Western New Mexico University’s School of Education was recently earned the top slot in a ranking of Best Online Master’s Degrees in Teaching developed by Early-Childhood-Education-Degrees.com. The site rated master’s in teaching programs according to affordability, flexibility and academic prestige and found that WNMU offers a fully online, field-based program for the lowest cost.
“We’re proud of the ranking,” said School of Education Associate Dean Dr. Debra J. Dirksen.
The ranking was determined by measuring the estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour rate and researching the accreditation status of each university.
Programs highest on the list have the most flexibility-granting components, as Early-Childhood-Education-Degrees.com included institutions that allow for a variety of specializations, give credit to students with prior experience, offer accelerated courses, and permit students to take synchronous or asynchronous coursework. Early-Childhood-Education-Degrees.com also took into account any accolades from other prominent rating associations and educational organizations.
“Our top 10 online tracks are all highly flexible, affordable, and customizable to accommodate a variety of distance learners. All courses are designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working professionals and adult learners,” Early-Childhood-Education-Degrees.com said. “Through WNMU’s Canvas learning platform, students have easy access to instructors, group discussion boards, live chat rooms, video conferencing, tech support, and more.”
WNMU’s online master’s in teaching requires between 27 and 48 credits, depending on education tracks and experience level. The program combines hands-on experience with scholarly reflection.
“In our field-based program, students practice in the real world while still being able to learn through courses online,” Dirksen said.
She said Western New Mexico University’s faculty members are student-focused and work to engage students in online classes. “They actually learn the content rather than just reading about it. If they don’t master something right away, they’re given feedback and the opportunity to improve.”
More than 50 percent of the WNMU students in teacher education are enrolled in the now top-ranking program. “This is our largest population,” Dirksen said.
Despite this list being on Early-Childhood-Education-Degrees.com, WNMU’s Early Childhood Education program is for undergraduates.
“However, WNMU is nationally recognized for its on-campus Child Development Center, which the School of Education uses as a lab school,” Dirksen said.