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Engineering Distance Learning Program Tops National Survey

Old Dominion University's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology topped a survey in the latest U.S. News & World Report guide that ranks graduate school distance learning programs.

In the survey, the engineering college's 3,090 student credit hours through distance learning for the fall 2006 semester was nearly three times the number of the second-place school. More results from the survey can be found in the Jan. 21, 2008, issue or at www.usnews.com/elearning.

ODU's Department of Engineering Management, which has the bulk of the engineering college's distance learning students, also ranked first on a Prism magazine (March 2008) list of engineering management master's programs for degrees awarded. The magazine is published by the American Society for Engineering Education.

"At this critical time when the nation needs more engineers, our university has risen to the challenge," said Oktay Baysal, dean of the Batten College. "This is about providing access to quality engineering education to all students, irrespective of their geographical or scheduling challenges."

This was not the first time the graduate program in engineering management has garnered national recognition. It received its third Founder's Award for Excellence in Academic Leadership from the American Society of Engineering Management last fall. The award recognizes the best student chapter among member universities. The graduate program, which was one of the first in the country to be certified, earned re-certification in November 2007.

The U.S. News rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research and students. These data come from surveys of 649 programs and some 14,000 academics and professionals that were conducted in fall 2007.

The ODU ranking reflects progress by the university toward its stated goal of becoming a Top 100 public research university in terms of research and development expenditures. Recent expenditure rankings by the National Science Foundation (NSF) show ODU at 166th in total R&D expenditures and at 71st among institutions that do not have medical schools.

According to the NSF figures, ODU's Top 100 academic programs in total R&D expenditures include aerospace engineering (19th), electrical engineering (39th), civil engineering (85th), mechanical engineering (85th), engineering (81st), mathematics (86th) and computer science (98th).

In total non-science and non-engineering, the top programs are education (25th), business and management (13th), humanities (30th) and visual and performing arts (13th). Within the broad category of federal R&D expenditures in science and engineering, ODU ranked 92nd in environmental science.

This article was posted on: April 11, 2008

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