By Lois J. Gray
Three online academic graduate programs in the University of Iowa College of Education ranked 5th nationally in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Education Programs rankings.
Those programs include: the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Program with principal licensure, and two new but robust and rapidly-growing programs, the Master of Arts in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency, and the Master of Science in STEM Education. These programs ranked 18th last year, representing a significant increase this year.
The UI College of Education tied with Michigan State University and the University of Georgia. 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 engagement, services, and technologies, student excellence, faculty credentials and training, and expert opinion.
According to U.S. News & World Report, 299 online master's-level graduate programs were ranked, representing 311 institutions.
While the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership is a program with a long history and national profile, the other two programs are relatively new, with the M.A. in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency (MATLCC) beginning in January of 2017 and the M.S. in STEM Education beginning in fall 2017.
"We are very proud of the exceptional online graduate programs we offer for our students, many of whom are working professionals," says UI College of Education Dean Daniel Clay. "It is important for us to provide access to cutting-edge theory and practice as well as to a Big Ten educational experience in flexible formats."
Clay adds that these high-quality programs are some of the many ways the College of Education addresses critical education needs in Iowa and across the nation.
"Students in these online programs contribute to schools and communities across the state and nation, helping fill critical leadership positions that benefit students," Clay says.
The M.A. in Educational Leadership program enrolled 33 students in fall 2018. All of the principal and superintendent courses are taught by exceptional educational leaders in their fields, says Steve Triplett, clinical instructor and program coordinator.
The MATLCC is a nationally unique program that has already graduated 23 students, with 49 enrolled in fall 2018. The new MS in STEM enrolled 22 students in fall 2018.