Quality Matters Members Dominate U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs Rankings

Industry: Education

2021 rankings highlight how a commitment to quality benefits institutions and their students

Annapolis, MD (PRUnderground) February 18th, 2021

The 2021 U.S. News & World Report rankings for America’s best online programs are out and the QM community is celebrating. QM member institutions dominated the top ten and took two-thirds of the top 102 spots. 

U.S. News & World Report began ranking online programs in 2012 and takes many factors into consideration, including student engagement, services and technologies available to students, and faculty credentials and training. The quality of the programs is also evaluated. For this year’s rankings, more than 1,600 programs were assessed.

Number one on this year’s list of online undergraduate programs is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University—Worldwide, a QM member since 2017. Other members in the top 10 include: 

2 – University of Illinois Chicago

3 – University of Florida

4 – The Ohio State University

4 – Oregon State University

6 – Arizona State University

7 – University of Arizona

10 – Medical University of South Carolina

10 – Pennsylvania State University World Campus

10 – University of Georgia

Our members say their commitment to quality is the key to their success. 

“Embry-Riddle is historically committed to quality,” shared Dr. Felix Brito, Executive Director, Instructional Design and Development at Embry-Riddle. “Over the years, the university has taken significant steps geared toward upholding the highest standards of quality in the design and delivery of our courses. One of those steps was our subscription to the Quality Matters program, which has served as a reference to us when it comes to promoting quality in our online course design.”

Dr. TJ Augustine, Vice Chancellor for Innovation at UIC emphasized the need for quality online programs for working professionals. “This ranking underlines UIC’s position as a leader in advancing high-quality online education,” said Augustine. “The pandemic has changed how we work and how we learn. UIC’s innovative online degree programs, now more than ever, are the answer for working professionals in Chicago and beyond to gain the skills they need to be competitive in the workforce.”

By focusing on quality, these institutions are able to elevate every facet of their online offerings and create strong pathways to success for their students. “Our commitment to quality manifests in our engaging learning environments fully embedded in a thriving learning community,” said Evangeline Tsibris Cummings, Assistant Provost and Director of University of Florida Online (UF Online). “In doing so, UF Online remains authentically UF. We are able to bring our online students the very best that this large research university has to offer, now with the ease and dynamic nature of a welcoming online learning experience and community.”

Online undergraduate programs weren’t the only ones ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Graduate programs were featured as well, and, once again, QM member institutions were well represented, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill whose MBA program tied for the top spot.

“The rankings are a clear reflection of how invested these institutions are in delivering on their online promise,” said QM’s Executive Director Dr. Deb Adair. “We are proud to work with them and over 1,500 other member institutions to provide the support, tools and resources they need to meet the needs of their students through high-quality online courses and programs.”

About Quality Matters

Grounded in research. Driven by best practices. A community that puts learners first. Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process.

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