by Colton Campbell

In its list of Best Online Programs for 2020, U.S. News & World Report once again ranked University of West Georgia’s online programs among the best in the nation.

The rankings, released this week, took into account schools’ engagement, faculty credentials and training, expert opinion, student excellence, and services and technologies. Nearly 300 schools were ranked in an effort to help students compare programs.

UWG earned coveted spots on the publication’s lists of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, Best Online MBA, Best Online Computer Information Technology graduate degree, Best Online Education graduate degree and Best Online Nursing graduate degree.

students sitting in the library“We are pleased to consistently earn recognition from U.S. News & World Report in the annual ranking of online programs,” said Dr. David Jenks, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs at UWG. “These rankings serve as a testament to our faculty, staff and instructional design team in making sure the quality of our programming is continuously improving.”

To determine this year’s rankings, U.S. News looked at institutions’ engagement, services and technology, student excellence, faculty credentials and training, and expert opinion.

Janet Gubbins, director of UWG Online, said the university’s digital learning opportunities offer students the ability to attend class whenever and wherever is convenient, in an affordable and well-supported environment.

“UWG Online students can be confident they’re earning a valuable degree from a respected university,” Gubbins said. “Many of our non-traditional students are excited to learn they can easily start or finish their degree without having to attend an expensive, for-profit university.”

Jason Huett, associate dean of UWG Online, said the flexibility of – and technology behind – the online space has been a boon for faculty, as well.

“Faculty with disabilities have been able to continue their careers, the online environment has allowed faculty to continue to teach and to engage students as they travel and research around the world, and the online medium has opened up our classes, programs, and faculty expertise to a much wider and more diverse audience,” Huett said.

One quality that makes UWG unique in that online space, Huett said, is the engagement between students and their faculty.

“Our online faculty are so skilled in maintaining that sense of personal connectedness that our face-to-face programs are often lauded for,” Huett said. “Our faculty care and are genuinely invested in student success, and that comes through regardless of delivery medium.”

UWG, a trailblazer in online education, began offering online courses in 1997. Now, more than 3,500 students around the world attend UWG exclusively online.

UWG offers five fully online undergraduates and 24 graduate degrees 100 percent online, with many more options available in a blended format whereby students may attend some classes on campus and others online.

In 2020, UWG will explore new online options for high-demand programs inherently linked to workforce demands to add to its catalog of online offerings.

“We look forward to continuous enhancement of our online programming to meet students where they are in the 21st century,” Jenks said. “We’ve long felt we have been on the cutting edge of what’s going to be the future of higher education, while also offering the familiarity of in-class experiences to students who choose that path.”

Posted on January 15, 2020