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ODU Nursing School Gets Top 10 Rankings in U.S. News Survey of Online Graduate Programs

The Old Dominion University School of Nursing's online graduate program earned No. 2 and No. 10 spots in the first-ever compilation of Top Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report. The ODU program ranked second among the nation's nursing schools for admissions selectivity and 10th for student services and technology.

"This public recognition by U.S. News & World Report highlights the quality, admissions selectivity, student services and technology of our graduate nursing programs and is a testament to our nursing faculty and students. We are thrilled that our peers recognize our outstanding success with distance learning and appreciate all of the support we have from ODU Distance Learning," said Shelley Mishoe, dean of the university's College of Health Sciences.

The new ranking categories were created by the magazine in response to today's high demand for education provided in a flexible manner.

While U.S. News & World Report applied some of its ranking standards used for traditional schools, many new measures were developed and used to evaluate online programs. In order to be considered for the new rankings, online degree programs needed to have at least 80 percent of their course content available online.

Online bachelor's degree programs were ranked in three different categories: student engagement and assessment, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. The online master's degree programs were ranked in similar categories, but were evaluated on student engagement and accreditation as opposed to assessment. There was also a separate indicator ranking for admissions selectivity.

There were no numeric rankings for overall program quality this inaugural year. Instead, U.S. News created non-numeric honor roll lists of online programs. There is one honor roll for online bachelor's degree programs and one each for the master's programs, excluding computer information technology. Each list includes programs that performed well across a series of numeric indicator rankings. Data were collected from both for-profit and not-for-profit schools. For more information about the rankings methodology, go to http://www.usnews.com/onlinemeth.

ODU's nursing school began offering courses via distance learning more than 25years ago as a way to address the needs of "place-bound" students by giving them an alternative to on-campus instruction. Over the years, the school has developed a reputation for meeting the needs of distance learners, thanks to a cadre of experienced faculty members, many of whom were once distance learning students themselves.

Regarding the new U.S. News rankings, Karen Karlowicz, associate professor and chair of ODU's nursing school, said, "The rankings for the School of Nursing are evidence and confirmation of the faculty's commitment to quality graduate nursing education, and their dedication to serving nurses throughout the Commonwealth through online and distance programming."

ODU's Distance Learning program makes university coursework available to students via several modes, including online Web-based and video streaming, video conferencing, CD-ROM/DVD and two-way satellite delivery of classes to off-campus sites. Of the 24,000 students who currently attend ODU, more than 5,000 are enrolled in distance learning courses. More than 250 faculty members teach distance learning courses. The university offers 38 different programs via distance learning, including 16 bachelor's degrees, 19 master's degrees and three doctoral degrees.

For more information about the U.S. News Top Online Education Program rankings, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education or find U.S. News on Facebook or Twitter.

This article was posted on: January 23, 2012

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.