Feb 5, 2008

DLP ranked third in nation out of 41 schools

by Brandon Gallagher
Liberty University’s Distance Learning Program was recently ranked third by the Online Educational Database (OEDb), which ranked 41 schools across the nation who have most or all of their instruction through online methods. “This ranking helps Liberty meet its mission,” said Ronald S. Kennedy, executive director of distance learning and graduate studies. “This is a great branding and recruiting tool for the university as a whole.” The rankings evaluate a school’s online program based on eight different metrics: financial aid, acceptance rate, peer Web citations, retention rate, graduation rate, scholarly citations, student-faculty ratio and years accredited. Upper Iowa University placed first in the rankings, followed by LeTourneau University. This was Liberty’s first time placing. Other schools of note on the list include Regent University (seventh), Westwood College (ninth), Colorado Technical University (15th), ITT Technical University (16th), Kaplan University (17th) and the University of Phoenix (25th). Liberty’s DLP currently enrolls 23,000 students and, by July 1, will support over 26,000 students. The program is a non-profit entity while most other colleges on the list are for-profit entities owned by groups of investors. “Online education is a very competitive industry,” Kennedy said. Over the next few years the program should continue to grow. “Realistically, we can have 50-60,000 students in five years,” Kennedy explained. “The processes are in place to be scaleable from 50,000 up to 75,000 students.” “I really have enjoyed my experience with Liberty’s Distance Learning Program,” Joshua Norman said. Norman is a full-time DLP student currently working on his degree in business management. “I wasn’t able to fit traditional on campus classes into my schedule,” he said, “but with Liberty’s DLP, I can do the work whenever I can find time and still pursue the degree I want.” The program is ideal for people who do not have the time in their schedule or the means to attend college in person. Online education has exploded over the last decade due to the flexibility it offers, as well as its cost-effective nature. Contact Brandon Gallagher at bmgallagher@liberty.edu.
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