by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President
The following article will appear in the Valley City Times-Record the week of February 17, 2014.
Earlier this winter, US News and World Report recognized the Master of Education program at Valley City State University for the third consecutive year. US News established this new recognition in 2012 to honor online graduate programs, and VCSU is excited to be ranked during each of the first three years. This year, US News also initiated a new rankings program to assess online baccalaureate education programs, and VCSU’s undergraduate programs were also favorably ranked in this new category. These two recognitions follow the ranking by US News earlier this year of VCSU as the #2 ranked public regional college in the Midwest (VCSU has been rated first or second in this category the past five years, a claim that no other college or university can make!).
This ranking system for online graduate programs also includes other programs of study 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 all three years of the Online Graduate Education category. These rankings take into account such important criteria as admissions selectivity, student engagement, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.
VCSU is ranked #42 among 234 colleges and universities for 2014 in the Online Graduate Education category. It should be noted that VCSU is ranked ahead of such national leaders as the University of Florida, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Iowa. There are numerous prestigious colleges and universities included in this ranking, and VCSU’s inclusion and strong showing is an important testimonial regarding the quality of our M.Ed. programs. Further information and the complete 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; English Education; Elementary Education; Teaching English Language Learners; Library and Information Technologies; Technology Education (with options in Secondary STEM Education, Elementary STEM Education, and Career & Technical Education). The graduate program also offers the following certificates: Secondary STEM Education; Elementary STEM Education; Library and Information Technology; and Teaching English Language Learners. There are approximately 150 students currently enrolled in VCSU’s graduate online program.
The Master’s program at Valley City State University has clearly been a huge success during the past decade, and the graduate programs offered at VCSU provide an important academic opportunity for many educators and practitioners throughout North Dakota. The VCSU faculty and staff involved with the graduate program have built and sustained a high-quality graduate education program for our students, and it is so rewarding to see these efforts recognized with this significant national recognition! More information about VCSU’s online graduate program is available at www.vcsu.edu/graduate