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Press Release for Wednesday, January 8, 2014

U.S. News and World Report Names UNF Best Online Graduate Education Program

Media Contact: Joanna Norris
Director of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida is among the hundreds of higher education institutions included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best Online Programs rankings released today. UNF is ranked in the Top 75 in the country for “Best Online Graduate Education Programs,” which includes data of nearly 1,000 distance education programs nationwide.

This report, available on both on and, provides education seekers who want to pursue a degree online with a comprehensive listing of the nation’s top programs.

UNF is the only local higher education institution listed among the rankings in this category, which comprises five Florida public state universities, including the University of South Florida, No. 36; University of Florida, 47; Florida State University, 61, and Florida International University, 145.

All of the 2014 Best Online Programs are scored from 0 to 100, and the results are scaled so that the No. 1 program (or programs) receives a score of 100. This allows for ties and makes comparisons between the 2013 and 2014 scores invalid.

“It’s very rewarding to have U.S. News & World Report rank our online programs in education among the best in the nation,” said Dr. Larry Daniel, dean of the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) at UNF. “Faculty in our online programs is committed to this form of program delivery and has developed course materials and teaching methods that are second to none.”

Daniel says there are a number of factors that have contributed to the success of these programs. First, UNF and the COEHS have brought the same level of rigor and student service to its online degree programs as the University offers its students who complete degrees on campus. Secondly, the University’s online students are highly qualified, do exceptionally well in coursework and have an extremely high rate of retention in degree completion.

“The University intends to further develop its distance learning offerings in a way that meets student needs for high quality programming delivered in ways that are both accessible and effective,” said Dr. Len Roberson, dean of The Graduate School and assistant vice president of Academic Technology at UNF.

UNF is leading the way in distance learning for interpreter education with distance students from around the United States and Europe. Within the COEHS, the University’s ASL/English Interpreting graduate program offers a Master’s degree in Interpreting Pedagogy, which combines fully online courses with intensive face-to-face learning in the summer. Nationally, this program is one of only two master’s degrees in interpreter pedagogy.

The University’s online graduate education programs include Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Science in American Sign Language/English Interpreting, Master of Education in Special Education: Autism Track, Master of Education in Educational Leadership: Instructional Technology Track, Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, RN-BSN Bridge Track, Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education, Graduate Certificate in Sport Management and Graduate Certificate in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

U.S. News’ Best Online Programs rankings are unique in that they assess only the online programs themselves, not the colleges or universities at which they are based. Data regarding campus-based factors unrelated to the institution’s distance learning program aren’t included in the evaluation. This ensures that the report assesses the online programs on their merits alone.

This latest recognition comes on the heels of UNF receiving several other national designations, including Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2014, Top Colleges in Florida: Shaping the Next Generation by College Database, Best Regional University by U.S. News & World Report, Best in the Southeast and Best Value College, both by Princeton Review, and Top Florida College for Return on Investment by The College Database.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.