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Online degree programs offered by IU highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report

January 17, 2017

Online degree programs at Indiana University, particularly those in business, education and nursing, were again ranked among the best in the nation in the 2017 edition of U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Education Program rankings.

Two programs at IU's Kelley School of Business ranked at the top of more than 200 graduate business offerings nationwide. The Kelley Direct online MBA program was ranked third, and Kelley's Master of Science program is again No. 1.

The IU School of Nursing at IUPUI made one of the biggest jumps in U.S. News' rankings of more than 140 online nursing programs, moving more than 20 spots, from 42nd in 2016 to 21st this year. That follows the previous rise in the rankings from 49th to 42nd a year ago.

The IU School of Education continues to be ranked 22nd for the second straight year. IU Online, the largest provider of online bachelor's degrees to Indiana residents, was ranked 51st.

IU has been a pioneer in online education for the past 18 years, and among its leading exemplars is the Kelley School of Business. In 1999, Kelley Direct became the first online MBA offered by a top-ranked business school. Today, it serves as a model for similar programs.

Ramesh Venkataraman, chair of Kelley Direct MBA and M.S. programs and a professor of information systems in the Kelley School, said Kelley's online programs help business professionals advance their careers and pick up momentum, whether they want to grow at their current employer or switch careers.

"Kelley Direct offers a wide array of choices, including the traditional MBA or specialized master's degrees in disciplines such as business analytics, finance, entrepreneurship and innovation, global supply chain management, marketing, or strategic management," Venkataraman said. "While delivering a quality education, our programs offer a flexible and personalized approach for students that enables them to get where they want to be."

Students in the online MBA program regularly interact with faculty, both in and out of the classroom, and come to the Bloomington campus for Kelley Connect weeks at the beginning of their first and second years.

In the fall, Kelley Direct launched Propel, a comprehensive professional development program. Students are assigned an academic coach and a career coach, with every student required to meet with their coaches at various points in the program.

The Kelley School also has invested in creating elective courses that provide real-world in-person experiences for students. These include topical immersion courses that enable students to work on consulting projects at leading multinational corporations such as the Coca-Cola Co. and Starwood Hotels. Also, through AGILE -- Accelerating Global Immersion Leadership Education -- students may go abroad to engage in a consulting project with a business in-country.

"We're continually adding opportunities for online students to engage with each other; with faculty and career coaches, and with businesses; it's definitely not a one-size-fits-all program," said Idalene "Idie" Kesner, Kelley's dean and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management. "It's also important to note that, while some schools outsource their online programs, all of our classes are taught by Kelley faculty -- the same faculty who teach in our full-time and part-time MBA programs."

Admissions requirements for the Kelley Direct MBA program and the M.S. programs are the same as for all other Kelley graduate-level programs. Students have two to five years to complete the 51 credit hours required for the Kelley Direct online MBA. Those enrolled in the Master of Science programs have 15 months to five years to complete the 30-credit-hour degree. Kelley also offers a 63-credit-hour dual MBA/M.S. degree.

Since 1999, more than 3,310 students have earned Kelley MBAs through the program and nearly 900 have earned Kelley M.S. degrees online. Currently, 799 students are enrolled in the Kelley Direct online MBA program and 209 students are enrolled in the M.S. programs.

Robin Newhouse, dean of the IU School of Nursing, attributes her school's rise in rankings to IU curriculum excellence, faculty expertise and the growing demand for master's-prepared and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in Indiana and nationally.
 
"There are three APRN tracks in the master’s program available to nurses who want to pursue a master’s degree but cannot travel to campus on a regular basis: adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, pediatric clinical nurse specialist and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner," Newhouse said. "These options give nurses all across the state of Indiana and beyond access to critical knowledge and nationally recognized faculty. APRNs have a tremendous and positive impact on patients, families and communities as our graduates provide primary and acute care in the state and beyond.

“In addition, our master's in nursing education was also ranked highly. These graduates are in high demand in clinical and academic settings to train and educate clinicians to promote high-quality practice.”

Terrence C. Mason, dean of the IU School of Education, highlighted IU's well-established history of offering online master's and certificate programs for educators. The school recently added several new programs, including two online doctoral degrees.

"As our online degree programs continue to evolve, the IU School of Education has achieved a top 25 ranking once again," Mason said. "We believe this speaks to two of our core strengths: a solid foundation in high-quality educational programming and a passionate faculty.

"We take pride in offering a wide range of programs aimed at preparing future teachers, counselors, administrators and more, and we've also invested in online degree programs as we continue to work on the front lines of educational innovation and excellence," Mason added.

Also ranked by U.S. News was the online undergraduate degree program at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, which was 103rd.

complete list of online programs offered by IU can be found on IU Online's website.

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