WSU online program one of best in nation


Staff report



DAYTON — U.S. News & World Report has ranked Wright State University’s online graduate programs in education, engineering and business as among the best in the nation in 2016.

The magazine ranked Wright State’s online Master of Education program offered by the College of Education and Human Services 17th among the 167 schools responding to the survey. That is among the top 10 percent and ahead of well-known universities such as Penn State and Michigan State.

Wright State’s Industrial and Human Factors Engineering program offered by the College of Engineering and Computer Science was ranked 41st among 83 schools, topping the University of Arizona and the University of Florida.

And the Wright State Raj Soin College of Business’ Master of Information Systems and Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management was ranked 59th out of 117 respondents.

Valerie J. Stueland, director of the Department of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, said the department is honored to once again be ranked among the top online programs in the country.

“Our Master of Information Systems and Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management continue to grow and have doubled in size this year,” she said. “These continue to be two fast-growing areas in terms of employment and strategic leadership in corporations, and we are proud of our graduates and their accomplishments.”

The magazine based its rankings on instructor engagement with students, student services and technology, faculty credentials and training, admissions selectivity and peer reputation.

The Industrial and Human Factors Engineering program enables students to earn their master’s degrees either partially or completely online.

Associate professor Frank Ciarallo says the program has been growing for more than 10 years, is driven by world-class faculty and gives students a rich experience by enabling them to interact with online and on-campus students through the Pilot learning management system. The program also has ties to major industries and the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“It’s been another great year for our graduates, with students continuing in their current career path or using their new degree to move to a new company or industry,” said Ciarallo. “Successful IHE grads from our program continue to place into new jobs or promotions quickly.”

Wright State’s College of Education and Human Services offers four asynchronous online programs, two leading to a Master of Education and two leading to an educational specialist degree.

Two of the programs focus on curriculum, instruction and professional development for educators who want to mentor younger teachers, develop curriculum, improve teaching strategies or oversee special programs for students. The other two programs provide coursework for those who aspire to be principals and superintendents.

“We are seeing very high retention and completion rates for the programs, which contributed to our excellent national ranking,” said Jill Lindsey, department chair.

These online programs have their roots in the former Teacher Leader Program, which began in the 1970s as a way to reach out to students by sending faculty members to teach courses in outlying areas where there were a significant number of students, such as Wapakoneta, Marysville, Washington Court House, Batavia and Forest Hills.

As online technology developed, the program morphed initially into a hybrid model and then to synchronous online delivery. In 2013, the four programs were redesigned and marketed for asynchronous delivery. The programs now have more than 120 students enrolled and celebrated their first graduates in December 2014.

The programs are delivered by faculty in the Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations. Lindsey credits the programs’ success to the excellent faculty team: Grant Hambright, Yoko Miura, Chris Cline and Nancy Williams and program coordinator Kyra Robinson.

Staff report