The U.S. News & World Report recognized UNC Charlotte as one of the top universities in the nation for its online education program.
This will be the fifth consecutive year the USNWR has recognized the University for its program. Asher Haines, associate provost at the school of professional studies, said, "Our online programs are flexible, affordable, and designed to fit into students' busy schedules."
USNWR ranks schools' online education programs on engagement, services and technologies, faculty credentials and training and expert opinion. The University received an 83 out of 100 for faculty credentials and training. "We have a top-notch team of instructional designers and media specialists that work with faculty to build high-quality courses," Haines said.
Haines said the University provided its first academic online programs in 2000 and now has over 50 online programs.
Along with being ranked in USNWR, the University was also recognized by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in 2021 for their COVID-19 pandemic response. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities said, "student success was prioritized by UNC Charlotte units working at lightning speed, with remarkable agility, to move to emergency remote learning and services within days in spring 2020."
The Center for Teaching and Learning has a role in ensuring a high-quality experience for students and professors. According to the Center for Teaching and Learning's webpage, the center "enhances the University's mission of teaching and learning excellence, provides enterprise-level instructional technologies, and champions the advancement of scholarly teaching."
According to Haines, the University has been offering online academic programs since 2000 and now has over 50 programs. "UNC Charlotte ranks in the top 2% in the world for the number of Quality Matters certified courses," Haines said. The University also has the most Quality Matters courses, and the most Quality Matters trained staff in the University of North Carolina system.
The Quality Matters program is a process that institutions continuously follow to achieve the best quality courses possible. "Using the QM Quality Assurance System even in one area, or one course, begins to instill a "culture of quality" throughout the organization," the Quality Matters webpage said.
The pandemic has highlighted the University's online education program. "UNC Charlotte was nationally recognized by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities with a 2021 Excellence in Innovation Award for our [COVID-19] response," Haines said. According to Haines, the adaptability and care of the faculty and staff allowed the University to transition from in-person to online learning effectively.
"Look for us to continue to invest in high-quality course design and pedagogy, faculty training and development, and student services and support," Haines said.