By Shawn Ness | February 20, 2023
The University at Albany’s School of Education ranked fourth in an annual ranking of the best online master’s education programs done by the U.S. News & World Report, according to a UAlbany press release.
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This marks the seventh year in a row UAlbany has been ranked inside the top 10, “and it continues to be the top-ranked program in New York State,” the press release states. UAlbany’s ranking rose four spots from last year.
“The Masters of International Affairs program has a lot of online courses and a majority of the online courses are offered online and in person as a simulcast course,” Nathan Blank said, a graduate student at UAlbany. “Many professors are flexible if you need to join online for a day. In addition, they do a good job of incorporating the fully online students with the in-person students.”
“Personally, with being an art major, I do not like online schooling,” Camryn Walsh, a graduate student at UAlbany said. “A lot of my classes need to be hands-on and demo driven so it’s hard to convey that over zoom.”
When UAlbany transitioned to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Walsh said the adjustment was particularly challenging. Walsh has a reading disability called dyslexia. He said when it came down to reading everything online was very hard for him.
“It’s surprising [UAlbany’s ranking], I didn’t think it was anything special when I was taking all online classes,” Erin Conner, senior at UAlbany said. “It’s just zoom, blackboard, and emails, and you get sent work and you do the work. I mean that’s pretty simple. I don’t mind it.”
The ranking comprises 338 institutions that offer primarily online degree programs. It assesses schools based on five categories: engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer assessment, services and technologies, and student excellence, the press release states.
“In terms of blackboard, I mean, I’ve only used one other program called Moodle and it’s honestly the same thing,” So Chon, a senior at UAlbany, said. “Blackboard looked uglier, clunkier, and older. In terms of effectiveness, it does the job.”
“The UAlbany School of Education’s upward movement in the U.S. News rankings is a true testament to the dedicated efforts of our expert faculty, staff, and collaborative community partners involved in our online graduate programs,” interim dean of the school of education, Virginia Goatley said. “With almost 25 years invested in online learning and teaching, we are proud to provide our students near and far with the high-quality online education they seek.”