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National website acknowledges UHV adult, higher education program

The University of Houston-Victoria’s Master of Education in adult & higher education recently received a ranking from a national website for the program’s academic quality, affordability and student success.

OnlineMasters.com listed UHV as 22nd out of 45 institutions included in its 2019 Best Online Master’s in Higher Education Programs list. To determine the ranking, the website examined every higher education program in the nation using a myriad of factors to create a score for each institution’s program.

Fred Litton

“This ranking is an excellent endorsement of the adult and higher education program,” said Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “These rankings help raise the program’s visibility and spread the word about the excellent education available at UHV.”

The factors that determined rankings were divided into three areas that each made up a certain percentage of the program’s score. Affordability made up 20 percent of the score and looked at the average net cost of the program, such as tuition, textbooks and other enrollment costs, as well as the percent of students who took out loans and how many defaulted on loans. UHV’s annual graduate tuition for a Texas resident taking 18 hours is $6,154.

Another area considered in the ranking is the program’s academic quality. This portion makes up 40 percent of the score and looks at enrollment, retention and graduation rates; whether the program is offered online; and the faculty’s credentials and training. UHV’s overall enrollment for fall 2018 was 4,381 students.

The third group of factors used to assess UHV’s program was student success, which constituted 40 percent of the ranking and looked at the school’s graduate reputation, student engagement through instructor accessibility, and student services and technology. 

Joann Olson

UHV’s program is unique because it is completely online and offers a blended approach to adult education and higher education, said Joann Olson, UHV associate professor of adult & higher education. At UHV, students have the option to explore adult learning along a certain track, but they also learn there are areas of overlap between what many institutions consider to be two distinct fields of study. 

“Institutions of higher education are increasingly responding to the needs of adult learners,” Olson said. “Adult educators of all stripes – such as GED instructors, literacy volunteers and community educators – are increasingly recognizing that many adults start or re-start their educational journeys with the goal of eventually attaining a college-level credential. Serving today’s students well means equipping today’s educators in both realms – higher education and adult education.”

Because many of UHV’s students already are working in adult education or higher education settings, faculty members make sure the curriculum and courses are current and relevant, Olson said. She has heard students say, “I’m using what I learned in class right now on my job.”

In addition to learning about their current areas, the program also encourages students to expand their knowledge of the adult and higher education fields and how they overlap, Olson said. Students are challenged to read research about adult learners and higher education to help them better understand how the fields are developing and changing.

To learn more about the program, contact Olson at 361-570-4214 or olsonj@uhv.edu.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All Initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student popular, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.