2011 Top Online Unis...Sort of
#1
The odd thing about this press release is that the author's website has UMUC at number nine, not UMCP. When the top ten list author mixes up the schools you have to wonder what else he mixed up in arriving at his list.

Isn't "Ellis College of NYIT" now Ellis University and having some serious accreditation issues?

Hmmm, seems like Dr. DiUlus might want to look in the mirror, sharpen his pencil and make a list of Best Worst Top Ten List Providers.

Quote:Top Ten 2011 Online Universities in the World

Top ten online universities in the world according to BEST WORST ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM PROVIDERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) - Jul 26, 2011 - Four of the top ten online universities in the world are not "Made in the USA" Three international schools covet the top slots according to Dr. Fred DiUlus, the author of the 2011 8th annual edition of the BEST WORST ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM PROVIDERS.

Dr. DiUlus, an online education pioneer and father of online higher education rating and rankings is the CEO and founder of Global Academy Online, Inc. He examines online program providers with a refined proprietary five point rating scale he invented almost thirty years ago. Of great importance to the ratings he says is the quality and contribution to the value of the institution by their online faculty, whether full-time or adjunct.

Some, perhaps many schools today, in an attempt to catch up seem to be drawn to doing it for all the wrong reasons. This, DiUlus offers, is brought on by the reality of faculty and program cutbacks due to harsh economic times. He says, “Criticism erupts with an oft repeated admonishment that schools are chasing a misperception that online classes are their salvation.”

Many traditionalists fear online academic rigor and quality suffer because of false hope. DiUlus agrees but not because he sees schools as ill intentioned to make a financial killing but as he describes it “ill prepared and unknowing what it takes to run successful and respected online degree programs.” He reveals that over 80 of the several hundred schools currently ranked easily fall into that category.

The 2011 top ten ONLINE degree program providers are:
1. University of London, #1 in the world for eight consecutive years.
2. University of South Africa, #1 in Africa.
3. University of Southern Queensland, #1 in Australasia.
4. University of Phoenix, #1 in America. Largest university in North America that made being online legitimate. Copied but not eclipsed.
5. Jones International University, conceived, created, and designed to be a world leader in online higher education.
6. Golden Gate University, a downtown San Francisco trolley car school that has international and worldwide appeal.
7. University of Liverpool, an international school with appeal to American students for both traditional and online programs.
8. Ellis College of NYIT, a northeast, USA competitive giant with programs, faculty and marketing to go with...
9. University of Maryland College Park, Made study abroad fashionable. Online programs and faculty are highly competitive.
10. Drexel University, a class performer that has sought to make their online programs among the best in the world.

If a college is not in the current eBook, it may be under current study, too new to rank, or just not worthy at this time because of the school’s lack of current experience in offering online programs. If it is an accredited college offering online programs and not yet listed, Dr. DiUlus says it is already targeted for review and will be included in future editions of the Best Worst Online Degree Program Providers.

The eBook is a free download from Global Academy Online, Inc and several other education support organizations.
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#2
Quote:6. Golden Gate University, a downtown San Francisco trolley car school that has international and worldwide appeal.

What exactly is a "trolley car school"? Something to do with classes in mass transit vehicle maintenance?

I assume the reference is to the fact that GGU's main office on Mission in Frisco is a couple short blocks from Market Street, where the cable car travels. It's also near a BART station. Neither of which means jack when you are talking about an online school.

GGU is a good school, but as you say William, a very odd sort of list. Not sure if it helps or hurts to be on it.
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#3
(08-17-2011, 07:11 PM)WilliamW Wrote: The 2011 top ten ONLINE degree program providers are:
1. University of London, #1 in the world for eight consecutive years.
2. University of South Africa, #1 in Africa.
3. University of Southern Queensland, #1 in Australasia.
4. University of Phoenix, #1 in America. Largest university in North America that made being online legitimate. Copied but not eclipsed.
5. Jones International University, conceived, created, and designed to be a world leader in online higher education.
6. Golden Gate University, a downtown San Francisco trolley car school that has international and worldwide appeal.
7. University of Liverpool, an international school with appeal to American students for both traditional and online programs.
8. Ellis College of NYIT, a northeast, USA competitive giant with programs, faculty and marketing to go with...
9. University of Maryland College Park, Made study abroad fashionable. Online programs and faculty are highly competitive.
10. Drexel University, a class performer that has sought to make their online programs among the best in the world.

Let's compare that list to the OEDb list from 2010:

1 National University
2 Southern New Hampshire University
3 Golden Gate University
4 Regent University
5 Colorado State University
6 Saint Leo University
7 Colorado Technical University
8 Liberty University
9 Jones International University
10 Walden University

Jones and Golden Gate make both lists. Ellis was 34 on the OEDb list, while UoPhoenix, Drexel and UMUC were nowhere to be found.

GGU is known to be a good school, but I'd say Jones is the real sleeper. You don't see a lot of comments on the boards about it, compared to, say, Aspen (#57) or Columbia Southern (#54), and not as heavily advertised as AICU (#58) or Kaplan (#45).

According to their website, Jones is "the first university anywhere to exist completely online" and "the first fully online university in the U.S. to be accredited by [NCACS]." Who knew?
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#4
(09-08-2011, 01:09 PM)Albert Hidel Wrote: Jones and Golden Gate make both lists. ...I'd say Jones is the real sleeper. You don't see a lot of comments on the boards about it...

Jones currently is "on notice" with the NCACS.
http://www.ncahlc.org/component/com_dire...stid,2114/

In fact, they have a monitoring report due in a couple of days.
Public Disclosure Notice in PDF Format

So I'm thinking neither the DiUlius list nor the OEDb list is worth much. I'm getting a vision of monkeys throwing darts.

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#5
Looks like USN&WR is going to take a stab at ranking online schools. Couldn't be any worse than DiUlius' effort.

(Notice how the author tacitly calls bullshit on Klempner's hyperbole.)

Quote:The Online-College Crapshoot
By LAURA PAPPANO
Published: November 4, 2011

LAST June, when U.S. News & World Report announced plans to add online programs to its college kingmaking franchise, skeptics said it couldn’t be done. Predicted to be published in October, the ranking is now promised only for some time “when it’s cold out,” says Eric Brooks, the data research analyst tasked with developing a methodology.

The company sent 4,837 surveys to institutions seeking data on student participation requirements, training for faculty members and course delivery (is there a smartphone app?). It also requested high school class standings and SAT/ACT scores, which set off a hurricane of objections, including a Huffington Post article by Deb Bushway, interim president of Capella University, saying it wouldn’t fill out the survey because U.S. News was “asking the wrong questions” — these are working adults, after all. Kaplan University, with 47,000 online students, bowed out, too. “Not this round,” says Geri Malandra, the provost. “We need to make sure they have their data more stable.”

Robert Morse, U.S. News director of data research, sees the objections as “an excuse” to pass on the first round. “They want to find out how they will be measured,” he says.

Setting aside the question of whether a ranking of any kind takes an accurate measurement, it’s worth noting that the effort marks an important acknowledgement. Online programs are shedding “adult learning” labels and coming of age. Enrollment in online education grew 21 percent last year compared with 2 percent in higher education over all, according to the 2010 Sloan Survey, which reports that more than 5.6 million, or nearly one-third of all students, now take at least one course online.

Despite that, there is scant criteria with which to compare programs in search of that “good fit.” A Google searcher invariably ends up at lead-generating sites that claim to “match” students to the “right” college. Richard Capezzali, president of Education Connection, says 300,000 unique users visit its site each month and 40,000 sign up for help. Looking for an online bachelor’s program? Some 350 colleges pay Education Connection for a certain number of leads each month; you’ll likely be connected with for-profits, and then hounded by phone calls and e-mails. Once the lead target is reached, the college stops showing up as a possible match, Mr. Capezzali says, “because the school’s marketing budget has hit a cap.”

[Notorious former degree mill owner] John B. Bear, who has written guides on distance learning since 1974 and is working on one about online M.B.A.’s, says e-learning has improved a lot since the days of dial-up but finding a good program is a crapshoot. “I have two words: Be careful,” he says. “The differences among schools are significant, but hard to find.” With all manner of institutions diving in, Dr. Bear says, it’s tough to tell strong, well-supported programs from duds. “In every field, at every degree level, it’s less clear.”

For those used to traditional colleges, online is confusing partly because the elements are scrambled. It’s all there — the courses, the financial aid office, instructors, fellow students, even online fraternities — but configured differently. Instructors may not “design” courses they teach; the tech help desk may be outsourced to someone’s living room and the library to another university (librarians for Excelsior College, a nonprofit that has 30,000 online students and is based in Albany, are actually at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore).

Most students looking to study online face a tension: They want to learn, but they need institutions to operate more like Starbucks than State U.

Libraries with vast holdings? Less critical than 24/7 digital accessibility. Big-name professors with endowed chairs don’t matter; e-mailing students quickly does. Faculty quality counts, but online is more about guiding than lecturing. Ph.D.’s and brilliant campus lecturers do not guarantee strong online instruction. “It really takes a different set of skills,”says Ron Legon, executive director of the Quality Matters Program, which works to improve online learning. “The online classroom turns them into coaches.”

That’s why Alexa Schriempf, a philosophy Ph.D. who teaches online at Penn State World Campus and Southern New Hampshire University, makes herself available to students by smartphone even at her part-time job picking greenhouse vegetables.

“Online platforms are set up for you to very quickly provide feedback,” she says. “They have windows all over the place where you can very quickly put two lines of text — ‘This is perfect. If you keep this up you will meet the requirement. Have you thought about this?’ ” she says, noting that some colleagues hardly engage, and “just grade at the end of the term.”

One frustration for those researching online programs is that the usual data that helps students choose isn’t very helpful here. Because of the government’s definition of students for its retention and graduation rates — full time, seeking a bachelor’s degree for the first time — statistics miss most online learners. (Capella’s graduation rate is officially zero because only five students fit government criteria; the online-only institution has 38,000 students and says that over all 47 percent of students graduate within six years.) And if you want to see how a traditional college fares with its online students, you can’t: the stats are lumped together.

Where to begin? “The answer I give, which infuriates people, is that you have to be as comfortable as you can that the degree will meet your needs,” Dr. Bear says. An M.Arch is a professional degree; an M.A. in architecture is not. Dr. Bear received “a tear-stained letter” from someone who confused the two.

It seems obvious that you should know what degree you want, but Mr. Capezzali of Education Connection says many who call about finishing a bachelor’s are unsure what to study and pick criminal justice because it looks appealing on TV. “It’s ‘C.S.I.’ this and forensic that,” he says. “People say, ‘I want to go back to school.’ They don’t have a strategy so they default to certain things.”

It’s easy to be sold if you don’t have a plan. Or even if you do, says Russell Poulin, deputy director of research and analysis at the WCET-WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, who played secret shopper looking for an online M.B.A. program focusing on nonprofits. He shared his contact information, and quickly was called by for-profits who did “a pretty hard sell.” When those who called didn’t have the kind of M.B.A. he wanted, he says, “they tried to get me into their regular M.B.A.”

Despite his experience, Mr. Poulin wouldn’t rule out for-profit schools. “Sometimes for-profits match very well. They have done a good job figuring out how to deliver courses in smaller modules that are available to students with the proper library and support mechanisms. It may be a good fit. You just have to guard against a high-pressure recruiter talking you into something.”

Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois at Springfield, says bricks-and-mortar institutions are putting “their reputations on the line” when they start online programs. “As a blanket statement don’t avoid for-profit universities,” he says. “But scrutinize them as you would any really young university.” One caution is that, as moneymaking enterprises, unpopular courses or programs could be eliminated or changed to suit the market.

For-profits have gotten into trouble because of aggressive recruiting tactics, but some nonprofits have rolled out online programs without the student support they need. Students typically do classwork from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. What if they can’t access the library or log in?

“A large number of colleges offering online courses have the equivalent of bankers’ hours,” says Kenneth C. Green, founding director of the Campus Computing Project, which studies technology policies in higher education. “They close at 8 p.m. and they’re not open on weekends.”

Traditional colleges jump online hoping to make money from faculty expertise they already have but don’t rethink how they operate, says Wayne Brown, chief executive officer of Educators Serving Educators, a year-old division of Excelsior College that helps traditional colleges start online programs. For example, he says, colleges are used to taking months to review applications. “In online learning, the potential student is out there surfing the Web page and they will send an e-mail,” Dr. Brown says. “They expect a response really quick. Not two weeks. The for-profits will respond before they leave that Web page.”

It is a stretch for traditional colleges to suddenly focus on customer service. But that is something online students sitting at their kitchen table in another time zone count on.

“Undeniably, the for-profits have a lot to teach us about improved service to students,” says Paul J. LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, which hopes an emphasis on service at its College of Online and Continuing Education will result in an increase in online enrollment to 8,900 students by June from 2,034 in 2007.

The online “campus” — 24,000 square feet (soon to be 57,000) of new-smelling industrial carpeting and cubicles in a renovated brick warehouse on the Merrimack River in Manchester, N.H. — hardly resembles an academic institution. But deans, advisers and financial aid officers work from here along with recruiters staffing phones. Online is about function over style, and about serving adults — typically female, in their 30s — who need degree programs that can be molded around hectic lives juggling work and family.

That is why Dr. LeBlanc will chase down your transcript (and pay the fees). It’s why if you don’t log into class for five days, your adviser (who’s received an alert) will call and find out what’s up. And it’s why instructor evaluations are heavy on relationships (“Instructor-student interaction demonstrates respect”) and light on scholarship (“Provides accurate information that demonstrates in-depth knowledge of topic/subject”).

This is not your tree-dappled campus experience. It isn’t exactly new — online study has been around a few decades. But it does still, to many, feel risky, says Dr. Green of the Campus Computing Project.

“No one would confuse Phoenix with Princeton,” he says, noting that the for-profit behemoth and the elite institution have entirely different educational goals. The prospective online student must always weigh that there is, Dr. Green observes, “stigma in various industries about whether an online degree is ‘as good as.’ ”

One bonus for students in programs connected to traditional universities: diplomas likely won’t mention that the degree was earned online.

That concern was not lost on Tamika Ahlfeld, a 40-year-old single mother from Pottsville, Pa., who wanted to go to a college that was familiar, solid and credible. Ms. Ahlfeld enrolled in the online program of Florida Institute of Technology in 2009 and plans to graduate in 2014 with a bachelor’s in computer information systems.

How did she choose? “When I was in high school, I wanted to go to Florida Tech. I knew it was a good school. I had friends there. And,” she says, “I liked the weather.”
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#6
Quote:Libraries with vast holdings? Less critical than 24/7 digital accessibility. Big-name professors with endowed chairs don’t matter; e-mailing students quickly does. Faculty quality counts, but online is more about guiding than lecturing. Ph.D.’s and brilliant campus lecturers do not guarantee strong online instruction. “It really takes a different set of skills,”says Ron Legon, executive director of the Quality Matters Program, which works to improve online learning. “The online classroom turns them into coaches.”

Until people stop thinking out of the box of "prestige", "celebrity faculty", "football rankings", "fraternities", " I want the CSI/Ironside life" etc, no progress will be made. It's like buying a car...if you want the car that shines in the brightest color and makes the most noise in order to attract attention and to put a price tag on your head with the car as a proxy, it's a different thing from anyone who needs a car to commute to work in a cost-effective way.

You may end up in debt until you retire to pay for boutique education that won't help you because that dork whose old man owns the company or the bastard with the right church or party card got the job...and he spent his university days snorting stuff.

I think the articles makes it seem much more difficult than it really is.
Online studies are good only under the perspective of convenience and savings. You may meet incompetent morons, self-absorbed bullies and other misfits teaching online as you might in real life.

Last, it is useless to always bring up Harvard...95% people are out of that game anyways...95% brick&mortar universities are places like THE ALABAMA OUTBACK COMMUNITY COLLEGE, CHICANO ACADEMY or HARLEM STATE.

A.A Mole University
B.A London Institute of Applied Research
B.Sc Millard Fillmore
M.A International Institute for Advanced Studies
Ph.D London Institute of Applied Research
Ph.D Millard Fillmore
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#7
I wish more people would write honest reviews of their online college experiences. I'm really sick of being inundated when trying to navigate between actual information and marketing BS on school pages. When I look for college reviews by students for online schools it seems like only people who've been really burned or misled tend to post reviews. People who had good experiences tend not to bother.
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