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Online education rankings

Photo by Laura Hancock / Bachelor’s degrees available through EOU online total more than a dozen and can be combined with 15 different minors.

Bachelor’s degrees available through EOU online total more than a dozen and can be combined with 15 different minors.

EOU receives high rankings for online education

Story & photo by Laura Hancock
University Advancement | 541-962-3585

LA GRANDE, Ore. May 19, 2016 – Three independent ranking sources for students looking to complete their college degree online have named Eastern Oregon University to their “best of” lists for 2016.

EOU appears second on the list of 50 best online bachelor’s in education published by College Choice; fourth on the roster of 50 best online liberal arts colleges for bachelor’s degrees released by The Best Schools; and is in the top seven schools, along with Penn State and Purdue, reviewed by College Values Online for affordable online economics degrees.

“These rankings spotlight what we believe are the strengths of our online programs – high academic quality, flexibility and curriculum keyed to our students’ career plans and success,” said Donald Wolff, EOU’s interim vice provost for Academic Affairs.

Each site’s ranking system is weighted slightly different, with College Choice looking at projected earnings for graduates and The Best Schools basing their selection on quality and types of programs offered, faculty strengths, school awards, rankings and reputation. Similarly, College Values Online factors in academic excellence, course offerings, faculty strengths and reputation.

In terms of affordability, online tuition at EOU is $210 per credit while some for-profit institutions in Oregon and across the country are charging an average of $385 per credit.

“It’s worth noting that College Values Online has our annual online tuition incorrect. Our estimated undergraduate cost of attending is just $9,450 per year,” said Tim Seydel, vice president for University Advancement. “Student affordability for all of our programs is a very high priority for us, and we strive to ensure these high-quality programs are accessible and affordable.”

EOU was founded as a teacher’s college and essay writer, so it makes sense that it’s non-licensure program in early childhood education would make the top 50 list. The major prepares students to work with young children from birth to age eight. Graduates often go on to create early care and educational programs as leaders in various capacities in both the public and private sectors.

In what is an up-and-coming program at EOU, economics majors have the option to complete their degree online or on campus. Professors teaching online use techniques and technologies that help make students feel they are getting a classroom experience. Topics explored range from environmental issues to job creation, money and financial markets to economic development. Going on to graduate or law school, working in the financial field, public sector or private enterprise are popular next steps.

Students across all of EOU’s online majors receive personal academic advising and after they enroll have access to eTutoring. The complete interface features eChat, eQuestions and an eWriting Lab, making face-to-face communication with tutors possible.

Bachelor’s degrees available entirely online total more than a dozen and can be combined with 15 different minors. Unique programs include integrative studies, which enables students to combine two minors to effectively create their own major. A capstone project articulates the connections between the two minors while tying their academic interests to career goals.

“In this way, the program addresses the academic and career needs of working adults simultaneously,” Wolff explained.

Professors are taking advantage of technical innovation to deliver other popular programs that, at first glance, may not seem conducive to an online learning environment. The physical activity and health program, for example, is available entirely online because assignments are built around use of state-of-the-art digital media.

“The involvement of tenure-track faculty dedicated to working closely with distance students is critical to EOU’s success in the online environment and to its popularity with students,” Wolff said.

EOU is also adding an online option to its degree in communication studies starting this fall. Learn more about the early childhood education program, economics degree and all of the university’s distance offerings at eou.edu/online.