Welcome and Instructions
BEST ONLINE BACHELOR'S DEGREE
Online Data Collection
U.S. News Online Data Collection Site
U.S. News & World Report is now collecting data for online bachelor's degrees. If your institution does not offer an online program, you did not receive this survey in error. Your institution should have received this survey if it is regionally accredited and administers a bachelor's degree program.
Question 2 in this survey asks whether an online bachelor's degree program is offered at your institution. Respondents who select 'no' will be locked from accessing the rest of the survey and will be directed to submit their survey with only the questions they completed. Given the proliferation of online learning, this process best enables U.S. News to catalogue which regionally accredited institutions will offer online bachelor's degree programs in the current academic year.
This annual survey is in place of the 'distance learning' survey distributed to a select number of institutions in years past. It includes questions that U.S. News will use to rank online bachelor's degree programs and to develop searchable profiles about each program's requirements and characteristics. These profiles and rankings will introduce your program to prospective students throughout the world.
The deadline to submit this survey is August 13, 2011.
For this survey, when responding to questions that ask about online bachelor's degree ("OBD") students, please calculate your responses only from the universe of students who have enrolled in your institution's online-accessible bachelor's degree courses at any time during the specified time periods.
When responding to questions that ask about online bachelor's degree ("OBD") faculty, please calculate your responses only from the universe of faculty members engaged in your institution's online-accessible bachelor's degree courses at any time during the specified time periods.
If a survey question asks you to restrict your reporting to within a specified time period, please do so involving all unique persons involved at any point during that time period. For example, total students enrolled between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 would be an unduplicated count of all persons who at one time during that 12 month period were enrolled in your online program.
Below are more technical instructions for completing the survey. You can return to this page at any time by clicking the "Welcome and Instructions" tab in the survey's left-hand menu.
Please Print These Instructions
This survey should work in most modern browsers. It has been tested in Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 and Mozilla Firefox 4.0.
Opening the Survey
All recipients of the survey will have received an email from U.S. News and World Report containing a hyperlink to the survey module, and an individualized username and password. (The usernames and passwords are unique to each survey recipient within a program.) You can open the survey by clicking its hyperlink from your email, and entering the username and password in the designated fields. From there, hyperlinks to all discipline-specific surveys you are eligible to complete will appear. (Others at your institution may have received links for surveys in different disciplines.) Click on the link of the survey you would like to complete in order to begin.
Modifying your Name and Password
In the blue banner displayed at the top of the screen, there will be a hyperlink of the email you used to login. Clicking it will navigate you to a page where you can modify your name that U.S. News has listed on file and the password you use to login.
Modifying U.S. News Online Education Survey Contacts
If your institution offers this survey's online education program, and if it would like to add or subtract people who receive communications from U.S. News about online program survey completion in future years, this can be done by completing question 3 in the Contacts section of the survey.
Granting Survey Access to non-Survey Contacts
To grant a colleague access to the survey this year, click the "Access" link in the upper, dark grey menu. This navigates to a page listing all individuals at your institution who currently have access to the survey. Included in this list are initial contacts/recipients of this survey as determined by U.S. News, as well as any additional people at your institution who already received survey access at the discretion of one of these initial U.S. News contacts.
If the person at your institution who needs survey access is not currently listed, click the "Grant Survey Access to Additional Account" link underneath the table. A field will display prompting you to add the email address. Upon doing so, an email will be sent to the entered address that includes the survey hyperlink and a unique password.
Granting someone access to the survey does not make them a U.S. News contact, and these people with new access will not be receiving communications from U.S. News at any point in the future.
To remove someone's access to the survey, make a request to your U.S. News data collector by clicking the "Help" tab listed next to the Access tab and following instructions.
Printing a Copy of a Survey
To print a copy of the U.S. News survey, click the "Print" link in the dark grey upper menu of the screen. Once the entire survey appears on the screen (there will be no left-hand menu displayed) you can print it by using your browser's print function. You cannot enter data in this printable survey form. To return to the survey tool itself and be able to enter data, click the "Survey" link.
If you have any difficulty printing out the survey, click on the "Help" link in the dark grey upper menu to find contact information for the U.S. News data collector assigned to your school.
To move between fields within the survey, you may click on the field in which you wish to enter data or press the Tab key until you reach that field.
To move between individual pages of the survey, click on the "Next" or "Previous" links at the bottom of the page. You may also click on the links listed in the left-hand side of the screen to navigate to any section of the survey.
Data will save automatically as it is entered in most cases. Furthermore, if you signoff from your survey and log back in at a later time, the system will remember everything you entered until that point.
Exceptions to this are responses that generate a note in red type upon being entered, asking you to reconsider your answer. Most likely this means you have made a mistake and entered a figure that is beyond the realm of possibility (e.g. entering a number that is too high or too low, typing a letter instead a number, or entering data that conflicts logically with responses to other questions). If you are confident that your answer is valid, please inform your U.S. News data collector using the "Help" tab in the dark grey section menu displayed toward the top of your screen.
All data that has been red flagged by the system will not save and will not be included in your data when the survey has been submitted.
Navigating among Surveys
If you have access to more than one online education survey, you can switch from one to the other by clicking the "Switch Survey" link in the blue banner displayed at the top of your screen.
If you have questions or encounter problems while you are completing the survey, first review this page to see if your question is addressed. If not, click the "Help" link and it will tell you whom to contact at U.S. News with questions about either the data or the U.S. News survey process.
Signing Off of the Online Site
If you wish to leave the online site, click the "Signoff" link in the upper-right hand corner of your screen on the blue background for an easy exit. You may return at any time to continue working on your survey.
When You've Completed the Survey
If your institution does not offer an online bachelor's degree program, you will be ready to submit your survey after completing question 2. Otherwise, in order to submit the survey, you will need to have completed the cell in question 32c requesting 2010-2011 total OBD student enrollment; unless you acknowledge within the question that your institution does not collect this data because it integrates online and face-to-face students. You will also need to complete at least one of the cells among questions 57a-57d or 57g-57j asking about your online bachelor's degree program's tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year. If you do not complete these cells, you will be instructed to do so when trying to submit your survey, and will not be able to submit it until this is done.
When you are completely finished with the survey and have no further changes or data to enter for this year, click "Next" on the last page of the "Career Outcomes" section or click the "Submission" link on the left-hand column of the screen. Both links will take you to a page that thanks you for completing the survey, then asks you to check a box acknowledging that upon submitting your survey you will no longer be personally able to change any data in it. By checking this box and clicking the "Submit" button underneath, you are informing U.S. News that your survey is completed and final.
If you have accidentally submitted your survey, please contact the U.S. News data collector assigned to your school. The "Help" tab will still direct you to contact information.
After submitting your survey, you will also continue to be able to view your school's data on this site.
Process after Submitting Survey
Unlike with U.S. News' annual Best Colleges undergraduate survey, you will not receive an assessment from U.S. News analyzing your responses for accuracy and completeness, nor will you be asked at a later date to verify your responses. What you submit is FINAL and is the last stage of the process. As a safeguard against wrongly entered data, the survey module will red flag any statistical responses that it determines to be mistakes. Nonetheless, please take extra care to ensure the accuracy, validity and thoroughness of your responses before submitting.
Viewing Your Data After Submitting the Survey
You may still view your completed survey after submitting it. However, at this point you will not be able to make changes online. If you need to make changes to the data, contact the U.S. News data collector assigned to your school. Your U.S. News data collector's name can be found by clicking on the first page of the survey or on the "Help" button.
About the Online Education Bachelor's Program Rankings
This is the first year U.S. News is attempting to rank online education programs and no precise methodology for calculating online rankings has been formalized. If you have questions on the Best Online Bachelor's Degree ranking methodology, which schools qualify to be ranked or unranked, U.S. News publications or how these statistical surveys are used in the rankings, contact Eric Brooks, Data Research Analyst, at email@example.com, or contact Bob Morse, Director of Data Research, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of the U.S. News data collectors, reporters, and editors here at U.S. News and our many appreciative readers, thank you for your time and effort.
Diane Tolis, Data Collection Manager
Eric Brooks, Data Research Analyst
Robert J. Morse, Director of Data Research
U.S. News & World Report
Educational Institution Eligibility
2 Will your institution offer any online bachelor's degree (OBD) programs in academic year 2011-2012?
(Definition: "OBD program" refers to any bachelor's degree program earned through education or training courses in which at least 80 percent of program course content is accessible to students online, either from synchronous and/or asynchronous instruction.
OBD programs include, but are not limited to, programs in which online students are integrated into courses with students who attend classes on-campus.
An online course is one in which the entirety of most classes is made audio or visual accessible to students over the Internet. A course in which the instructor only publishes class summaries/transcripts online is not an online course.
A small amount of on-campus coursework, on-campus exams, or occasional campus visits may be part of the courses, so long as these components are estimated to be no greater than 20 percent of the coursework needed to earn the degree.)
If you answered no to the preceding question, this is the end of the survey; please continue to the final page and submit this survey. If you answered yes, the rest of the survey should have unlocked; please continue to the next page and complete the rest of the survey.
3 To whom at your institution should U.S. News distribute this survey next year?
For as long as they are listed, the contacts below will each year receive all communications from U.S. News about this survey. Please delete any people who should no longer be contacted by U.S. News and add any people who should. Each new contact must have a valid email address.
To simply grant survey access to a colleague without making that person a contact, click the "Access" link in the upper menu and then enter that person's email address in the appropriate field.
4 Online bachelor's degree programs public relations contacts.Please list up to two public relations contacts for your online bachelor's degree (OBD) program. These contacts will receive the embargoed ranking information prior to the official rankings release. Please do not list the survey contacts here. The survey contacts will also receive the embargoed information prior to the official release.
5 Please provide information regarding the OBD admissions office:
6 Please provide the main link, if any, for your OBD program's official presence on the following sites:
7 What is the source of institutional control at your institution?
8 What was the first year your institution offered credit-granting online education courses? (e.g. 2004)
9 What was the first calendar year your institution offered an online (80% or greater) bachelor's degree level education course(s)?
10 How many OBD education programs does your school currently list on its website?
11 How many unique courses that are part of the OBD programs counted in question 10 does your school currently offer?
12 Do students at your institution complete OBD courses at their own pace, or are there defined times in which courses begin and end?
13 If you answered "self-paced" to question 12, how many weeks on average does it take an OMB student to complete the average course?
14 If you answered "defined time periods" to question 12, which of the following best describes your institution's academic calendar?
15 Select the residency requirement description that best fits your institution's OBD education programs. (Residency requirement: as in on-campus time for a specific online education course or program offered at your institution.)
16 Does your institution allow dual enrollment for OBD students?
17 Is the entirety of your institution's OBD program requirements 100 percent online accessible to students? This includes any orientations, classes, group projects and exams.
If you selected "no" or "depends", please select each of the following OBD curriculum elements that at least sometimes require in-person student attendance.
18 Are your institution's OBD students typically integrated with face-to-face bachelor's students into courses? If no enrollment distinction is made between OBD students and face-to-face students then select "yes".
If not applicable, please skip to question 24.
19 Are your institution's admissions requirements for OBD students the same as requirements for face-to-face bachelor's students?
20 When students enroll in OBD courses in which online students and face-to-face students are integrated, must they designate by which delivery method they will be taking these courses? If no courses are integrated, please select "Not applicable".
21 Can the credits earned for courses in the OBD programs be transferred toward the equivalent degree programs offered in the face-to-face setting? Select "yes" if online and face-to-face bachelor's students are integrated.
22 Do the full-time faculty that teach OBD students also regularly teach face-to-face students at your institution?
23 How much of the curriculum delivered to students in face-to-face settings is the same as the one delivered to OBD students through the Internet?
24 In the first table below for 2010 graduates, identify the five majors with the largest percent of OBDs conferred between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010. Then list the percent of students graduating with degrees in those fields.
In the second table below for 2011 graduates, identify the five majors with the largest percent of OBDs conferred between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. Then list the percent of students graduating with degrees in those fields.
Please visit the following link for more information on CIP 2010:
|OBD 2010 graduates|
|CIP Major||Percent of Graduates|
|OBD 2011 graduates|
|CIP Major||Percent of Graduates|
25 Please select majors leading to OBDs. This question uses the CIP 2010.
|No majors selected|
26 How many courses in your OBD programs are offered asynchronously (accessible to students online after the class was delivered/recorded)? Include in your estimate any courses that are dually offered synchronously (online and live).
27 How many courses in your OBD program are offered to students synchronously? Include in this estimate any courses that are dually offered asynchronously.
28 Does your institution offer its students the ability to receive a live OBD class (either synchronously online or by attending on-campus)?
29 What are the most important distinguishing characteristics that prospective students should know about your institution's OBD program(s)?
30 Provide information about application deadlines:
31 This question asks about OBD student admissions. Please complete the following table, supplying counts for each of the categories below. Do not leave any blanks. If the count is zero, enter "0".
Include early decision, early action, and students who began studies during summer in this cohort. Applicants should include only those students who fulfilled the requirements for consideration for admission (i.e., who completed actionable applications) and who have been notified of one of the following actions: admission, non-admission, placement on waiting list, or application withdrawn (by applicant or institution). Admitted applicants should include wait-listed students who were subsequently offered admission.
Provide the number of students who applied, were admitted, and newly matriculated as degree-seeking OBD students in July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011. If you cannot provide admissions data because your institution makes no distinction between online student and face-to-face student enrollment (question 18), please check the box underneath:
|OBD Applicants||OBD Admitted Applicants||OBD Matriculated Applicants|
32 The following question asks about total OBD student enrollment at your institution, including students who matriculated before academic year 2010-2011. Please complete the following table, supplying counts for each of the categories below. If the count is zero, enter "0".
If your institution integrates online and face-to-face bachelor's degree students and therefore cannot report enrollment data of online students on an individual student level, you can alternatively estimate OBD student enrollment through course registration data (multiplying the total number of bachelor's degree students enrolled at your institution by the overall percentage of bachelor's degree students who registered for courses as "online students"). If you cannot provide total enrollment data because your institution makes no distinction between online student and face-to-face student enrollment (question 18), please check the box underneath:
|OBD Enrollment Figures||OBD July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010||OBD July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011|
33 OBD notification to Applicants of Admission Decision Sent: Please mark only one
|On a rolling basis beginning:|
34 Does your OBD program have an open admission policy under which virtually all secondary school graduates or students with GED equivalency diplomas are admitted without regard to academic record, test scores, or other qualifications?If yes with exceptions, check all that apply:
35 Please provide the number of OBD students in each racial or ethnic category during the July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011 time period using IPEDS definitions of ethnic groups.
|Newly Enrolled OBD Students||Total OBD Enrollment|
36 Select the region from which the plurality of OBD United States students came from between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011:
37 How many foreign countries were represented by OBD non-resident aliens from between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011?
38 List up to ten foreign countries most often represented in the OBD enrollment from between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, and include what percentage of the entire student body they compose:
|Country||Percentage of Entire Student Body|
39 What percentage of OBD students first matriculating between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 semester at your institution are first-year, full-time, degree-seeking freshmen?
40 Does your institution enroll transfer students for OBDs?
41 What percentage of your institution's OBD applicants were employed when first matriculated between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011?
42 What is the relative importance of each of the following academic and nonacademic factors in your OBD admission decisions?
43 Is an essay required for OBD applications?
44 Is there a high school completion requirement for OBD entering students?
45 Is there a minimum high school class standing percentile rank your institution requires for admittance to your OBD program?If yes, what is the required minimum percentile rank?
46 Please enter the percent of all OBD students who had high school class rank within each of the following ranges.Please report information just for those students who enrolled between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 from whom you collected high school class rank information.
|July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011|
47 Percent of total students who enrolled between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 who submitted high school class rank reported in question 46.
48 Is a minimum high school grade point average required for OBD admissions?If yes, what is this GPA on a maximum 4.0 point scale to one decimal place?
49 Does your institution deny enrollment to any OBD applicants who meet the minimum admission requirements?
50 What was the average age of all OBD students who first enrolled at your institution between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011?
51 What percentage of OBD students who first enrolled at your institution between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 were...
52 Does your institution make use of SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Test scores in admission decisions for OBD applicants?If yes, select the appropriate boxes to reflect your institution's policies for use in OBD admission for July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011:
53 OBD Student SAT and ACT Profile
54 Please complete the table below.Note: The 25th percentile is the score that 25 percent scored at or below; the 75th percentile score is the one that 25 percent scored at or above.
|July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011||July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010|
|25th Percentile||75th Percentile||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
55 Please enter average test scores for OBD students enrolling between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.
|2010–2011 enrolled freshmen|
56 What was the average high school GPA of all OBD students who enrolled between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 and submitted GPA on a maximum 4.0 scale?Please state to one decimal place (e.g. 3.0). Only report information on high school students whose GPAs your institution collected.
57 List the typical OBD annual and per credit tuition and any mandatory fees for students enrolled in OBD courses for the 2011-2012 and 2010-2011 academic years. Please complete all applicable rows in the tables below. The 2011-2012 cell for either row a, b, c, d, g, h, i, or j must have a response in order to submit your survey.OBD Undergraduate annual tuition and fees:
58 Is institutional and/or federal financial aid available to OBD students? This does not include corporate reimbursement programs.
59 For all OBD students enrolled anytime between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, who received any financial aid:a. b.
For the parts of this OBD Student Debt question, include:
61 A student can complete OBD courses at your institution using which of the following system hardware? Please select all that apply.
62 What is the minimum speed of Internet access needed by OBD students to take the typical OBD courses offered by your school or department?
63 What is the speed of Internet access you recommend students have in order to take the typical OBD courses offered by your school or department?
64 Which vehicles of instruction does your institution currently make readily accessible to OBD students? This applies to lectures, seminars, study sessions, or any other course elements facilitated by the instructor.
|OBD Instructional Delivery Mode|
65 Who typically reviews your institution's OBD coursework to determine if it meets Americans with Disabilities Act compliance?
66 Who primarily design the majority of OBD courses?
67 By what process does your institution typically have OBD courses designed?
68 Does your institution use education software for OBD programs?If yes, which software does your institution use?
69 Are all the OBD courses offered by your institution integrated and centralized into one educational software system? For example, could a student always access all his OBD courses through a single platform such as one of those in question 68?
70 Does your institution require that its new OBD students complete an orientation before they gain access to their classes?
71 Does your institution's OBD faculty at least sometimes administer exams (assessments that students submit the same days they receive them)?If OBD exams are never administered, please skip to question 74.
72 By which method are your OBD exams administered remotely to students?
73 By which method are your OBD exams administered in supervised, face-to-face setting to students?
74 Please briefly describe in the field below technological and non-technological measures taken by your institution to instill academic integrity of OBD students for exams and coursework:
75 Before they are able to have online access to their courses, are newly matriculated OBD students first required to read and sign a statement agreeing to abide by specific ethical guidelines?
76 Does your OBD program require that all essay-based homework, papers or exams students submit for a grade must be screened by an anti-plagiarism service?
77 Which of the following anti-plagiarism services does your institution's OBD program employ for graded student submissions? Please select all that apply.
78 Does your institution have a policy -- standardized among all OBD courses and accessible to students and faculty -- about copyright ownership of OBD course materials?
79 Which of the following services are provided online to OBD students? Please select all that apply:
80 What percentage of your campus' physical library is digitized and available remotely to OBD students?
81 Does your institution make available live technical support for OBD students 24/7?If yes, please skip to question 84.
82 When is live technical help available to OBD students enrolled in your online degree programs? Please select all that apply.
83 Do instructors in your institution's OBD program typically help facilitate live, student-to-student interaction through any of the following? Please select all that apply.
84 How many hours a week on average, if any, are faculty required to keep office hours in which OBD students can communicate with them live by remote methods (telephone, Skype)?
85 Does your institution expect instructors respond to emails/voicemails from OBD students within a specific, pre-determined timeframe?
86 What percentage of OBD classes at your institution incorporate lectures, including all those that are either live or live-to-tape?
87 Do instructors at your institution typically track participation of OBD students in the following ways? Please select all that apply.
88 Is the quality of class participation typically factored into final OBD student grades at your institution?
89 Do courses in your OBD programs mandate students to work collaboratively on group assignments such as homework and papers?
90 Which statement best describes to what extent, if any, your OBD program promotes collaboration between on-campus students and online students on group assignments?
91 Please answer the following questions about the number of OBD faculty at your institution between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011:
|OBD Full time Faculty||OBD Part time Faculty||OBD Total Faculty|
92 Among your institution's OBD instructors who taught OBD education classes between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011:a. b. c. d.
93 Does your institution offer or fully finance any formal training courses for OBD faculty on online teaching best practices?
94 Does your institution require that OBD faculty for online courses receive training in teaching online before teaching any classes?
95 Does your institution require continuing education for OBD faculty relating to online instruction?
96 How many full-time staff members and part-time staff members between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 did your institution have that offer faculty technical assistance in OBD course development, excluding graduate assistants?
97 Has your institution established a formal, written system of peer review for OBD instructors?
98 Does your institution have written standardized guidelines that apply specific standards for evaluating the educational effectiveness of OBD instructors?
99 Please report the July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011 ratio of full-time equivalent OBD students (full-time plus 0.333... for each part-time) to full-time equivalent instructional OBD faculty (full-time plus 0.333... for each part-time). Do not count undergraduate or graduate student teaching assistants as faculty.
100 Please complete the following table on OBD class sections among undergraduates enrolled from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011.
|Number of students in undergraduate class sections|
101 Do courses in your OBD programs typically have a maximum class size?
102 What percentage of OBD faculty at your institution who teach OBD courses are full-time tenure track?
Retention and Graduation
103 Please answer this question as well as your institution's history allows.a. b. c. d.
104 Please answer this question as well as your institution's history allows.a. b. c. d.
105 In the left column below, please select each of the survey instruments your institution will administer to OBD students who enrolled in summer or fall of 2010. Then in the right column, please select whether your institution will make these 2010 results publicly available for all survey results from the assessment in its row.
|Assessment Instrument||Results Made Public|
106 Does your institution track OBD students after college?If no, please continue to the submission page.
107 What percentage of OBD students who graduated between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010 are employed full-time...
108 What percentage of OBD students who graduated between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010 pursue further graduate school study within one year after graduation?
109 What is the median salary of OBD students who graduated between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010...
110 Among all OBD students at your institution who graduated between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010 and pursued further study, what percentages pursued further study in each field listed below?