The College of Education at the University of Florida continues its six-year tradition
of being a national leader in online graduate education. Again, this year, UF is the nation’s top online graduate education degree program according to the 2021 Best Online Programs rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. UF earned the No. 1 spot nationally out of 296 other colleges of education for online graduate degree programs. The college has earned the top rank four of the last six years (2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021), dipping only one spot in 2018 and 2020.
Students’ experiences and outcomes are continually being enhanced through faculty embracing the research and best practices identified by scholars associated with the college’s Educational Technology program, Institute for Advanced Learning Technologies, and new Artificial Intelligence in Education initiative.
“A top ranking by a prestigious national organization reflects acknowledgement by higher education leaders across the country that we have exceptional students, develop and apply engaging methods of instruction, and employ superb faculty and staff well trained in supporting the needs of students at any stage of their careers,” said Tom Dana, senior associate dean and director of the Institute for Advanced Learning Technologies.
According to U.S. News, a master’s degree in education can help further careers in teaching, instructional design and educational administration. Programs are ranked based on five general categories: student engagement (30 percent), student services and technology (20 percent), expert opinion (20 percent), faculty credentials and training (20 percent), and student excellence (10 percent).
Specialty Area Rankings
Last year, U.S. News began ranking specialty areas of Curriculum and Instruction, Educational
Administration and Supervision, Special Education and Educational/Instructional Media Design, “to help guide prospective students who have particular interest in pursuing a degree or coursework with one of these focuses.”
These specialty area rankings are based on peer assessment of academic reputation. Eligibility
requirements include the institution having “received at least five ratings from peer institutions, been ranked in the main online master’s in education rankings, and verified in the peer assessment they offer the specialty or else had this verified by U.S. News.”
The college was recognized as leaders in all of these specialty areas, with the following rankings:
- No. 2 – Special Education
- No. 3 – Educational Administration
- No. 3 – Curriculum and Instruction
- No. 6 – Instructional Media
“Our extraordinary faculty collaborate with ever-increasing effectiveness to provide the highest caliber of engaged educational experiences for our online students,” said College of Education Dean Glenn Good. “Faculty are developing and studying learning technology innovations.”
“It is natural that their discoveries become incorporated into college-wide exceptional instructional practices. Ultimately, the successes of our online students have elevated the college’s academic reputation, which is recognized by our peers across the nation.”
The college has placed emphasis on a growing demand for online learning for years, as evidenced by continuous strong performance in rankings, and has developed a highly-skilled team of instructional designers, videographers and editors, web and graphic designers, and systems developers. The e-Learning, Technology and Communications team works in partnership with faculty and students to implement best practices and build learning environments that leverage emerging technologies and support learning objectives.
“Our expert faculty have worked closely with our instructional and graphic designers and videographers to continuously refine the online learning experience for our students,” said Jason Arnold, director of e-Learning, Technology and Communications. “We use the most current research and frequent student feedback to always improve so that we may create courses that truly prepare and empower students.