Tuesday, January 10, 2017

By Andy Goodell

There seems to be no stopping the upward stride of this MA program at the University of Iowa College of Education.

The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Program at the University of Iowa College of Education has been ranked number 16 by U.S. News & World Report in the 2017 Best Online Graduate Education Programs category, up from number 17 in 2016. The program prepares candidates to be principals of programs serving children from birth through 12th grade. It also develops their skillsets so they can become supervisors to instructional and/or support for special education programs for children from birth to age 21.

The UI program tied with Ball State University, East Carolina University, George Washington University, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and the University of North Texas.

U.S. News & World Report uses a number of criteria to rank institutions when it comes to calculating the Best Online Graduate Education Programs. These include student engagement, student services and technology, admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training, as well as peer reputation.

Liz Hollingworth, associate professor in educational leadership and program coordinator, credits those who lead the program’s courses with helping uplift the program’s ranking with U.S. News & World Report because they provide “real world examples” for those in the program.

“All of our principal and superintendent courses are taught by people who are sitting in those chairs right now,” says Hollingworth. “They are on the front lines. They’re able to talk to pre-service principals about what the day-to-day life really is like.”

Hollingworth adds that she is highly involved in promoting the MA in Educational Leadership Program at the UI College of Education on a national scale, an important task given the UI’s position as a Big 10, Division 1 research institution.

"We're really well-situated for being a leader in this field,” says Hollingworth.

The 2016 ranking of this program by U.S. News & World Report was 17. This was a dramatic increase from its 2015 ranking of 65. Over the past five years or so, the program has graduated more than 70 students. Hollingworth says she sees a continued upward stride for the program in the future.

“It’s going to be epic,” she says.