U.S. News gives high marks to online bachelor degree programs

The Misericordia University Center for Adult and Continuing Education’s online bachelor degree programs are ranked 17th in the country in the areas of student engagement and assessment, according to the U.S. News and World Report’s first-ever national ranking of online educational programs.

“The rankings are specifically designed to provide students with the information they need to make informed decisions about online learning programs,” the magazine stated in the announcement. “Strong online bachelor’s degree programs give students many ways to interact with their fellow students and instructors, and have faculty who clearly and thoroughly assess students’ class work.”

The rankings included 196 online bachelor's degree programs, all of which are regionally accredited and offer at least 80 percent of their content online.

“All faculty who teach online courses for Misericordia are required to be trained in the navigation and building of online courses,” said Barbara Leggat, acting director of the Misericordia Center for Adult and Continuing Education. “We know that to create a successful online class you need to meet the needs of various learning styles and offer a cohesive learning environment that gets the students involved and engaged in the class work. All our courses offer some group activity or component, such as discussion posts and group projects, to help students become an active part of the classroom community.”

Misericordia University has a successful history of offering online courses and programs since the early 1990’s when the university’s first course and master’s degree program in organizational management was introduced online.

Today, Misericordia University offers six bachelor’s degree completion programs fully online. They are: business administration, diagnostic medical sonography, health care management, medical imaging, professional studies and the popular RN to BSN program. The university also offers four graduate programs fully online, including master of business administration, doctorate in occupational therapy, a management track of organizational management, and a transitional doctorate in physical therapy, as well as online certificate programs in health care informatics, health care management and geriatric care management.

Among the indicators included in the ranking process were the amount of collaborative assignments, faculty response time to a posted question, the length of time the faculty member was accessible in real-time, anti-plagiarism screening policy, class size, assessment policy adherence, and having exam integrity procedures in place.

“We are very concerned with academic integrity and use SafeAssign, an anti-plagiarism tool, to ensure that papers are original,” adds Leggat. “The university also works hard to make sure all students are aware of the course and degree program expectations, an important factor to ensure student success.”

For more information on the courses and degree programs Misericordia University offers online, please go to and click on Online Programs, or call (570) 674-6791.