As more and more universities pivot to remote learning in response to the ongoing pandemic, online programs at the University of Missouri continue to be recognized as among the best in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2022 Best Online Programs.
That includes Mizzou’s online master’s in education program, which rose one spot to No. 14 in the country. And it’s the fifth consecutive year that Mizzou’s online master’s in education program ranked higher than any other institution in Missouri. Mizzou’s overall online bachelor’s programs remains in the top 50 at No. 26 in the country.
Mizzou’s online programs also ranked well in a category that U.S. News calls “Best for Veterans,” including its overall online bachelor programs, which continue to rank among the top 20 at No. 17 for veterans. Additionally, Mizzou’s online master’s in education program for veterans rose one spot to No. 4 in the country.
“We are pleased that as more and more institutions join the ranks of online learning in response to the worldwide pandemic, our innovative online programs continue to meet the needs of a growing demand for digital learning by offering programs recognized among the best in the nation,” said Matthew Gunkel, chief online learning and technology officer for UM System. “Our online programs provide students with a high-quality education through a curriculum developed by the same faculty who teach on campus.”
The new rankings are included in the 2022 edition of Best Online Programs ranking released today by U.S. News & World Report and are based on data from 2021.
Increased access to quality online education is a strategic goal for the UM System, which now promotes more than 350 life-shaping online degree and certificate offerings from its four world-class universities through Missouri Online. Efforts are paying off with enrollment of distance students growing 27% systemwide over the past three academic years. This is growth in fully online programs and doesn’t include enrollment in courses that may have been moved online due to the pandemic.
U.S. News ranked universities and schools with online programs in five categories: engagement, service and technologies, faculty credentials and training and expert opinion.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, the vast majority of students enrolled in the ranked bachelor’s online programs have earned at least some college credit. Rather than first-time college students, they are more likely to be working professionals in their 20s to 40s looking to advance in or change their careers. Consequently, the factors U.S. News selected to make comparisons between programs did not include measures only applicable to teenage applicants, such as high school grades and standardized test scores. Instead, it chose factors that weigh how online programs are being delivered and their effectiveness at awarding affordable degrees in a reasonable amount of time.