The UA has risen in a variety of rankings categories, including online undergraduate programs, faculty credentials and student engagement, according to U.S. News & World Report and peer universities.
TUCSON, Ariz. – Since its launch in 2015, the University of Arizona Online has continued to ascend in national rankings. In 2018, only its second year of eligibility, UA Online’s bachelor’s degrees rose 25 places, now positioned in the top 15% of online undergraduate programs. Similar gains were made by graduate programs in information science (ranked #8), engineering (ranked #33) and business administration (ranked #33).
U.S. News & World Report uses a multifaceted scoring methodology that combines several program factors to determine overall rankings. This includes a student engagement score, which increased by 25%, and faculty credentials and training, in which the UA ranks #29 – a 15-spot jump over last year.
The UA is no stranger to accolades. Backed by over a century of recognition as one of the premiere higher education institutions for STEM, nursing, business, social science and liberal arts, UA Online is creating new ways to make a world-class education available to everyone.
“The University of Arizona is committed to broadening the ways that students can gain access to our institution,” said Vincent Del Casino, UA vice president of Academic Initiatives and Student Success. “With UA Online, we are committed to expanded access to the same faculty and programs that students at our main campus or locations throughout the state have.”
This dedication to accessibility is indicative of the UA’s entire online model, which starts in house, built from the ground up by UA professors and learning technology experts. Each of the more than 80 online programs, including the 31 undergraduate degrees now available, deliver fully on the promise of a UA education.
“One of the major factors that has helped the University of Arizona improve its rankings is the investment in hiring the best faculty and ensuring that they have outstanding training before they reach the classroom,” Del Casino said. “That means, according to U.S. News & World Report, that for the individual ranking in faculty credentials and training, we were 29th in the country this year."
"From its inception, UA Online has invested in the online student experience,” said Joshua Steele, senior director of UA Online. “Dedicated advisers who understand the challenges students can face as a fully online student, an office of instructional designers who partner with faculty to create engaging learning environments, and online support services such as tutoring, career engagement and veteran services – all are core to our online experience. We are ecstatic to be recognized for these efforts at such an early stage of our program.”
UA Online offers a variety of incentives to all types of students, including a new generation of adult learners looking to advance their careers while they earn a degree. The result is 3,600 enrolled students in 2017, and projected enrollment of three times that number by 2024.
“We have made a strong commitment to developing a high quality UA Online program that not only attracts UA-qualified students, but also retains and graduates them,” Del Casino said.
UA Online has achieved that and more by always placing student needs first. With a continued focus on faculty development, student engagement and innovative new ways to deliver a world-class education around the world, the future looks bright – for the UA and its students.