A company that works with industry experts to rank products recently gave the University of Houston-Victoria an award for having the best online student body in the nation and the fifth best affordable online college.
Rankings.com listed UHV at No. 5 in its 2016 Best Affordable Online College Awards and gave the university an Editor’s Award for the highest score in the online student body category.
“UHV’s robust online degree opportunities have been a source of pride for this institution for many years,” UHV President Vic Morgan said. “Whether a student takes just one course online or all their classes online, they know they will have an informative and engaging experience. It’s nice to see our students and programs earn recognition with these national honors.”
Rankings.com started by identifying every accredited institution offering fully online bachelor’s degrees, as reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. The company then established a number of minimum requirements to narrow the list, along with five core metrics used to assess each school: tuition, the number of online programs, the online student body, academics and the school’s selectivity. With those protocols in place, the top-20 schools were identified.
On a scale of 1 to 10, UHV received a 9.8 for its online student body, the highest score of any institution. UHV also scored 9 out of 10 for its number of online programs. Only two schools scored higher in the quantity of online programs.
All of the UHV School of Business Administration’s undergraduate and graduate degrees can be completed online. Online Bachelor of Business Administration students view lectures and complete assignments on Blackboard Learn 9. Faculty members also use Adobe Connect and other software to enhance online interactions.
The UHV School of Arts & Sciences offers 12 programs online, such as bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and psychology.
The UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development is offering a new primarily online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree this fall. All the courses are online except for two 45-hour practice learning experiences. In addition, nearly all of the school’s graduate programs and certifications can be completed online.
Nearly 75 percent of all UHV undergraduate students in fall 2015 took at least one course online.
A total of 1,093 UHV undergraduate students took all of their courses online in the fall. An additional 1,177 undergraduate students took a combination of online and face-to-face courses. More than 90 percent of UHV’s 1,120 graduate students took at least one online class in the fall.
“One of the reasons we’ve been successful in distance education is the ability to offer so many programs that are in demand,” said Don Smith, UHV interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The combination of quantity and quality has made UHV attractive to online students across the country and around the world.”
Based in Seattle, Rankings.com works with industry experts to rank and award the top products and resources in different areas. Donna Gardner Liljegren, a dean of online enrollment at Aurora University in Illinois, led the research for the Best Affordable Online College awards.
UHV had the top ranking among the three Texas schools that made the top-20 list.