The robust job market experienced nationally in major job centers, such as Charlotte and Raleigh, has led individuals to pursue online degrees at a higher rate than face-to-face enrollment, as this allows students to more easily attend college while working. Between 2012 and 2016, graduate enrollment in exclusively online programs increased by approximately 28 percent while online undergraduate enrollment increased by 9.5 percent, according to EAB.
UNC Charlotte has been responding to this trend through more online offerings, including some fully online degree programs. UNC Charlotte was recognized recently by two independent college ranking organizations for program quality.
The Cato College of Education online master’s programs are ranked in the top 10 percent of programs nationally in the 2020-21 U.S. News & World Report rankings. The college checks in at 28th out of 309 total online graduate education programs nationwide, ascending a significant 50 spots in the rankings following a redesign of its graduate certificate programs. The graduate special education program is ranked seventh overall, improving eight spots and raising its profile as a national leader in the field.
To compile the rankings of online education programs, U.S. News & World Report considers faculty engagement, services and technologies, expert opinion, faculty credentials and training and student excellence
“We are very proud of our online master’s in education programs and the faculty who have worked diligently, often seeking professional development themselves, to deliver these programs using best practices for online learning,” said Teresa Petty, interim dean of the Cato College of Education. “An online learning platform allows us to reach students geographically removed from the university, as well as those seeking a flexible program. Our courses are embedded with current technologies to fully engage students in the online learning environment.”
In addition, UNC Charlotte’s online fire administration degree was ranked No. 10 nationally by Online Schools Report. Its methodology is based on student satisfactions, admission rate, online presence, program popularity, department size and median debt.
UNC Charlotte programs also were included in the 2020 rankings by Intelligent.com, whose scoring system includes student engagement, potential return on investment and leading third-party evaluations. Intelligent.com analyzed hundreds of schools with comparable programs on a scale of 0 to 100, with UNC Charlotte making it to the final list for eight degree programs. They are:
- Master's in Online Teaching Degree Programs | Ranked No. 17
- Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Degree Programs | Ranked No. 17
- Master's in Reading and Literacy Degree Programs | Ranked No. 17
- Master's In Engineering Management Degree Programs | Ranked No. 18
- Electrical Engineering Degree Programs | Ranked No. 43
- Master's in Educational Technology Degree Programs | Ranked No. 25
- Master's in Elementary Education Degree Programs | Ranked No. 27
- Master's in Secondary Education Degree Programs | Ranked No. 36