Many of Southeastern University’s online graduate degree programs received national recognition this week as U.S. News & World Report recognized them among the top 100 programs in the country.

The College of Education’s online graduate programs were ranked No. 71 out of nearly 200 schools for Best Online Graduate Education Programs, while the College of Business & Legal Studies’ MBA program was ranked No. 79 in the list of Best Online Graduate Business Programs. Southeastern was the top-rated private school from Florida on both lists.

Dr. Joe Childs, dean of the College of Business & Legal Studies, said it was the first time the MBA program has been included in the rankings. He credited the faculty for their commitment to interacting with students online.

“One of the greatest ranking indicators is student engagement,” he said. “Our faculty demonstrates best practices by interacting with students through our Moodle-based online platform on a regular basis through prompt feedback, threaded discussions, individual coaching.”

Dr. Childs emphasized that all College of Business faculty members have terminal degrees and many years of experience in their fields. They have designed engaging curriculum that includes a variety of learning experiences such as short video lectures, case study analysis, readings, discussion boards, simulations, and personal tutoring from the instructors.

“Smaller class sizes and personal attention from faculty help us to standout,” he said.

The College of Education offers numerous online graduate degrees, including Master of Education programs in Elementary Education, Educational Leadership, and Arts & Academic Interdisciplinary Education. The college will be adding new master’s programs in Reading Education, Exceptional Student Education (ESE), and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) that will be available online in Fall 2013.

Dr. Doug Roth, dean of the College of Education, noted that only large state schools – University of Florida, Florida State, and University of South Florida – were rated higher than Southeastern among schools in Florida for Education programs.

“This is a tribute to our outstanding COE faculty and graduate students and the commitment to excellence that is at the core of our SEU leadership team,” he said. “We are also blessed to call Lakeland home to our university. This setting allows us to recruit excellent professors and develop quality programs.”

The College of Education will offer Southeastern’s first doctoral program, Doctor of Education (Ed.D), beginning in summer of 2014. That program will include online learning in the curriculum, along with summer intensive courses.

For more information on how the U.S. News rankings were developed, click here.