The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, New England Institute of Technology and Johnson & Wales University all have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for their online bachelor’s degree programs.
The annual list, which ranks the best online bachelor’s degree programs in the country, rates colleges and universities on factors such as graduation rates, indebtedness of new graduates and academic and career support services offered to students.
UMass-Dartmouth’s online bachelor’s degree program is ranked No. 1 in Massachusetts, No. 55 nationally, and second in New England, behind only the University of Maine, which ranked No. 40. Last year, UMass-Dartmouth ranked No. 69 nationally.
“Online programs break down the barriers of time and distance for students,” UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman said in a statement. “For students who are working full-time jobs or have family and other responsibilities that prevent them from attending classes at a specific time or place, quality online programs are critical to them as they achieve their aspirations.”
According to information from UMass, online course registrations grew from 2,750 to 4,737 over the past three years, an increase of 72 percent, and by 610, or 15 percent, over the past year.
“Online degrees offer students the flexibility they need in their lives,” Karen Rhoda, executive director of UMass Dartmouth’s University Extension, said. “From the provision of advisors and support services to 24/7 online tutoring or financial aid packages, UMass Dartmouth offers essential resources to support the success of online students recognizing that the needs of online students are different from traditional on-campus students.”
According to U.S. News, new students admitted to nearly all ranked programs are predominantly adults aged 25 and older who have some credit already applied toward their degrees.
New England Institute of Technology ranked No. 140 on the list, but No. 1 in Rhode Island.
New England Institute of Technology, a private institution, has been offering online bachelor’s degree programs since 2012-2013. NEIT’s online program gives registered nurses with an associate in science degree the opportunity to obtain their bachelor of science degree.
Johnson & Wales University’s program also was recognized, but not ranked. According to U.S. News, programs whose overall scores are in the bottom 25 percent are categorized as “rank not published,” as U.S. News calculates numerical ranks for these schools but does not publish them.
“The U.S. News and World Report recognition acknowledges the demand from students seeking online program offerings at Johnson & Wales University. We are increasing the number of online programs offered, including graduate level, to meet this growing demand with high quality online programs,” Cindy Parker, dean, JWU School of Online and Continuing Education, said in a statement.
Ranking No. 1 was Pennsylvania State University.
View the list HERE.