Last updated: 19.01.12

Westfield State University tops US e-learning league

Westfield State University (WSU) has been recognised for offering the best online learning-based bachelor's degrees in the US.

The league table, published by US News and World Report, saw the Massachusetts higher education institution ranked top of the list with an overall faculty score of 82 points, putting it ahead of the second-placed United States Sports Academy, which scored 80.9.

According to the study, 81 per cent of staff at the WSU faculty have at least two years of online teaching experience, while the university was also found to finance online instructor training. Completing training on web-based learning is a requirement for teachers at Westfield State.

St Mary's College of California came third in the list, while Pace University in New York and Sam Houston State University in Texas rounded out the top five.

Florida Institute of Technology, which was ranked in 15th place with a total faculty score of 65.4, welcomed the news that it is one of the nation's top e-learning providers.

The school's 100 per cent online bachelor's degree program was one of only four in the country to be recognised as scoring within the top one-third for teaching practices, student services and technology, and faculty credentials and training.

Florida Tech offers 36 degrees online in a wide range of disciplines, including accounting, business, computer technology, criminal justice and applied psychology.

Dr Mary Bonhomme, associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of online learning at the institute, commented: "Our goal has always been to provide online students with the same quality education our main campus students receive.

"These rankings are validation of that and we're thrilled to be recognised for our commitment to online excellence."

Misericordia University Center for Adult and Continuing Education also hailed the news that its online learning courses have been ranked 17th in the country for student engagement and assessment.