U.S. News & World Report recognized the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida as among the top online programs in the country, according to rankings released today.
UF’s online bachelor’s degree program was tied – with Penn State World Campus and the University of Illinois at Chicago — for the No. 5 spot in the country. UCF ranked No. 14 in the publication’s 2019 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list. Both rankings reflect the State University System’s upward trajectory in online education, with UF rising seven spots and UCF rising two spots over last year’s rankings in this category.
Criteria for the rankings include: Student engagement (35 percent), student services and technology (25 percent), faculty credentials and training (20 percent), and peer reputation (20 percent). The full report is available here.
“U.S. News & World Report continues to recognize the State University System’s innovation and momentum, ranking Florida the top state in the country for higher education and recognizing our prowess in distance learning,” said Governor Ed Morton, chair of the Board of Governors’ Innovation and Online Committee. “This is all a part of our strategy to enhance access and flexibility for students, even as we maintain our focus on offering high-quality degrees at a low cost.”
Florida was the first state in the country to implement a system-wide Strategic Plan for Online Education, which sets quality and enrollment goals for an entire system. The plan, which the Board of Governors approved in 2015, ensures a high standard of quality for distance learning and sets a goal that 40 percent of undergraduate credit hours will be delivered online by the year 2025.
Today’s recognition by U.S. News & World report is only the latest in a series of accolades by the prominent publication. In addition to naming Florida the top state for higher education for the second year in a row, five State University System institutions are now ranked among the top 100 public universities nationally – UF (No. 8), FSU (No. 26), USF (No. 58), UCF (No. 87), FIU (No. 100).
“The State University System of Florida is extremely disciplined in its focus on student outcomes, which is why our student graduation and retention rates continue to climb and our students are increasingly graduating with the training and the connections they need to launch their careers,” said Marshall Criser III, State University System Chancellor. “We’re honored that those efforts continue to put us in the national spotlight, and we look forward to building on our success.”