall quality of our M.Ed. programs. Further information and the complete US News rankings are available at www.usnews.com/education/online-education
VCSU began offering graduate degrees in 2005, and currently offers the following M.Ed. concentrations: Teaching and Technology (with options in English Education, Elementary Education, Teaching & Learning, and Music Technology); Teaching English Language Learners; Library and Information Technologies; and Technology Education (with options in Secondary STEM Education, Elementary STEM Education, and Career & Technical Education). Plans are in the works to potentially expand VCSU's graduate program with additional academic offerings. There are approximately 150 students currently enrolled in VCSU's graduate online program.
VCSU's graduate program has undoubtedly been a huge success since its inception less than a decade ago, and these academic offerings fulfill an important graduate alternative for North Dakota citizens. The faculty and staff at VCSU involved with the graduate program have worked hard to ensure a high-quality graduate education program is available to our students, and it is rewarding to see these efforts recognized with such esteemed national recognition! More information about VCSU's nationally-recognized online graduate program is available at www.vcsu.edu/graduate