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  • Master's in English program at Northwestern State receives national ranking

    NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University has been recognized as one of the best schools for online learning at the master’s level by OnlineMastersDegrees.org (OMD). NSU’s English programs were ranked 13th and earned top honors for overall quality, affordability and commitment to student success.  

    "This year, we focused on the schools making it easier for students to compete in today’s increasingly difficult job market,” said Kyle Darland, co-founder of OMD. “Each ranked school offers a fully or partially online master’s program in English at a time when earning a master’s has become a minimum barrier to entry for many.” 

    According to Darland, a recent survey from CareerBuilder found “thirty-three percent of employers are hiring workers with master’s degrees for positions that had been primarily held by those with four-year degrees.” These employers cited an evolution of the skills needed to perform the jobs as the cause of the shift, and an increase in work quality, productivity and employee retention as the result. 

    "This ranking affirms that we are providing high-quality programs for our students through our M.A. in English and graduate certificates in TESOL and writing for business, industry, and technology,” said Dr. Thomas Reynolds, head of the Department of English, Languages, and Cultural Studies. “Our mission is to provide rigorous programs in an inclusive and close-knit community to prepare our students for success, and it is nice to be recognized for fulfilling that mission. We look forward to serving more students through our concentrations in folklife and southern culture, literature, TESOL, writing and linguistics and our new concentration in creative writing." 

    OnlineMastersDegrees.org analyzed more than 7,700 accredited universities by using data pulled from the schools themselves and from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). After the data was compiled, OMD’s data science team then applied a proprietary algorithm to rank all qualifying schools for each of the different master’s degrees specialties. Primary data points include: academic counseling services, career placement services, student/faculty ratio, tuition, percent of students receiving school-based aid and amount of school-based aid per student. 

    To be eligible for ranking, a university must hold active regional accreditation and have at least one partially online master’s program in the ranking subject. Just six percent of U.S. postsecondary institutions earned a ranking position.