Indiana Wesleyan University had some good company recently when Best Value Schools released a survey that ranked IWU No. 2 on a list of The 30 Best Online Colleges 2014.
The University of Maryland was the top-rated school in the online rankings. Others on the list are the University of North Carolina, Penn State University, the University of Nebraska and the University of Central Florida.
Iris Stone, a freelance writer and researcher, conducted the survey. To say that Stone’s survey was carefully researched, would be an understatement. She consulted multiple sources, including U.S. News & World Report and Forbes magazines, and she established seven criteria, such as retention rates, graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratio and academic ratings.
“Attending Indiana Wesleyan University Online is a unique experience characterized by significant student collaboration, capped class sizes for an intimate learning experience and customized online curriculum designed specifically for adults,” Stone said. ”IWU insists that online students receive the same treatment and rigor of material as traditional campus students.”
IWU students who completed polls on College Prowler website said “professors care about their students’ success” and are “passionate about the topics they teach.” Students also said, “Classrooms incorporate new technology effectively.”
It is that kind of thinking and initiative, of course, that led IWU to become one of the first universities in the country to offer online education. Today, IWU has 8,000 online students – two-thirds of the enrollment in adult education programs.
When IWU offered its first online class in 1996 for students in our adult education programs, the move was viewed with suspicion in the higher education community. Truth be told the non-traditional adult education format that IWU had begun in 1985 still was not widely accepted.
We were convinced, however, that we could be successful if we kept our focus on the content of our adult programs – both online and onsite – and not on the way our classes were delivered. Quality always was, and still is, the top priority.
Our commitment to that goal was rewarded with the release of The 30 Best Online Colleges 2014.
View the rankings here.