NIU’s College of Education online program ranks fourth best in the country

By Kelly Marshall

U.S. News & World Report this week ranked the NIU College of Education’s online graduate program fourth in the nation, testimony to the college’s commitment to providing innovative solutions to students’ ever-evolving needs. This year marks the first time the magazine has ranked online college and graduate degree programs, a move to the very increasing demand for quality online education across the country. Last year, the magazine placed NIU College of Education’s online graduate program among the top 14 in the country, without a specific ranking.

The College of Education created rankings which was a two-step process that had involved first compiling a list of schools offering masters of education programs online, and then collecting data from those schools. ”Last year’s ranking system was on honor roll list of 14 schools in the nation,” said Paul Baker, Director of college relations of NIU’S college of education. “Our two graduate online programs were cited for being exemplary.”

Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA) offers a program aimed at students wanting to become technology specialists. ETRA’s mission is to advance the development and use of technology, research methodology, and assessment in a variety of settings to enhance teaching, learning, and scholarship. Provides students with core knowledge in technology, research methodology and assessment.

Conducts scholarship to further theory and practice, advises professionals in public and private sectors, and influences policy decisions with the disciplines. “ We don’t really have any technological advantages over other schools,” said Jeffrey Hecht, Associate Dean of NIU’s College of Education. “We have more of an edge in how we approach instruction.”

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF) has a program for students wanting to become school business managers. LEPF online program offers a range of graduate degrees, types of licensure, and certificates of study. For students seeking an education in school leadership, foundations. They also provide an outstanding and unique curriculum taught by award-winning professors.

Last fall, NIU offered more than 70 online courses from six of its colleges. “There’s always been an increase in online enrollment,” said Baker “We’ve got blended format classes that meet in class and participate online. Cohort programs are available as well, which allows one to obtain a Master’s degree in 14 months.”

Hecht also teaches a martial arts class at NIU. “Even my martial arts students want Blackboard available, students like online content for classes that’s easily available.”