Ratings affirm quality of online learning experience, service to military

February 01, 2013

Saint Leo University’s online education programs are among the top in the nation, according to two 2013 rankings.

The Guide to Online Schools, an annual ranking that lists schools based on overall quality and affordability, places Saint Leo University at number 18. The data and statistics used in this ranking are compiled from The National Center for Education Statistics--the primary governmental department responsible for gathering education-related data.

The guide used five criteria to rank schools: recommendation rates (student feedback), cost of tuition, retention rate, repayment rate (percentage of students who pay back their loans within the allotted time), and accreditation (Saint Leo is regionally accredited).

The U.S. News & World Report's “2013 Best Online Education Report” puts Saint Leo’s undergraduate bachelor’s degree programs within the top fourth of the 237 participating regionally accredited for-profit, private and public institutions that grant bachelor’s degrees through online degree programs.

U.S. News used faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, and student engagement as its criteria for determining the virtual undergraduate programs rankings.

“This recognition clearly indicates that Saint Leo is a national leader for online learning, and that is a direct result of our commitment to our mission and core values,” said Vice President of Enrollment and Online Programs Kathryn McFarland.

“Our outstanding faculty and staff are dedicated to ensuring that Saint Leo provides a student-centered environment for all learners, whether that environment is online or on campus, and to educating for the 21st century. In everything that we do, we are guided by our commitment to excellence, community, respect, personal development, responsible stewardship, and integrity. The result is a university that continues to grow and expand even during times of economic challenge,” she said.

Additionally, Saint Leo University was once again named to Military Advanced Education magazine’s annual Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities. The Guide appears in the January issue.

Among the attributes considered in evaluating this year’s institutions for inclusion in the Guide are the flexibility of online learning options, extent of transfer credits accepted by degree level, on-campus ROTC, Servicemember Opportunity Colleges (SOC) participation, on-campus active duty/veteran assistance, the support provided to the families of servicemembers, faculty trained in veteran reintegration issues, presence on military installations, and full-time counselors trained in veteran-specific mental health concerns, to name but a few.

“The Guide has become an invaluable tool for both education services officers (ESOs) and transition officers (TOs) when advising servicemembers and their families about degree and certification opportunities currently available from institutions of higher learning,” said Laural Hobbes, MAE’s editor.

In 2013, Saint Leo University is celebrating the 40th anniversary of educating those who have served our country in the military, in addition to family members of armed forces members, and veterans.