By David West
NATCHITOCHES – Five online academic programs at Northwestern State University have been ranked in the top 10 in the nation for quality and affordability by websites focusing on higher education.
NSU’s master’s level nurse practitioner program was named the third best program in the nation by onlinemasters.com. The master’s in adult learning and development was ranked as third most affordable program in the country by collegechoice.net and gradschoolhub.com and the 10th best overall program by collegechoice.net.Two concentrations in Master of Arts in English were ranked for affordability. The writing and linguistics concentration was ranked as the fourth most affordable by gradschoolhub.com. The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages concentration was ranked eighth by topeducationdegrees.org. Gradschoolhub.com ranked the masters in homeland security as the sixth most affordable in the U.S.
The master’s nurse practitioner program rankings are based on academic quality, student success and affordability. The program was noted for being the oldest MSN program in the survey.
The nurse practitioner program offers additional concentrations in adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, primary care pediatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner across the lifespan and women’s health nurse practitioner.
“NSU’s MSN faculty are doing exactly what we want them to be doing: creating some of the best, most academically advanced Nurse Practitioners in the U.S.,” said Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health. “What makes this ranking even better is the affordability evaluation. It is wonderful to be able to say that our graduates are immediately employable, recruited for lucrative jobs at graduation, and because of our low tuition/fees are incurring little to no debt.”
The Graduate Program in Writing & Linguistics is designed to prepare students for writing professional texts in the workplace—in a job, career, or vocation. Professional writing is intended for publication – either public or private use – in print/electronic text or in the audio/visual modes of communication. Students in this area can study and practice a wide variety of written and spoken text genres.
The Graduate Program in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is intended to equip the student with the knowledge and training necessary to teach, both in the U.S. and overseas, the English language to children and adults whose first (native) language is not English. The program is designed for students who wish to teach English in an educational organization other than the U.S. public school system.
“We are pleased to have two of our programs recognized—the graduate program in TESOL and the graduate program in writing & linguistics,” said Dr. Jim Mischler, head of the Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies. “These programs continue to serve the educational needs of our region for highly-trained ESL teachers and professional writers, skills needed in a wide variety of public and private organizations around the world. We thank Grad School Hub for their work to identify and celebrate the accomplishments of professional preparation programs like ours.”
The master’s in adult learning and development is designed for persons providing or managing adult learning activities in diverse settings such as workforce development, business, higher education, secondary education, e-learning and government.
According to Dr. Bill Morrison, coordinator of adult learning and development programs, the adult learning and development concentration in e-learning and adult and workforce development was recently redesigned to reflect a reorientation of course content to meet the needs of today’s workforce and dynamically changing workplace with its rapidly evolving technology and shifting of learning preferences to the online environment.
“The redesign was driven by market and needs assessment meetings with local, regional and state foundations, economic development groups, community colleges, university staff, chamber of commerce groups, and grant funding agencies,” said Morrison. “The redesign is a response to shifts in the adult learning space over the past few years. Adult learning has moved from the traditional adult education focus of developing educators for the adult literacy and high-school equivalency fields, with only a secondary emphasis on workplace learning and professional development to an equal emphasis on human development in the workplace and lifelong learning in all contexts.”
The Northwestern State Master of Science in Homeland Security degree is designed to provide graduates with the capabilities to analyze and understand the emerging challenges of evolving security conditions on the domestic and international stage. From the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to the current National Security Strategy, students will gain a distinct appreciation for the complexities of homeland security organizations, leadership, policies, ethics and challenges, through the review of pertinent literature, critical thinking, research and reflective analysis and evaluation. The degree is unique in that it pushes students to develop plausible solutions to the inexorable national, international, and transnational, threats currently challenging global security through the innovative delivery of transformative student learning experiences which prepare our graduates for life and career success in this ever growing occupational field.
“Being included in these rankings reflects the hard work by many involved in making our degree a success,” said Dr. Mark Osborn Melder, head of the Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences. “Providing our students with an affordable path to a high-quality, advanced degree is at the core of our program here at NSU. We fulfill the needs of our civilian, military, police and homeland security communities by addressing all facets of the challenges inherent in this field, utilizing faculty with real-world expertise and the experience to provide the knowledge and skills that are most in demand.”
For more information on online programs at Northwestern State, go to nsula.edu/ensu.