EKU ranks best in online degrees

EKU’s online degree programs have been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for the eighth year in a row. Eastern also ranked in the top 30 for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs as well as ranking in the top 100 for Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

“Getting this type of recognition means we are doing our job right,” said Tim Matthews, executive director of the Office of e-Campus Learning. “What we do here allows people to better their lives and opens up so many more doors for them.”

According to the U.S. News and World Report website, the programs are ranked on factors such as engagement, services and technologies, faculty credentials and training and expert opinions. In order to rank for the best nursing programs, a school is judged not only on these categories, but on student excellence and the selectivity of the programs.

“I liked taking online courses as an alternative to in-seat courses,” said Allison Cogan, a nursing major at EKU. “I took online courses to finish my gen-eds the summer before my sophomore year. It gave me the opportunity to get ahead and still have time for my friends and family.”

Landrea Spurlock, a senior Marketing major from Flatwoods, KY said the courses were affordable and easier to follow.

“Most of the classes are set in advance so you can work ahead if you want to. I feel like the content is easier to understand because of the way the professors set up the classes. The professors are usually very quick to respond to emails and questions because they know that it’s the main way to communicate with them. Also, you normally always have a book always at your disposal and it’s normally cheaper because it’s an online book.”

Eastern offers a wide variety of “distinct” online programs, Matthews said. These programs include undergraduate and graduate degrees in subjects such as psychology, sport management and business. The online programs also offer programs that help students obtain certificates and endorsements. Most of the courses offered can be completed in eight weeks.

“The eight-week courses allow a flexibility to students that a traditional college setting can’t,” Matthews said. “This is most beneficial for our online students because most of them are adults, and life can get in the way.”

One of the more notable programs the online school offers is the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), according to Matthews. EKU’s program offers multiple courses in early childhood, elementary, middle and secondary education. There are also the options of post-masters certifications and endorsement programs.

EKU’s online program for a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) was also among the programs ranked. Registered nurses can complete this program to become  nurse practitioners. There are multiple certificates offered after an MSN is obtained as well as the doctorate of nursing practice.

 Eastern’s online programs are taught mostly by full-time faculty who teach on campus. Courses are offered year-round and divided into six sessions. 

“I definitely feel like I learned a lot from an online class,” Cogan said. “I think when I went into it I was expecting it to be super easy and not really take anything from it. I was surprised that the class was treated so much like an in-seat class.”

The online programs began in 2006 with only three programs available: safety and security, emergency management and corrections and juvenile study. The next year, EKU added fire safety and technology.

“I would for sure suggest for someone to take online classes here,” Cogan said. “I got a lot out of the class and it helped me have a little wiggle room in my schedule for other things besides just classes.”

Today there are more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree options available in a variety of fields for the 3,200 students enrolled in EKU’s online schooling, according to the admissions office.

To learn more about EKU online programs, visit https://go.eku.edu/usnews2019

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