NC State Distance Education ranked 14th in NC


NC State’s online and distance education program has been ranked 14th in the top 18 programs in the state of North Carolina, according to a recent ranking compiled by the SR Education Group. The ranking was published on the Guide to Online Schools, a website run by SR Education Group that has reviews for online education programs across the country.

The Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA) program at NC State offers one online bachelor’s degree — a Bachelor of Arts in leadership in the public sector. According to Tim Petty, associate vice provost for Online and Distance Education, SR Education Group listed NC State as having two online bachelor’s degrees, when in fact the two degrees listed are offered at NC Agricultural & Technical State University.

“Although it’s correct that NC State has the strongest academic strength score at 76 percent,” Petty said in an email, “...we have only one online bachelor’s degree — the Leadership in the Public Sector B.A. The two degrees currently credited to NC State on the website in fact are offered at NC A&T State. DELTA staff have attempted to contact the Guide to Online Schools, and its parent organization, SR Education Group, to have this error corrected.”

The ranking list includes annual tuition for each school, as well as overall academic strength. Kelsey D’Ewart, marketing and communications manager at SR Education Group, said that the rankings were determined based on the best value for students.

“We researched every accredited online college in North Carolina,” D’Ewart said in an email, “...taking into account both academic strength and manually researched tuition rates in order to determine the best online colleges in the state based on value.”

D’Ewart also stated that every ranking list published by SR Education Group only contains data that has been properly cited.

“We obtain all our information for the best online colleges rankings from the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and directly from university websites,” D’Ewart said. “We only collect data from sources we are able to cite.”

Founded in 2004, SR Education Group is an online research publisher focused on researching educational opportunities and resources for students pursuing higher education. Their data is published on various websites created and maintained by the group. The group has ranked more than 1,000 schools since 2009 and has awarded $354,000 in scholarships since 2010.

“There is a tremendous amount of information and misinformation regarding colleges, universities, vocational and online schools, making it difficult for students to find the right program and differentiate between what is accurate and credible,” D’Ewart said. “SR Education Group’s mission is to be the most authoritative online resource to help students choose the best school for their career aspirations and budget.”

Although the ranking done by SR Education focused on full degrees offered by various schools through online programs, Petty emphasized that most NC State DELTA classes offered are available for on-campus students.

“These Flexible Access courses allow students the scheduling flexibility needed to fit in time-intensive activities such as internships, athletics, research or even study abroad, and still stay on track to graduate in four years,” Petty said.

Petty also highlighted that NC State offers a number of online graduate programs as well, including certificates and master’s degrees.

“Recognizing that the need for education doesn’t stop at graduation,” Petty said. “NC State has also invested heavily in online graduate programs, especially certificates and master’s degrees.  These programs allow graduates to top up their skills, or even re-tool completely for a career change, without having to leave the workforce to come back to school.”

DELTA’s main office is located on 1010 Main Campus Drive in the Center for Technology and Innovation.

By Aditi Dholakia