Featured Online College
Massachusetts is home to numerous esteemed institutions of higher education, including Harvard University, which is one of the country’s eight Ivy League institutions. In fact, Harvard University holds the top spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best schools in the nation. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a major research university in Cambridge, Mass., is another nationally recognized institution. The institute is known for its math, science, and engineering programs, and it was ranked sixth among national universities, according to theU.S. News. Other top-ranking national universities in the state include Tufts University, Boston College, and Brandeis University. Williams College, Amherst College, and Wellesley College were placed within the top 10 in the U.S. News’ ranking of national liberal arts colleges.
Massachusetts also boasts an extensive public university system. The University of Massachusetts (UMass), serves approximately 70,000 students at five campuses, including in Boston, Amherst, and Lowell, Mass. Its flagship campus in Amherst is ranked 97th among national universities by the U.S. News. It offers nearly 90 majors, and through the Five College Consortium, students can also take courses at smaller liberal arts colleges, such as Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, and Hampshire College.
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s 13-member Board of Higher Education oversees public higher education and its institutions in the state. Its responsibilities are in the areas of academic policy and program approval; financial aid; fiscal and capital planning; research and performance measurement; workforce development; and the state’s Optional Retirement Program. It’s also increasingly engaged in pre K-16 and college and career readiness initiatives. The board’s objectives include to increase the percentage of high school graduates going to college; increase the percentage of students who complete degree and certificate programs; achieve higher levels of student learning; align career degree and certificate programs with the needs of the state’s employers; and conduct research that drives economic development.
Massachusetts Distance Learning Initiatives
For students interested in online degree programs in Massachusetts, a good starting point is Massachusetts Colleges Online. This is a consortium of 24 schools with online degree programs — 15 community colleges and nine state colleges — in Massachusetts that have come together to share their online courses and certificate and degree programs,. Students can find online college degree programs from the associate to the graduate level. The goal is to help students save time and money while they pursue higher education.
Students can also explore online bachelors degree programs and online graduate degree programs through the University of Massachusetts. UMass Online was established in 2001 to meet the needs of local, national, and international students by offering accredited educational programs through an interactive web-based learning system. There are more than 100 degrees and certificates, as well as more than 1,500 online courses, available online through the five-campus university system. Students have the option of taking fully online or blended programs, in which courses are taken both online and on-campus, to best suit their needs.
In addition to online degree programs from major universities, MIT is exploring OpenCourseWare — the Web-based publication of course content that is free, open, and available to students across the world. MIT OpenCourseWare is a free publication of the university’s course materials. It represents nearly all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT and people are taking advantage. On average, MIT OpenCourseWare receives 1 million visits each month. These visitors consist of students, self-learners, educators who most often are seeking to improve and enhance their personal knowledge or explore areas outside their professional field.