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Central Washington University

CWU Online Education Master’s Programs Rated Among Best in the Country

Central Washington University's master’s degree program in School Administration has been rated as one of the top online programs in the US. That’s based on a recently released ranking by in its Best Online Master's Programs of 2015.

“It was a surprise to me—a good surprise,” acknowledges Henry Williams, CWU education professor and chair of Advanced Programs.  “I felt good about somebody outside [the university] recognizing what we are doing.”

The independent, Seattle-based company developed its website rankings after collecting and analyzing data from thousands of universities. That information was then evaluated against research from major US education databases, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Education, and rankings organizations.

Only 46 programs nationwide made the final list. CWU, which ranked No. 25, was honored for its dedication to online education, commitment to providing excellent graduate-level curriculum, and comprehensive academic and career services.

Paul Ballard, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies, notes, “This recognition is a true reflection of the quality and expertise of our faculty and staff who are involved in graduate education here at Central.”

Earning an advanced degree is the surest way for P-12 teachers to move up in their careers. A master’s degree qualifies them to become senior administrators or obtain other specialized positions.

About 50 students were enrolled during the last school year in CWU’s School Administration master’s program and the number is growing. One hallmark of the program is increased and enhanced communication between students and their professors. 

“The faculty is always available to our candidates,” Williams says. “We have a policy in our online programs that I and my staff try to respond to each and every student within 24 hours or less. Our availability is very important and that makes a big difference.”

Based on feedback from students, CWU’s online courses are also considered more rigorous than those offered by other institutions. Technology plays a central role, as Internet-based collaborative conferences and virtual workrooms for students are part of the curriculum.

“It’s an expectation that all of the students have to participate [in the conferences],” he acknowledges. “The students also have to come together in the workrooms and discuss the subject matter. Instead of just relying on the faculty member, who is teaching the class, they also rely on classmates to get the discussion going. The way the classes are set up, the students find it to be very valuable.”

CWU offers a variety of other online education options, which include Master Teacher, along with master’s degrees in Higher Education; Special Education, Literacy, or Health and Physical Education; and a Global Literacy Certificate.

The university has also been ranked among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs by US News and World Report and on the Teach Tomorrow website of the Best Online Master’s in Education Degrees for 2015.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Content Development, 509-963-1487,

July 15, 2015

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