The developers of the US News and World Report’s Top Online Programs rankings invited WCET members to ask questions regarding the implementation, methodology, survey questions, and future plans.  We thank Bob Morse and Eric Brooks of U.S. News for extending the invitation and for their quick turnaround in providing responses.

Their invitation followed on the heels of our analysis of their ranking methodology and their subsequent rebuttal against our arguments.   While we stand by our original analysis, we welcomed this opportunity for our members to ask questions that will help bring greater clarity to how U.S. News arrived at these rankings.

A big thank you goes to our members* who took the time to craft insightful questions or provide colorful commentary so that the entire online education community may benefit from the answers provided.  You will note that the questions were submitted to U.S. News without citation of who asked the question.  We wanted the questions to stand on their own without regard to who asked them.

We are intrigued by a response containing Bob and Eric’s invitation to WCET members and we will explore it in more detail:

US News would like to do that in systematic way like an advisory group of WCET members to meet with us on a regular basis in order to improve what we have done and advise us. WCET members are the experts and US News would very much like to work with WCET in an organized way.”

For the most part, Eric and Bob do a thorough job of answering your questions or of admitting the limitations of this type of survey, which is highly dependent on standardized data.  We gave our opinion in our earlier blog piece.  We want to leave the final analysis to you.  To get the full scoop, read the full set of questions and responses – Q&A with US News & World Report.  We’d love to hear your reactions in the comments.  Join in!

Blog Post co-authored by:

Russ Poulin, Deputy Director, Research & Analysis,
Cali Morrison, Manager, Major Grants,


Support our work.  Join WCET.

In case you missed it…

*WCET Members Who Provided Questions & Comments

  • Deb Adair – Quality Matters
  • Shirley Adams – Charter Oak State College
  • Patricia Book – University of Northern Colorado
  • Jeff Borden – Pearson
  • Gary Brown – Portland State University
  • Mike Buttry – Capella University
  • Patricia Fenn – Ocean County College
  • Jerry Foster – Boise State University
  • Jennifer Stephens Helm – American Public University System
  • Geri Malandra – Kaplan University
  • Denise Nadasen – University of Maryland University College
  • Lisa Nordick – North Dakota State University
  • Linda Norman – Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • Peg O’Brien – Dakota State University
  • Karen Pedersen – Northern Arizona University
  • Vicky Phillips –
  • Ann Randall – Boise State University
  • Cyndi Rowland – Utah State University
  • Ray Schroeder – University of Illinois – Springfield
  • John Sener – Sener Knowledge LLC
  • Anne Zalenski – University of Iowa

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