Online Program Ranked 8th Nationally for Student Engagement

Palm Beach Atlantic earned the #8 spot citing teaching practices and student engagement for bachelor’s degree programs in the first-ever edition of Top Online Education Program rankings by U.S.News & World Report.

Online bachelor’s degree programs as well as graduate online degree programs in business, engineering, nursing, education, and computer information technology were ranked.

These rankings were created in response to today’s high demand for education provided in a flexible manner. With many distractions to detract from one’s schooling, online education has become increasingly popular due to its flexibility.

U.S. News ranks Palm Beach Atlantic University's online program 8th in the nation in terms of student engagement. PBA is a private, accredited Christ-centered college in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

“Our philosophy has been to ensure that the online courses meet the same high quality standards as our on-campus courses, including the integration of Christian principles,” said Provost Dr. Joseph A. Kloba. “This recognition affirms our approach to online learning and recognizes the efforts of PBA’s Director of Online Learning, Patricia Bassett, and her team of online professionals, which includes three course designers, a technical assistant and a media production technician. They have worked with more than 160 full-time and 120 part-time faculty to familiarize them with the components of online learning.”

While U.S. News has applied some of its rankings standards used for traditional schools, many new measures have been developed and were used to evaluate online programs. In order to be considered for the rankings, online degree programs needed to have at least 80 percent of their course content available online.

Online bachelor’s degree programs were ranked in three different categories: student engagement and assessment, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. The online master’s degree programs were ranked in similar categories, but were evaluated on student engagement and accreditation as opposed to assessment. There was also a separate indicator ranking for admissions selectivity.

There were no numeric rankings for overall program quality this inaugural year. Instead, U.S. News created non-numeric honor roll lists of online programs. There is one honor roll for online bachelor's degree programs and one each for the master's degree programs, excluding computer information technology. Each list includes programs that performed well across a series of numeric indicator rankings.

Data was collected from both for-profit and not-for-profit schools. For more information about the rankings methodology, please go to

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