Online bachelor’s degree programs No. 9 in nation

admissions_featured imageUIC’s online bachelor’s degree programs are No. 9 in the nation — up from No. 18 last year — among schools offering online bachelor’s degree programs, according to the latest rankings in U.S. News & World Report.

UIC’s two online bachelor’s degree programs — nursing and health information management — are tied for ninth place with online programs at Arizona State University, Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne and University of Wisconsin at Superior.

UIC’s online graduate engineering degree program was tied at No. 41 on the U.S. News & World Report list.

“We’re keenly aware of what good programs we have, but it’s really nice to see them recognized nationally,” said Cordelia Maloney, executive director of the School of Continuing Studies.

U.S. News & World Report ranked more than 200 programs based on factors including student engagement, faculty credentials, peer reputation, student services and technology.

“A lot of thought goes into the development of these programs,” said Janette Salamanca Maldonado, program director in the School of Continuing Studies.

UIC’s online bachelor’s program in nursing is designed for licensed nurses who have an associate’s degree. This semester, 117 students are enrolled.

The program has a 98 percent three-year graduation rate, Maldonado said.

“The biggest difference is that they are working adults so they have a variety of responsibilities,” she said. “Having the ability to complete their degree online gives them the flexibility to get an advanced degree and move their career forward.”

The online bachelor’s program in health information management will graduate its first cohort of students this May. About 30 students are enrolled this semester, said Karen Patena, program director.

The online degree complements the campus-based program, which began in 1965.

“We needed to find a way to expand and offer these kinds of courses to people who couldn’t come to campus during the day,” said Patena, clinical associate professor of health information management.

“It’s an up-and-coming field and we’re glad to see that it’s rated so highly.”

UIC’s online graduate program in engineering has graduated 219 students since it began 15 years ago, said program director Piergiorgio Uslenghi.

“It has been a very successful program and very well received,” said Uslenghi, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering and adjunct professor of physics.

The program has served students across the world, including one who lived in the Saudi Arabian desert and traveled 250 miles to get to a university to take his exams, Uslenghi said. Many students complete their work online during the late evening and early morning hours, he added.

“The program is for students who could not have access to a regular campus program,” he said. “It really fills a niche that traditional degrees cannot.”

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