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Fort Hays State continues to gain national recognition

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Recognition of Fort Hays State University's online offerings as among the best in the country have continued to come since January's U.S. News & World Report published their rankings. Those rankings placed FHSU as the top Kansas school, and one of the elite schools in the country, for its education programs offered through the Virtual College.

Fort Hays State University's online degrees, offered through the Virtual College, were recognized in January by U.S. News & World Report as the top online programs in Kansas and among the very best offered in the United States, have again been recognized for excellence. Most recently, FHSU ranked No. 5 nationally for Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans, No. 16 for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs for Veterans, and No. 17 in Best Online Graduate Business Programs for Veterans.

FHSU's Virtual College offers 27 bachelor's degree programs and 14 master's degree programs online. Many offer multiple concentrations so students can choose the course work that best meets their needs.

"These rankings are important independent confirmations of the excellent value -- very high quality and low cost -- of our Virtual College offerings here at Fort Hays State," said Dennis King, director of the Virtual College.

"Since we invest our money to raise quality in our academic programs and to keep tuition low rather than buy a college bowl game, or buy a bus and travel the country with our name across the side of it, or spend a fortune on national media advertising, it's wonderful to get this kind of recognition and affirmation from entities like U.S. News and the other ranking agencies."

Another recent recognition came from the National Council on Teacher Quality, in its 2014 Teacher Prep Review. On campus as well as online, FHSU ranked No. 3 in the nation for Elementary Education and No. 12 in Secondary Education. FHSU ranked No. 1 among all schools in Kansas.

The university's undergraduate secondary education programs were the top in the NCTQ's Midwest Region, comprised of the 12 states from Ohio to Kansas, north to North Dakota and east to Michigan.

In yet another ranking, FHSU was named one of five colleges among the least expensive in the United States in an article in USA Today. That article listed FHSU as fifth least expensive. The USA Today report was based on affordability ratings from Online U (www.onlineu.org) and rankings of online programs by The Best Colleges (www.thebestcolleges.org).

OnlineU.org, a website created by SR Education Group, Kirkland, Wash., this month issued an expanded ranking FHSU's early childhood education degrees No. 2 most affordable in the nation. Teaching degrees generally were ranked as No. 4 most affordable in the country. In February, OnlineU found that FHSU was the second-most popular college in Kansas based on a study written on data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Overall, FHSU is also in the top five in OnlineU's rankings in counseling, human resources, IT and computer science, and nursing, and is among the organization's top five in the nation overall.

TheBestSchools.org, in May recognized FHSU’s B.S. in Business Administration and the M.B.A. in Tourism and Hospitality Management as Wise Choices for affordability and quality. These degrees scored high for transferability of credits, comprehensive curriculum covering key aspects of business theories and practices and, for the M.B.A., the ability to take time off for personal reasons and come back to finish.

In March, the online M.B.A. program at FHSU (the program has 11 concentration possibilities) was ranked a "Best Buy" and placed No. 13 out of 124 colleges assessed by GetEducated.com.

On a local level, the university's home city came in for praise from a news site published by Movoto Real Estate, a national real estate brokerage licensed in more than 30 states. Movoto listed Hays as the third-most exciting place to live in Kansas, based on nightlife, live music venues per capita, parks, outdoor activities, availability of arts and entertainment, percentage (higher is better) of restaurants that are not fast food, and percentage (higher is better) of residents age 18 to 34 (Hays came in at 37 percent). No. 1 was Manhattan, No. 2 was Lawrence.


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