NATCHITOCHES — Northwestern State University’s online programs were ranked 14th in the country in OnlineU.org’s list of the 2015 Best Value Online College Rankings. Northwestern State’s programs in accounting, business, nursing and psychology were each in the top 10 in their field. NSU was the only Louisiana institution to rank among the top 25 Best Value Online Colleges.
The site used several factors in determining the rankings including tuition cost, non-profit status, student loan repayment rate, accreditation, student services, student review rates and program selections. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Federal Student Aid Office and GradReports.com were used.
The accounting program was ranked fourth. Students in the program study accounting information systems, taxes, managerial accounting, auditing, cost accounting, and governmental accounting. The availability of students who have earned associate degrees to easily transfer credits through the Louisiana Transfer Degree Program is a strong point of the program.
“We are pleased to receive recognition for the quality and content of our program, something that our students have come to expect,” said Coordinator of Accounting Dr. Nat Briscoe. “Once the requisite courses are completed and the 150-hour requirement is met, the students are qualified to sit for the CPA exam. Currently, the demand for accounting graduates is great, and our majors are highly sought after as evidenced by the employment rate of our graduates in the last several years.”
NSU’s business program was ranked ninth. The site said NSU’s curriculum “offers a variety of upper-level electives which make it possible to tailor the program to fit your professional goals. For example, those preparing for a career related to finance, insurance, or real estate will appreciate the pre-licensing courses available for those particular specialty areas.”
“The majority of our business core courses follow the rigorous Quality Matters standards. We pride ourselves on the fact that there is no difference between the traditional course content and the online course content,” said Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, director of the School of Business. “As a faculty we strive to adhere to rigorous academic standards to assure the quality of our courses. It is rewarding to be able to offer those students who may not be able to sit in a traditional classroom the opportunity to earn their business degrees.”
The nursing program was ranked eighth. According to OnlineU.org, Northwestern State is one of the few schools offering an online doctorate degree in nursing, as well as its online RN to BSN degree. The program offers all of its bachelor’s general education and didactic nursing courses online. Clinical work can be completed at local community centers. “The college’s nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, which recognizes high quality nursing programs,” the site said.
“We are gratified to have others confirm what we have long known about our RN-BSN program. It is one of the best opportunities for working RNs to continue to work and complete their baccalaureate nursing degree-in the state and in the nation,” said Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health. “I am personally a graduate of NSU's RN to BSN program and grateful for the foundation the program provided for me to advance in my nursing career.”
Northwestern State’s psychology program was ranked sixth. Students pursuing this degree may choose a related concentration for substance abuse counselors or prevention specialists in order to obtain certificate of completion. This will aid in gaining certification in substance abuse and prevention counseling. Coursework includes introduction to psychology, statistics, physiological psychology, learning theory, developmental psychology and theory of personality. The bachelor’s degree in addiction studies is also available online.
“We are pleased to gain this national recognition for our online bachelor’s in psychology which recognizes both the affordability and quality of the program,” said Dr. Susan Barnett, head of the Department of Psychology. “Our dedicated faculty work closely with students to help them earn a degree and reach their career objectives.”
Northwestern State offers 36 accredited online degree programs, more than any other not-for-profit college or university in Louisiana. For more information on online programs at Northwestern State, go to ensu.nsula.edu.