The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.
Pennsylvania State University often called simply Penn State and sometimes PSU, is located in University Park, Pennsylvania and is the Flagship Campus of the Pennsylvania State University System. It was established in 1855 and is the only public land-grant university in the state and is considered to be one of the Public Ivies. Pennsylvania World Campus, also in University Park, has many online offerings and is considered to be a separate campus in the same system.
Military personnel may require assistance during training, deployment, transition from active duty and in retirement. They may face a variety of psychological and social issues including depression and anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and family and marital issues. Additionally, personnel returning home may seek support with their transition back to civilian life, including career and education assistance.
Online students at Washington State University have access to 24/7 tech support, online tutoring, a writing lab, and access to webinars and live-streamed events. The school partners with a number of two-year schools in western states, helping students transfer their associate degree credits. Students in states not on the school's "direct agreement" list can still transfer credits on a course-by-course basis.
Park University has a recommendation rate of 83% from 12 student reviews. Park University offers 40 undergraduate degrees and 19 master’s degrees. There are five start dates throughout the year in January, March, June, August, and October. All courses are offered in 8 week segments and students are able to access the material on their own timetable. Online courses are certified by Quality Matters. Park University also has a Zero Textbook Cost program that allows students who are pursuing their degree online or at a distance campus center to qualify for free textbooks. Annual tuition is $11,470 for online undergraduate students and an affordable $7,575 for online graduate students.
Established as an extension center in 1936, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has added a robust virtual college internationally recognized for academic excellence, research, and innovation. The school offers a comprehensive catalog of fully online and hybrid degree and certificate programs. With working adults in mind, the virtual college offers students flexible learning options. Bachelor’s degrees offered fully online include programs in accounting, criminal justice, marketing, information systems, and finance. The school’s Department of Human Studies offers a BS in community health and human services, a program that prepares students for a career as a community coordinator, outreach specialist, or drug abuse counselor. The BS in industrial distribution has two tracks: engineering and medical equipment and supplies.
BA degree programs are offered in fields such as criminology, educational studies, general studies, management, and religion in a global society. The school also offers baccalaureate degree completion programs in data analytics, media communications, and nursing. In order to enroll in one of the degree completion programs, students must have at least 64 transferable credits or an associate degree from a regionally accredited school. Webster University's graduate degree offerings are extensive. Areas of study include legal studies, environmental management, business administration (MBA), finance, and public relations. Of note is the 36-credit MA in gerontology, a program that addresses the needs of an increasingly aging U.S. and world population.
Although enrollment in online degree programs has continued to tick upwards during the past decade, it has recently slowed in the past few years. However, both public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities continue to experience respectable increases. From 2012 – 2013, research from the Babson Institute shows that enrollment in online classes rose nearly 5 percent at public institutions and almost 13 percent for private nonprofits. Here’s a closer look at the growth numbers by volume for online learners by institution type in 2013.
While digital media came into common use in the early 1950s, the conceptual foundation of digital media is traced to the work of scientist and engineer Vannevar Bush and his celebrated essay "As We May Think," published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1945. Bush envisioned a system of devices that could be used to help scientists, doctors, historians and others, store, analyze and communicate information. Calling this then-imaginary device a "memex", Bush wrote: