By

Erik Ketcherside

Five online master’s degrees in education offered by Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College are among the top 10 in the nation in their specialty areas, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2020 Best Online Programs rankings.

These peer-reviewed honors made the Teachers College one of only three colleges of education in the country to rank in the U.S News top 20 in both on-campus and online graduate education degrees. Overall, the Teachers College is tied for the No. 15 ranking for Best Online Master’s Education Programs.

The Teachers College rankings in online master’s degree specialty areas — determined by peer assessment— include:

  • No. 1 — curriculum and instruction.
  • No. 1 — educational/instructional media design.
  • No. 2 — educational administration and supervision.
  • No. 3 — special education.
  • No. 4 — online master’s education program for veterans.

 The Teachers College earned the No. 1 ranking in curriculum and instruction for its online degrees in early childhood education, English as a second language and gifted education. Top honors for educational/instructional media design went to the Master of Education degree in Learning Design and Technologies.

The Master of Education in Educational Leadership is the No. 2-ranked online administration master’s in the country, and degrees in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Applied Behavior Analysis earned the No. 3 ranking in special education.

These top rankings for online degrees, including No. 4 for best master’s education program for veterans, are testaments to the Teachers College commitment to both quality and access, said Dean Carole Basile.

“Our college has a well-established reputation for excellence in our immersion degree programs,” Basile said, “but excellence in education is not excellent if it is exclusive.

“Our online degrees are created and taught by the same exemplary faculty responsible for our highly ranked on-campus degrees, and ASU’s pioneering work in online education allows us to make our faculty and these valuable degrees available to education leaders wherever they are.”

Meredith Toth, assistant dean for digital learning, said, “Online learning at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College is as varied as traditional classroom learning. It’s often even more interactive as students regularly engage with the material, with one another and with instructors — individually or in teams — as part of the learning process.”

Toth said one of the keys to making online education successful is how the instructional designers and faculty collaborate to design activities for an online model.

“We can’t simply replicate an in-person activity or lesson,” Toth said. “We must redesign it.”