CLEMSON — U.S.News & World Report has ranked the Clemson University College of Education among the best online education programs in the nation in 2017. The college’s online education program ranks 10th in a highly competitive list of online graduate education programs for its Master of Education in Teaching and Learning.  

The College of Education was previously unranked in this category, so college leaders are especially excited about the news of a top-10 ranking. According to George J. Petersen, founding dean of the College of Education, this recognition is due to the hard work and dedication of faculty and staff in the college, who are committed to the constant improvement of its graduate programs designed for distance learners.

“We strive to focus just as much on the quality and delivery of our graduate programs as we have on enrollment,” Petersen said. “We’re not choosing quantity over quality or vice versa, so it’s no surprise that our college has caught the attention of the national barometer for excellence in this regard.”

According to U.S. News, the highest-ranked programs at the master’s level perform well on traditional metrics — such as having selective admissions and credentialed faculty — while also having successfully adapted their course delivery for educating students remotely. Programs that do well in traditional or nontraditional metrics, but not both, rank lower. U.S. News believes the Best Online Programs rankings and data are the most comprehensive available to prospective students.

The College of Education offers master’s and educational specialist degrees that prepare professionals for such fields as teaching, school administration, counseling, human resources and leadership in both higher education and athletics. The college offers many classes online to maximize accessibility with constant attention to quality.

Jeff Marshall, chair of the college’s teaching and learning department, said recent successes in online programs can be credited to an open-minded faculty and staff willing to constantly re-evaluate and improve programs. According to Marshall, Clemson Online helped co-construct the courses with faculty and helped them and their students excel in an online environment. He said this collaboration obviously didn’t go unnoticed.

“Our college offers top notch master’s programs because of the great synergy between program faculty and the university’s resources and support,” Marshall said. “We’ve managed to combine the best of a high-quality education with superior technology to interface with students across our nation and around the world.”