SOUTHFIELD — Lawrence Technological University earned high marks in the first national survey of online academic programs conducted by U.S. News & World Report.
More than six million college and university students now take at least one course online, and that number continues to grow. U.S. News & World Report has been rating academic programs for 28 years, and now has added online programs for the first time.
Close to 1,000 institutions responded to the survey, and U.S. News & World Report ranked the institutions that were in the top 30 percent of each category. The survey did not rank the overall performance of universities.
Graduate programs were ranked on student services and technology, student engagement and accreditation, faculty credentials and training, and admissions selectivity.
Lawrence Tech’s online graduate programs offered by its College of Engineering were ranked second in the country for student engagement and accreditation, behind only the University of Wisconsin at Madison and just ahead of Penn State University. Lawrence Tech’s online engineering programs were ranked eighth for student services and technology.
Online graduate business programs were ranked 29th in the country in both student services and technology and faculty credentials and training, and 67th in student engagement.
Online graduate programs in education were also nationally ranked for student services and technology (35th), faculty credentials and training (28th) and student engagement and accreditation (75th).
LTU Online was created in 2006, and the following year the Higher Learning Committee of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools approved the first three online degree programs.
This academic year more than 1,000 students are taking close to 100 online courses at Lawrence Tech, and approximately 10 percent of all credit hours earned by Lawrence Tech students are through online courses. (See www.ltu.edu/ltuonline for a complete listing of programs and course offerings.)
“We believe our online programs have been well received because we have built a strong infrastructure and our professors have enthusiastically embraced the training that is required in order to be effective in the online environment,” said Richard Bush, who oversee s LTU Online as director of eLearning Services at Lawrence Tech.
Most of Lawrence Tech’s online degree programs and courses are at the graduate level.
“Lawrence Tech has chosen to focus its online program development at the graduate level. We recognize the demands and constraints placed on adult learners,” Bush said.
Lawrence Tech also offers many hybrid courses that combine online learning with only a few classes on campus.