Every year we like to go through all the online colleges listed on OnlineDegreeReviews.org and come up with a list of colleges that stand out above the crowd. Each college in this list has been given high overall ratings and exceptional reviews by current and former students, the ones who truly know whether a college is worthy of high marks. We’ve only included colleges that have at least 20 reviews, that offer several online program options, that are either regionally or nationally accredited*, and that have recent reviews.
Based on the over 3000 reviews on the site, here are the top 8 colleges for 2011:
1. Henley-Putnam University
32 Reviews, 9.5/10 Rating
Henley-Putnam University offers online education specializing in the strategic security industry. Their programs include Intelligence Management, Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies, and Strategic Security and Protection Management. Henley-Putnam University is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Students reviewing Henley-Putnam University emphasized the quality of the professors, saying they are both knowledgeable and approachable, and that they provide valuable feedback. Many reviewers also commented on how accommodating the school is to the working professional, allowing flexible due dates.
2. California InterContinental University
29 Reviews, 9.2/10 Rating
California InterContinental University is an online-only institution offering degrees in Business Administration and Management. It is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Students reviewing California InterContinental University found the cost to be reasonable and the support staff exceptional. They found the accelerated pace challenging but thought that the academic rigor proved the quality of the program.
3. Andrew Jackson University
23 Reviews, 9.2/10 Rating
Andrew Jackson University offers career-oriented online degree programs in business, communications, and criminal justice. It is nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Students wrote that the coursework was very challenging, perhaps more so than at other universities, but that it was applicable to the real world. Also, reviewers were especially pleased with the support they received while completing their degree.
4. Norwich University
71 Reviews, 9.1/10 Rating
Norwich University was originally founded in 1819 as a military academy but now serves the educational needs of both traditional students and students planning a military career. The university’s online programs are all at the graduate level, and range in area of study, including a Master of Arts in Diplomacy, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Nursing, among others. Norwich University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Students described Norwich University coursework as relevant, but challenging. However, many wrote that they were proud graduates because of the demanding coursework. Satisfied students were not only happy with the quality of the professors, but also with the quality of their peers. Everyone who commented on the residency requirement found it to be useful and enjoyable.
5. Seton Hall University
70 Reviews, 9.0/10 Rating
Seton Hall University provides continuing education and professional studies online. Their online programs include an RN to BSN degree program, several certificate programs, as well as master’s degree programs in educational leadership, communication, nursing, and counseling. Seton Hall University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Reviewers of Seton Hall University had a lot of praise for the M.A. program in Strategic Communication and Leadership. They described it as a very demanding but equally rewarding program. Because of the workload, not all students complete the degree. However, many reviewers commented on the student comradery that develops from working through this demanding program together, despite the online learning environment.
6. Columbia Southern University
144 Reviews, 8.9/10 Rating
Columbia Southern University is an online university with a plethora of programs. They offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral or certificate programs in many areas of study including criminal justice, business administration, fire science, human resources and more. Columbia Southern University is nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Former students wrote that the university’s programs require student dedication because the coursework is self-taught. They were pleased that the university accepted credits from previous education and experience, but some students expressed caution that the school is nationally accredited and therefore other schools may not accept Columbia Southern University credits. Satisfied students found Columbia Southern University very affordable, namely due to the free textbooks. A few critics felt that the school lacked academic rigor.
7. Trident University International
73 Reviews, 8.5/10 Rating
Trident University International (formerly Touro University International) is an online institution with bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in various disciplines including health sciences, computer science, and business administration, among others. It is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Satisfied Trident University International students were happy with the flexibility of the programs, allowing them to juggle full-time work and families alongside their studies. Many students remarked that it is a military-friendly college, providing a discount for members of the military and their families. Many people commented on the quality of the professors, with backgrounds from big-name universities. However, some critics found the instructor expectations to be untenable. There were mixed reviews about the academic rigor of certain courses. Yet, many students described the intensive written requirements of many of the programs.
8. American Military University
186 Reviews, 8.2/10 Rating
American Military University offers online programs designed for professionals in public service and national security. The university has over 100 online degree and certificate programs with subjects ranging from homeland security to early childhood education. American Military University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association (NCA). It is also nationally accredited the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Former students, some of them in various countries around the world, wrote that American Military University provides a flexible and convenient learning environment. Reviewers found the cost very reasonable, especially for military professionals, and they described the coursework as just as demanding, if not more so than brick and mortar schools. Professors received mixed reviews; students wrote that they had some professors who were engaging and responsive and others who were not. Some students expressed disappointment with the level of student interaction and the support staff.
To learn more about these online universities, as well as many others, visit our homepage at OnlineDegreeReviews.org. There you can search online degree programs, read thousands of reviews, and communicate with other students about online education.
*For more information about regional vs. national accreditation, download the free e-book Online Degree Secrets.