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UW-Superior Chancellor Renee Wachter, left, and Provost Faith Hunsrud, right, pose with 10 of the school's 32 fall 2013 distance learning graduates.

UW-Superior among the best in the country at online education

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When it comes to educating students online, the University of Wisconsin-Superior is among the nation’s best, according to the latest survey from U.S. News and World Report Best Online Education Program Rankings for 2014. UW-Superior is ranked ninth best for online bachelor’s programs in the country and the top in the UW System.

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“We are so pleased to receive this designation,” said UWS Chancellor Renée Wachter. “It recognizes the high quality of our academic programs and faculty as well as the services we provide to help students be successful.”

UW-Superior’s distance learning program, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2013, is one of the oldest in the state and the first to offer self-paced independent learning leading to a degree. The program went online in 1999.

To be considered for the rankings, only degree-granting programs offering courses that are 100 percent online are eligible. The schools were ranked according to student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, and student services and technology.

Today, 551, or 19 percent, of UWS’s students are seeking online degrees. More than 75 percent of these students are women, and most are between the ages of 25 and 49. Nine out of ten students have some prior college education. More than 85 percent are working; 60 percent are employed full time.

“The university plans to double the number of online students by 2020,” said Wachter. “We will continue to stay abreast of national trends in higher education, offering multiple vehicles for degree completion to meet student needs and workforce demands.”

UWS offers six bachelor degree options for online learners: Communicating arts, elementary education, exercise science, health and wellness management, interdisciplinary studies/individually designed and sustainable management

An online master’s degree in sustainable management – the first in the country – was introduced in 2013.

“Students say high-quality advising services, in-demand majors, flexible schedules, and high standards are what drew them to pursue their online degrees at UW-Superior,” said Christina Kline, interim director of the UW-Superior Distance Learning Center. “Our focus is on giving students a top quality education and a highly personalized experience.”

The results of the survey are available online at www.usnews.com/education/online-education.

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