NMU ranked No. 1 in affordable online degrees

Emily Pagel

According to Affordable Colleges Online, Northern Michigan University was ranked No. 1 for most affordable online degree programs in colleges and universities across Michigan.

Affordable Colleges Online bases their rankings on public and private non profit institutions with full accreditation that focuses specifically on distant learning.

Currently NMU offers seven full online degrees in areas in criminal justice, education, nursing and loss prevention management, with programs in master of public administration (MPA) and more nursing programs being added to the curriculum in fall 2014 semester.

Cindy Paavola, communications and marketing director said Northern is making efforts to reach students for online education

“We have students from all over the place who come to Northern for the online learning because they’re known for being quality programs. A lot of times people who far from in the world have an NMU tie like they are from the U.P. and they know of Northern or they are an alum but they are gaining a reputation for being really quality program for an affordable price.”

Paul Lang,  provost and vice president for academic affairs said many of the online programs derived from department wants for a specific program.

“Well normally it kind of bubbles up from the departments, sometimes the administration tries to  encourage that a well but the departments make the final decisions in offering programs online.”

According to Lang, NMU is in the works of offering more online degrees for Fall semester.

“Right now, under construction we have a new master’s degree program in clinical sciences that is going from the universities pipeline to get approved and that would start in August 2014,” Lang said. “We’re also looking at the School of Education,  Leadership and Public Service and they’re developing a student personal services master’s program.”

Lang said he is enthusiastic for the online degree programs NMU offers for students.

“I think it really provides a tremendous amount of flexibility for the students,” Lang said.  “With the different ways faculty are approaching online teaching today the quality of those experiences are just as good as the experiences with faculty in the classroom.”

“I think online education will get bigger and bigger as we head into the future. There’s a lot of good reasons for students to look at online education as an alternative to more traditional in room experiences.”

According to Lang, Northern is working towards a hybrid education method that would run alongside with the online degrees and be implimented in the nursing degree as well as other online programs.

“A hybrid program means that a student would go into the classroom with a faculty member for the first two weeks of the semester and then the rest of their course would be taken in an online protocol,” Lang said. “At the end of the semester the student would come back and finish with the faculty and other students in their program. It’s a very successful model that’s being used across the country and I can see us moving forward in that direction.”

Paavola said students can expect to see more online derees in the future from NMU.

“We’ve got some experience but we certainly would like to grow more online programs over the next few years. There’s a lot of online courses so one of our goals is to have more complete programs online in the future.”

 

Took look at the Location ranking, please click here