University Park, Pa. — Penn State's online campus, the World Campus, is the No. 1 online institution for 2011, and the University's portfolio of online information sciences and technology degrees also is No. 1 nationally among information technology (IT) degrees, according to The Best Colleges. A third online program, the MBA program (iMBA), ranks No. 9 among the 25 Best Online MBA Degree Programs. The Best Colleges produces independent evaluations of colleges and universities to aid prospective students. World Campus leads the Top 25 Online Colleges and Universities list, while Penn State's associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in information sciences and technology put the University in first place in the Top 10 Best Colleges for Online Information Technology Degrees list.
"We appreciate the recognition from The Best Colleges of Penn State's online campus as a leader in providing a high-quality education in convenient learning formats for working adults worldwide," said Craig D. Weidemann, Penn State vice president for Outreach. "Being chosen No. 1 is gratifying and a testament to the dedicated Penn State faculty and staff who help make a Penn State education possible for so many adult learners."
The Best Colleges states that "with the combination of outstanding student satisfaction indicators, high peer and instructional quality, a wide diversity of degree programs and a world-class reputation, Penn State World Campus tops our list of the best online colleges and universities for 2011."
The first online courses debuted at Penn State in 1998. Today, Penn State's World Campus offers more than 70 graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs in convenient online formats to more than 8,500 students worldwide.
Nationally, online enrollments continue to outpace on-campus enrollments, according to a 2010 Sloan Consortium report. Online learning grew at 21 percent last year, compared with 2 percent growth in the overall higher education student population. In fall 2009, about 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course.
At Penn State, the College of Information Sciences and Technology's three degree programs, delivered online through the World Campus—the associate in science in information sciences and technology, bachelor of science in information sciences and technology and master of professional studies in information sciences—"are designed to provide students with the theoretical foundation and skills needed to integrate information technology into different systems to improve their performance," The Best College states. The organization considered only fully accredited online institutions in its evaluation of IT programs, also looking at school reputation, student satisfaction, peer and instructional quality and affordability. For more information, visit the degree websites or call 800-252-3592.
Penn State's iMBA is "an excellent program at a reasonable cost," according to The Best Colleges, which evaluated its rankings on perceived prestige based on awards, rankings and reputation, as well as academic quality and affordability. Penn State's iMBA program is designed for professionals who have work experience in a wide variety of fields and seek to position themselves for growth in the global economic environment. The online iMBA curriculum is well suited for people with undergraduate degrees in any field. For more information, visit the Penn State iMBA website or call 877-574-4622.
Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 70 of Penn State's most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education, which serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.