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NIU College of Education tops ranking

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Northern Illinois University is the best place in the nation to earn online master’s degrees in education. So says U.S. News and World Report, which recently released its third annual rankings of online programs – the only ones published that compare data of online degree programs rather than the schools that offer them.

The NIU College of Education jumped from last year’s No. 4 ranking to earn a perfect score of 100 and sit atop a list of 170 graduated schools ranked. This year’s measurements incorporate program ratings by peer institutions and assign greater weight to student engagement.

“This top ranking is a result of our continuing efforts to serve our scholars’ technology-driven lifestyles and set a high standard for online education,” Dean LaVonne I. Neal said in a news release. “I am proud of the efforts of our faculty and staff to uncompromisingly maintain our tradition of high quality education.”

Online courses are offered in the college’s departments of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF), chaired by Patrick Roberts, and Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA), chaired by Wei-Chen Hung.

ETRA offers a program aimed at students wanting to become technology specialists, and LEPF has a program for students wanting to become school business managers. The programs began in 2009 and offer cohorts that typically graduate within two years: 85 percent of all students enrolled graduate in two years. There are currently four cohorts with a total of 121 students enrolled.

U.S. News assessed nearly 1,000 such programs, up more than 16 percent from the 2013 list, in recognition of the growing role of online education “in the higher education landscape.”

For more information on the NIU College of Education, call 815-753-1948 or email cedu@niu.edu. 

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