A variety of factors are considered when assessing online programs, including graduation rates, number of tenured faculty, support services and student indebtedness. These factors, called ‘ranking indicators’ in the report, are grouped into four general categories: student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, and student services and technology. Student engagement is weighted most heavily in scores at 40%; the other three categories are each weighted at 20%. The rankings are determined by the resulting scores.
In response to the list, UMass Dartmouth chancellor Divina Grossman said in a statement, “For students who are working full-time jobs, or have family and other responsibilities that prevent them from attending classes at a specific time or place, quality online programs are critical to them as they achieve their aspirations.” As online learning is becoming increasingly popular, administrators at several of the schools expressed their desires to expand their online degree programs.
The New England Council applauds the member colleges recognized by U.S. News and World Report for their dedication to making quality educations more accessible and convenient for students.