USF Health earns accolades as online education leader

online education, distance learning

USF Health’s footprint as a leader the world of online learning continues to grow.

The University of South Florida made its first appearance in the Guide to Online Schools, which uses data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics to rank colleges with the best quality and most affordable online programs. The NCES is the federal government’s primary entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.

USF came in at number 25 – the only Florida public university on the guide’s 2013 rankings for  “best overall” online colleges.  The university’s 22 online degree offerings cited included six graduate programs from USF Health.

Three of the USF College of Public Health’s online master’s degree (MPH) programs — in Public Health Administration, Disaster Management, and Public Health Practice – were noted in the Guide to Online Schools annual index.   The USF College of Nursing’s master’s (MS) degree in Nursing Education and its Nurse Practitioner graduate program (which offers some components of the program in an online format) were cited, as was the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine’s online master’s (MS) degree in Medical Sciences (with a Health Sciences concentration).

U.S. News & World Report, meanwhile, has ranked USF’s online graduate education programs 47th — among the top in the nation.

The Guide to Online Schools listing does not encompass all USF Health’s online offerings.  For instance, USF Health just launched an all-online Master of Science in Health Informatics program uniquely housed within the medical school, which is scheduled to begin this summer. 

The USF College of Public Health recently added an online format for the MPH degree in epidemiology, scheduled to begin in May.   The school was among those featured in a recent Nation’s Health article on the growing popularity of online public health education – particularly among working health professionals and those with geographical constraints.

“We were the first school of public health in the nation to offer a distance-based master’s degree in public health, before online-teaching technology was even available and definitely before it was a cool thing to do,” said Donna Petersen, ScD, dean of the USF College of Public Health.

“Today, we have several full degrees on line and many graduate certificates.  Nearly two-thirds of our courses are fully on-line or blended – involving on-line components in order to maximize face-to-face teaching time.”

For more information, go to http://news.usf.edu/article/templates/?a=5093&z=210