BEST ONLINE COLLEGE | News Services
Sixth ecu at national level, n Â° 1 in NC, for distance education
East Carolina University is sixth in the nation – and No. 1 in North Carolina – in an inaugural ranking of America’s best online colleges by Newsweek.
The ECU was one of 182 recognized institutions.
Newsweek has partnered with Statista, a market and consumer data company, to survey people who have taken courses or earned degrees online. The establishments were divided into two groups:
- America’s Top Online Colleges (150 colleges – including ECU – which offer online degree programs, including hybrid programs with online and offline courses or exams);
- The best online learning providers in the United States (32 non-university or college institutions that provide access to their own online courses or third-party courses).
âECU has long been recognized as the leader in online education in North Carolina,â said Dr. Allen O. Guidry, Acting Vice-President for Academic Affairs at ECU. âFor many years that meant we were a pioneer in e-learning in the state. In recent years, this has meant that we have provided more online options for students through a variety of program offerings. This ranking is a recognition of the high quality of the online experience for students in our more than 100 online programs and a testament to the dedication, innovation and expertise of our online teaching faculty.
This fall, of 28,021 students at ECU, 12,690 students are taking a combination of online and in-person courses, and 8,261 are enrolled in online courses only.
Colin Bennett, a veteran and online MBA student from Holly Springs, said earning a graduate degree would be difficult, if not impossible, if it wasn’t for the ECU program.
Bennett, a 2012 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, works full time and has a toddler. He said taking courses online helps him balance work and life.
âBeing able to complete assignments on a flexible schedule is a must,â he said. âI like the engagement with my graduate teachers. If I have a late night question, I often got late night answers. They go out of their way to provide me with so many tools and opportunities to master the course material and be successful.
According to the US Department of Education, 7.3 million students were enrolled in distance education courses at degree-granting post-secondary institutions in 2019. In 2018-19, most colleges (79%) offered either stand-alone distance education courses or a full online degree. programs.
With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, many colleges and universities have switched to online courses to keep students safe. According to one estimate, the number of students enrolled exclusively in online programs nationwide jumped 93% from 2019 to 2020, Newsweek said.
Newsweek and Statista expanded the rankings by interviewing 9,000 US residents who used online learning services to earn a college degree, gain additional work skills, or for personal development.
Between July 26 and September 13, Internet users were invited to share their experiences online by rating institutions on several criteria. Respondents could indicate how satisfied they were and whether they would recommend their college to others. User ratings and additional institutional metrics were used to develop score values ââand aggregated for a final score. Institutions needed an above average total score to be included in Newsweek lists.
ECU offers online degree and certificate programs in business, healthcare, education, technology, and many other fields.
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