William Carey University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a leader in Mississippi and in the United States in providing excellent online graduate education programs.
Carey is ranked number 25 on the 2016 Best Online Graduate Education Programs list, which was released on December 12 and ranks 267 institutions from across the country. Carey also tied with the University of Mississippi as the state’s top school in the rankings.
“The ranking is a great acknowledgement of Carey’s commitment to providing strong online programs in education both now and in the future,” said Dr. Ben Burnett, dean of the School of Education.
Programs are scored in five categories, including student engagement, student services and technology, admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training, and peer reputation. Carey received a total score of 80 in the 2016 rankings. In the 2015 rankings, Carey received a score of 56 and placed number 142 on the list.
Dr. Barry Morris, associate professor of education, said the rankings jump can be attributed to a number of improvements in technology and to the education school’s growing cohort program.
More than 200 online students participate in 15 cohort programs spread throughout the state. The cohorts meet weekly and allow participating students to collaborate on assignments and learn from each other, he said.
“Our cohort program keeps our graduation rate high, which helps us to improve our ranking,” said Morris. “The cohorts give support to our online students and enable them to work with others to succeed in completing their programs.”
The education school, which had a record enrollment of 1,270 students in fall 2015, is already working on ways to improve its ranking in 2017. New online programs, cohort groups and delivery methods for course content are being planned, said Morris.
“We are looking to add three or four new online programs in the coming months, along with new cohort groups in the state,” he said. “We are also looking to expand our online delivery methods through live-streaming and video-streaming technologies.”
The school’s online graduate offerings currently include Master of Education degrees in the areas of elementary education, secondary education, and mild and moderate disabilities; the Specialist of Education degree in instructional leadership; and the Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership.