Penn State officials have called World Campus online education a “success story” — and the program now has the recognition to prove it.
World Campus was recently ranked the No. 1 online institution in the nation, according to an article titled “Top 25 Online Colleges and Universities of 2011” by online review website thebestcolleges.org.
In addition to the overall ranking, World Campus’ online information sciences and technology degree was also ranked No. 1 nationally among information technology degrees, in addition to the World Campus’ MBA program, which was ranked No. 9 among the 25 Best Online MBA Degree Programs.
The World Campus was launched in 1998 and now delivers 70 distance education programs to more than 8,500 students around the world, according to its website.
The overall ranking was based on a combination of graduation rates, retention rates, student-teacher ratios, acceptance rates, tuition per undergraduate credit hour and the percentage of students receiving financial aid.
In its ranking, The Best Colleges lauded Penn State for its ability to offer “the same high quality instruction and the exact same degree and transcript as it awards its traditional on-campus students.”
Penn State President Graham Spanier wrote in an email that World Campus has been a great success and established itself as a premier online program since its launch.
“We have already served tens of thousands of students with high-quality courses,” Spanier wrote. “I’m pleased to see that it has been recognized for its achievements.”
Director of Outreach News and Communications Dave Aneckstein said World Campus is excited and appreciative to be regarded as the No. 1 online program in the country.
Aneckstein attributed the success to the growing number of course and program offerings as well as the accessibility of appealing to learners across the world who may not be able to attend a formal university setting but are still looking for the same education.
“We’re very pleased to be considered the top online program and also to have a number of individual programs ranked so high,” Aneckstein said. “We do a lot of work for online students and we’re really appreciative.”
As far as the ranking drawing in a larger number of students, Aneckstein said he wasn’t sure — but the No. 1 title definitely shines a positive light on Penn State and its growing online presence.