GetEducated.com, a consumer group dedicated to assisting students in comparing and rating accredited online degree programs, colleges and universities, has named three University of Nevada, Reno online degree programs as “Best Buys”: the Executive MBA and two master’s degree programs in education.
The Executive MBA (EMBA), offered by the College of Business in partnership with Extended Studies, was ranked the number 42 “Best Buy” in the “Best Affordable Accredited Online MBA Programs” category. The program costs $24,000 and is taught by the same faculty that teach the College’s part-time MBA program, which is ranked number four in the country by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The program meets the accreditation standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the highest attainable level of accreditation in business education. The first cohort, admitted in fall 2011, included 13 professionals from California, Las Vegas and northern Nevada.
“Word of the program has spread quickly,” said Kambiz Raffiee, the program’s director. “We now have 29 professionals from six states, Australia and Dubai admitted into the program this fall as the second cohort.”
Students enrolled in the program, mostly executive-level working professionals, give it high marks.
“The EMBA program has exceeded all of my expectations by combining a comprehensive program, expert faculty, and sophisticated technology that deliver the best of both worlds: web-based learning and the tradition of the University of Nevada, Reno,” said Mark Behl, CFO of Renown Health in Reno.
The two “Best Buy” master’s degree programs in education, offered by the College of Education in partnership with Extended Studies, include the Master of Science in Equity and Diversity in Education and the Master of Education in Literacy Studies. They were ranked number 31 and number 36 “Best Buys,” respectively.
The programs range in cost from about $11,186 to $16,115, depending on which program and whether the student is a resident or from out of state. Both programs are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
“The College is pleased to receive this recognition for our online programs,” said Chris Cheney, dean of the College of Education. “We have developed these programs, as well as other online courses and sequences, so that educators can engage in deep study in the latest research and promising practices, while working in a manner that makes sense for busy professionals.”
The University now offers seven entirely online master degree programs, four in education, one in behavior analytic psychology, one in justice management and the EMBA. It also offers, in collaboration with its sister institution UNLV, the Doctorate of Nursing Practice online program. In addition, there are a handful of certification and credentialing programs offered entirely online, including the Graduate Certificate in Renewable Energy and programs in specific areas of psychology and addiction treatment.
According to Fred Holman, vice provost of Extended Studies at the University, “Graduate education is one of the niches we really have for online programing, given the bench strength we have among faculty. The retention rate is very good. The professionals already in the field value the degrees they are getting and are using the online program option so they can still manage their days and their careers.”
Holman said there are now more than 110 fully online, for-credit courses offered at the University. That’s about 44 percent more than three years ago, and he said the demand continues to grow.
According to Robert Newbury, manager and instructional designer in Teaching and Learning Technologies at the University, 2,600 – more than three quarters of the 3,400 or so courses offered at the University – use WebCampus, the University’s online course management system, in some way to incorporate the use of technology into their courses. Three years ago, he said only about 1,100 courses were using the system. His department helps faculty to use WebCampus and incorporate the use of technology into the classroom, whether it is a minor or major way.
For the fourth consecutive year, a course taught using WebCampus at the University won a Blackboard Exemplary Course Award, an international award that recognizes innovative courses using technology to enhance learning. Principles of Biological Investigations, taught by Elena Pravosudova, associate professor of biology, was one of only 36 courses internationally to receive a 2012 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Courses from Blackboard Inc. The Instructional Design Team works with faculty to develop and implement technology that improves education.
For more information on the online Executive MBA Program, contact Raffiee at 775-682-9142 or [email protected] For more information on the Master of Science in Equity and Diversity in Education and the Master of Education in Literacy Studies Programs, contact the College of Education at 775-784-4345 or [email protected]