HAYS, Kan. — Online bachelor’s degree programs from Fort Hays State University are still No. 1 in Kansas in the 2018 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings from U.S. News & World Report.
FHSU and the University of Kansas were the only Kansas institutions to be listed by the magazine in its graduate nursing program ranking. Fort Hays State was No. 35 in the nation in that category.
FHSU was also ranked 35th in the nation in the 2018 report for online bachelor’s programs. The university also ranked high in two other categories of the eight covered in the online rankings. FHSU was No. 62 in best online graduate education programs and No. 108 in best online MBA programs.
“These rankings are indicative of the commitment Fort Hays State University and our faculty have made to meet the needs of place-bound students in Kansas, throughout the United States, and around the world,” said Dr. Jeff Briggs, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Citizens can receive a meaningful education from anywhere in the world through our Virtual College programs.”
According to a recent report in the Digest of Education Statistics, the number of colleges and universities in the United States is more than 4,500.
The other four programs in the U.S. News list, not offered by the FHSU Virtual College, are graduate business, non-MBA; graduate engineering; graduate criminal justice; and graduate computer information technology.
The four programs offered by Fort Hays State are among a total of 51 degree programs offered through the FHSU Virtual College – 31 undergraduate, 16 master’s, one doctorate, one specialist and two associate degrees. Many emphases are available across the range of programs.
U.S. News based its bachelor’s degree ratings on student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, and peer reputation. Student engagement was given the most weight, at 35 percent. The student services and technology weighting was 25 percent, and the remaining two were given 20 percent.
For graduate education programs, student engagement again was given the most weight, 35 percent. In that category, student services and technology was given 20 percent, and admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training, and peer reputation each received a 15-percent weighting.
For MBA programs, student engagement was weighted at 28 percent. Admissions selectivity and peer reputation were each rated at 25 percent; faculty credentials and training was weighted at 11 percent, as was student services and technology.
Graduate nursing programs criteria also gave student engagement the greatest weight at 30 percent. Faculty credentials and training and peer reputation were each weighted at 20 percent, and admissions selectivity and student services and technology were each given 15 percent.
About the FHSU Virtual College
Distance education at Fort Hays State began in 1911 when faculty voted to offer courses free by mail so that one-room school teachers across western Kansas could afford to gain the continuing education required to teach. The distance education department created then evolved continuously with changing technology and culture until, in 1997, the Department of Continuing Education and Instructional Technology became the FHSU Virtual College.