SRU online degree programs ranked among nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report

Campus photo Vincent Scienc building

U.S. News & World Report assessed more than 1,500 online programs from around the country, recognizing Slippery Rock University for its bachelor degree programs and graduate programs in criminal justice and education.

Jan. 9, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's online bachelor degree programs and online graduate programs in criminal justice and education have been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

SRU offers a quintet of online bachelor degree options, including: bachelor of science in interdisciplinary programs; bachelor of science in business administration in management; a bachelor of science in leadership studies; a bachelor of science in nursing; and a bachelor of science in philanthropy and nonprofit management.

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"We are pleased to once again be nationally recognized and have the spotlight shine on the inventive and first-rate instruction provided by our faculty," said SRU Interim President Philip Way. "It is a privilege to be able to deliver the many benefits of an SRU education to even more students - across the country and around the world - through these programs."

U.S. News assessed more than 1,500 online programs, an increase of more than 7 percent from last year.

Online bachelor degree program ranking was based on four categories:

-Student engagement (35 percent): Quality online bachelor's degree programs promote participation in courses, allowing opportunities to readily interact with instructors and classmates, as is possible in a campus-based setting. Instructors are not only accessible and responsive, but also tasked with helping to create an experience rewarding enough that students stay enrolled and complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time.
-Student services and technology (25 percent): Programs incorporated diverse online learning technologies allowing greater flexibility. Outside of classes, strong support structures provided learning assistance, career guidance and financial aid resources commensurate with quality campus-based programs.
-Faculty credentials and training (20 percent): Programs employed instructors with academic credentials that mirror those of instructors for campus-based programs, and had the resources to train those instructors to teach distance learners.
-Peer reputation (20 percent): A survey of high-ranking academic officials helped account for intangible factors affecting program quality that were not captured by statistics. Degrees from programs that are well respected by academics may be held in higher regard among employers.

Criminal justice programs were ranked based on five criterions, including:

-Student engagement (31 percent).
-Faculty credentials and training (21 percent).
-Student services and technology (21 percent).
-Peer reputation (15 percent).
-Admissions selectivity (12 percent): Students entering with proven aptitudes, ambitions and accomplishments can handle the demands of rigorous coursework. Furthermore, online degrees that schools award judiciously will have greater legitimacy in the job market.

Education programs were ranked according to the following category percentages:

-Student engagement (35 percent).
-Faculty credentials and training (15 percent).
-Student services and technology (20 percent).
-Peer reputation (15 percent).
-Admissions selectivity (15 percent).

Only programs that offered a 100 percent online environment were considered in the rankings.

Information used to compile the rankings was collected during the summer and fall of 2017 during the U.S. News annual statistical survey of online degree programs.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robert.king@sru.edu