Kent State Master’s in Education Programs Ranked by U.S. News

Jordan Bryski, Reporter

Kent State’s Master’s in Education programs ranked in the top 40 percent among public institutions by U.S. News.

This is the fifth year Kent State’s online graduate education programs have been ranked by U.S. News, according to a press release from the university.

The College of Education, Health and Human Services graduate programs had the largest headcount in spring 2021 with 1,334 students. EHHS had a 1.2 percent increase with 1,350 students for the spring 2022 semester.

In the past few years, EHHS increased the online programs offered, said Stephen Mitchell, the associate dean for administrative affairs and graduate education.

“When I first became associate dean, we had two online graduate degree programs. … We went from two to now we have eight,” he said. “So, we’ve increased our online programs at a rate of about one per year.”

Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services offers online M.Ed. degrees in six areas: Curriculum and Instruction, Cultural Foundations, Education Psychology, Research, Measurement and Statistics, Educational Technology and Special Education.

Among the six M.Ed. degrees offered, the Education Psychology M.Ed. degree is only offered fully online.

In addition, the Special Education M.Ed. degree is only offered online when declaring a General Special Education concentration.

The Curriculum and Instruction degree is only offered online when declaring a Curriculum and Teaching Studies concentration or Mathematics Education concentration.

EHHS also offers an online Master of Science degree in hospitality and tourism management and an online Doctor of Education degree in interprofessional leadership.

“This is the first doctorate in education at the university,” Mitchell said.

When creating online programs, colleges and departments oversee their own curriculum. However, the Office of Continuing & Distance Education has designers who work one on one with faculty to help design courses.

“Within our college here, we have staff that specialize in providing distance learning support,” Mitchell said. “They are critical to us being able to deliver programs effectively.”

For almost two decades, Valerie Kelly, the associate vice president for the Office of Continuing & Distance Education, has worked with online programs and is a big believer in the benefits that online programs can offer.

The office uses research and internal best practices from specific departments for online courses. They also work with national organizations including Quality Matters. They have a rubric that the school uses to underpin all the work they do, Kelly said.

“Quality Matters has done a lot of work on best practices for design for online classes,” Kelly said.

While online courses struggle with offering a personal presence and connecting with students in certain ways, this can lead to advantages, Kelly said.

“It creates an atmosphere where instructors can rethink what they’re doing,” she said. “If students seem detached and really don’t seem to be getting the passion for the subject, instructors have to go back and rethink how they’re presenting information.”

Jordan Bryski is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]