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Michigan has 15 state universities that serve more than 300,000 students, including Michigan State University and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Based in Lansing, Mich., Michigan State meets the educational needs of more than 47,000 students, which is one of the largest enrollments of any school in the country. , It is ranked 79th among national universities by the U.S. News & World Report. The school offers 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional study programs. Its graduate programs in elementary and secondary education, nuclear physics, and industrial and organizational psychology are No. 1 in the country, according to U.S. News. The publication also ranks the school’s online graduate degree programs, including its education and nursing programs, among the best for online schools.
The state’s other major public research institutions are the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Wayne State University. More than 27,000 students are enrolled at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, a public institution founded in 1817. The school is ranked 29th among national universities by the U.S. News. Its online degree programs were also ranked by the publication, particularly its graduate engineering program . Wayne State University is based in Detroit, making it the state’s only urban research institution, and it offers more than 400 degree programs. Its School of Business Administration places a significant emphasis on distance education.
Several entities oversee education in the state of Michigan. The governor’s office is currently reshaping the state’s education system by implementing new assessment standards and high school graduation requirements, adopting strategies to lower the dropout rate, and encouraging school districts to embrace innovative ways to educate students so that they can compete globally in a knowledge-based economy. It also looks to call on every public school district to offer college credit opportunities by using early college, dual enrollment, online college credit courses, direct credit, and other valid and course options so that a college degree is accessible and affordable. The objective is to give students the chance to earn college credit as early as the ninth grade. The Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, a non-profit organization that serves the state’s 15 public universities, is directly involved in higher education. The council provides information on a range of public policy and legislative issues pertaining to higher education. It also takes official positions on matters of concern to Michigan’s public universities, such as cuts to education funding or legislation affecting state taxes.
Michigan Distance Learning Initiatives
Distance learning initiatives can be seen at all levels of education in Michigan, with all roads leading to postsecondary education. In a letter outlining state education reform, Governor Rick Snyder proposed a new "Any Time, Any Place, Any Way, Any Pace" public school learning model. His plan called stated that state funding can help facilitate dual enrollment, blended learning, online education, and early college attendance so that education opportunities are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The goal is to provide open access to a quality education and create a more cost-efficient, innovative, competitive, and effective system. Additionally, the governor encourages every public school to offer college credit opportunities through online courses, as well as early dual enrollment, direct credit, and other course options.
Currently there are numerous opportunities for students to take online degree programs in Michigan. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 92 institutions of higher education offer some form of distance learning, from fully online bachelors degree programs to online degree completion programs to certificates and single courses. At Michigan State University, for instance, there are several online college degree programs in education at the master’s level. At the University of Michigan students can peruse distance learning programs through its Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.