Boise State University’s College of Education ranks among the top education programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best Graduate Schools report released this week.
The annual report examines the largest professional graduate school disciplines of business, law, education, engineering and medicine and specialty rankings within those disciplines. The College of Education ranked in the top 100 nationally and its fully online educational technology graduate program ranked in the top 50.
The news organization’s rankings are among the most prestigious ratings in higher education.
The U.S. News rankings released March 10 follow an earlier announcement by the National Council on Teacher Quality putting Boise State’s undergraduate elementary and secondary Teacher Education programs in the top 5 percent of such programs in the country.
“These high rankings are because of our faculty’s dedicated work and commitment to quality in making continuous program improvement a hallmark of our undergraduate and graduate programs,” said College of Education Dean Rich Osguthorpe. “This commitment means we are producing graduates who are ready on the first day of their careers to teach and improve student learning. It also means that we are conducting high-level research with graduate students that aims to improve school outcomes.”
Osguthorpe particularly pointed to the leadership of Jennifer Snow, associate dean of teacher education, and of Keith Thiede, associate dean for research and graduate studies, in helping the college achieve the rankings.
Other universities with education programs ranked similar to Boise State included Kansas State University, University of Alabama, University of Arkansas and Virginia Tech.
The graduate disciplines that U.S. News ranks annually are evaluated on factors that include standardized test scores of newly enrolled students, employment outcomes for graduates, external research funding and other criteria. Because each graduate program is different, the rankings methodology varies across disciplines.
Boise State’s Department of Educational Technology (EdTech) is housed in the College of Education. Other universities with programs and rankings similar to EdTech include University of Nevada at Reno, Drexel University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University.
Programs were ranked based on their success at promoting student engagement, the training and credentials of their faculty, the selectivity of their admissions processes, the services and technologies available to distance learners and the opinions of deans and other academics at peer distance-education programs in their disciplines.
“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said Brett Shelton, chair of the Department of Educational Technology. “This ranking reflects the same level of excellence, innovation and quality we offer in our courses. We strive for excellence in all that we do and it is great to be acknowledged for that effort.”
The U.S. News ranking and National Council on Teacher Quality confirm the College of Education’s deep commitment to excellence and continuous improvement in its programs and people.