U.S. News recognizes UM-Flint's online nursing and education graduate programs

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The DNP program at UM-Flint combines online learning with clinical experience.
The DNP program at UM-Flint combines online learning with clinical experience.

The University of Michigan-Flint has been recognized for its excellence in online education by the U.S. News & World Report in its "Best Online Program" rankings.

The university received recognition in the online graduate programs for both nursing and education.

UM-Flint offers an online Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP) that prepares nurses to become family, primary care adult-gerontology, psychiatric/mental health, and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners. There is also an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). This semester, in partnership with the Education Department within the School of Education & Human Services, the School of Nursing launched a Nurse Educator concentration within the MSN program.

"The School of Nursing is very pleased to make the national rankings," said Interim Dean and Professor of Nursing Margaret Andrews, PhD. "The nursing faculty is working diligently to provide high quality, affordable and accessible online education."

Within UM-Flint graduate education programs, there are several online or mixed mode options, including Education Specialist EdS (mixed mode), Doctor of Education EdD (mixed mode), an MA in Mathematics Education for Elementary & Early Childhood Educators (mixed mode), Master of Arts in Educational Technology (fully online), and an MA in Literacy Education (fully online), Master of Arts in Inclusive Education (fully online), and Master of Arts in Secondary Education with certification (mixed mode).

Education Department chair Mary Jo Finney, PhD, said the recognition speaks to the skills of the education faculty.

"You have to reach across the technology to help students feel connected and engaged. Our faculty are doing an incredible job at this," Finney said.

Both rankings factored in student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, admissions selectivity, student services, and technology.

UM-Flint first started online programs in 2000.

"As an early adopter of distance education, we've had significant growth and will likely hit 18,000 individual course enrollments from 35 different states this year," said Deborah White, director of the UM-Flint Office of Extended Learning.

"And that doesn't count the thousands of enrollments in hybrid courses that combine face-to-face class sessions with online course work. We provide a lot of instructional design support, but our success is due to the faculty who have embraced both the technology and the more time-consuming dedication required in online teaching. Last year, 41 percent of our faculty taught a fully online course, and 15 percent taught only online. And we're picking up steam; we have 26 online and hybrid programs, and hundreds of individual online courses, with more in the works."

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