The University of St. Francis’ slogan ‘Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.’ reigned true this week after the university was named to the U.S. News & World Report’s list of ‘Best Online Programs’ for 2019.
The online programs that were mentioned on this list include USF’s Online Graduate Business Program, Online Graduate Education Program and Online MBA Program. Other programs mentioned on this list include the University of North Carolina, Indiana University and the University of Southern California.
Per a university press release USF president Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. mentioned that, “As an early entrant in the online education field, the University of St. Francis was a true pioneer. The university has continued to expand its comprehensive online programs and is now recognized for offering many of the state’s top private, online programs. We largely credit this to a faculty committed to high-quality teaching via all delivery methods, which enables the university to provide highly-valued degrees to busy students who appreciate the flexibility that online education offers them.”
Although this is USF’s first time being mentioned on this particular list, the university is no stranger to the realm of online education. According to stfrancis.edu, the university began offering online learning in 1998, becoming one of the headlining forces in legitimizing what it means to get an online education. Ever since then, web based courses have been offered at both undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels of learning at the university.
When asked about her experience taking online courses here at USF, senior Molly Gunning said, “I’ve taken quite a few online classes here. In my opinion, they were just as challenging as courses that are held in physical classrooms. Although I do prefer listening to a professor lecture in person, nothing beats getting to complete an entire class from the comfort of my own bed.”
Being recognized from respected organizations such as U.S. News & World Report is also reflective of the university’s rigor inside physical classrooms. As the university continues to grow year after year, the quality of the education students receive improves as well. From an undergraduate perspective, these accolades provide reassurance that USF is one of the best private universities in the state, if not the country. Student Amber James stated that, “I think it’s a great thing for the university to make it onto such a prestigious list with other great schools. It was unexpected to hear since I haven’t heard much about the online programs offered here. It’s nice to know that I am apart of such an accomplished university.”
The number of students who enroll in online undergraduate and graduate programs is increasing yearly, and the list of credentials for getting a program onto a national ranking grows as well. According to usnews.com, “Indicators specific to the Best Online Programs rankings focus on graduate indebtedness, course delivery and academic and career support made available to students remotely. Ultimately, the Best Online Programs rankings measure whether online degree programs have academic standards commensurate with quality brick-and-mortar programs, properly adapted toward the unique pedagogy of distance education.”