DAYTON — U.S. News & World Report has named Wright State University’s online graduate programs in education and business as among the best in the nation for 2017.
The magazine ranked Wright State’s online Master of Education program offered by the College of Education and Human Services 43rd among the 275 schools responding to the survey, naming it among “Best Online Programs — Graduate Education.”
And the Wright State Raj Soin College of Business’ Master of Information Systems and Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management was ranked 63rd out of 139 respondents and was named among the “Best Online Programs — Graduate Business.”
Wright State’s Industrial and Human Factors Engineering program offered by the College of Engineering and Computer Science was ranked 56th among 94 schools, topping well-known schools such as the University of Florida, University of Colorado and University of South Carolina.
And Wright State’s online nursing program offered by the College of Nursing and Health was ranked 94th among 116 schools.
Don Hopkins, director of the master’s programs in 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.
“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,” Hopkins said.
Another ranked program was Wright State’s online MBA program, which received a ranking of 124th out of 255.
“That we were able to achieve this ranking based on just one year in which the MBA was offered with an online-only option is a testament to the outstanding faculty, staff and students at the Raj Soin College of Business,” said Thomas Traynor, the college’s associate dean for graduate programs and executive education. “The online education infrastructure and support staff at Wright State deserve tremendous credit for having put in place excellent computing systems and helping faculty integrate the latest technology and methods for online learning into our programs.”
U.S. News based its rankings on instructor engagement with students, student services and technology, faculty credentials and training, admissions selectivity and peer reputation.
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 continue meeting the student demand for totally online programs, but we are infusing synchronous activities to provide for ‘live’ interactions between class participants and the course instructors,” said Grant Hambright, director of educational leadership programs.
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 Lake Campus, Marysville, Madison Plains, Mason and Fairfield.
As online technology developed, the program morphed initially into a hybrid model and then to asynchronous online delivery. The programs now have more than 120 students.
The programs are delivered by faculty in the Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations.
“The programs are highly successful due to the hard work of distinguished faculty members including Grant Hambright, Yoko Miura, Chris Cline and Nancy Williams and program coordinator Kyra Robinson,” said Carol Patitu, chair of the department.
Online and on-campus students are integrated in the Master in Industrial and Human Factors Engineering, experiencing the same lectures, assignments and instructor interactions. Program graduates work in industries such as automobile, aerospace, health care, military, logistics and supply chain, retail, defense contractors and many others.
“Online graduate education gives working engineers the best of all worlds, and our program really strives to meet their needs,” said Frank Ciarallo, associated professor in the Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering. “It enables students to manage their current job, family, personal life and career goals.”
The program, which accepts students with bachelor’s degrees in many engineering and other disciplines, is staffed with seven full-time, tenure-track faculty as well as full-time instructors.
“With our great faculty, technology setup and tech-savvy students, it’s a great way to further career goals in engineering,” said Ciarallo. “It’s really satisfying being part of the successful life stories of the students. Students with the ambition and commitment to do the online master’s program really see the return on the investment.”