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UTB College of Education Online Graduate Program in Educational Technology Receives Top National Ranking 2012

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – JANUARY 10, 2012 – The University of Texas at Brownsville College of Education has been ranked one of the top 15 programs in the nation for its Master’s Degree Online Program in Educational Technology by U.S. News & World Report, announced Tuesday, Jan. 10.

This is a very significant and prestigious accomplishment for the College of Education community as well as for the university,” said Dr. Miguel Angel Escotet, Dean of the College of Education. “The Master in Educational Technology is just one of our high-quality graduate programs that is fully delivered online using the most advanced instructional technology and multimedia, and personalized to the needs of the student and the profession.”

Julianne Phillips Julianne Phillips, the first graduate to receive a Master of Education in Educational Technology and the UT System’s very first “virtual graduate” in 2001.

This is the first time U.S. News & World Report has conducted a study to nationally rank online programs in business, computer information technology, education, engineering and nursing. UTB College of Education received its ranking in Online Graduate Degree Programs in Education in the category of Student Services and Instructional Technology.

UTB’s program was ranked 14 out of 151 U.S. institutions of higher education for 2012 and is one of four universities from Texas in the top 15 in the nation.

The three other Texas universities in the top 15 are the University of Houston, Sam Houston State University and The University of Texas Permian Basin.

The top ranked school in this category was Syracuse University; others included Auburn University and the University of Southern California.

“This is the first UTB program to be ranked by U.S. News & World Report,” said Dr. Juliet V. García, President of UT Brownsville. “It’s particularly impressive since it was among the first graduate programs in the UT System to be offered completely online.”

Criteria for ranking the programs included demonstrating diverse online learning technologies for enhancing the learner’s experience and providing extensive mentoring and tutoring support services for the online learner.

The degree prepares students to become specialists in developing educational programs online, producing instructional materials, creating the pedagogical and methodological tools and delivering the courses online throughout different multimedia and networking systems. Teaching constitutes a balance of theoretical and practical applications to deliver online programs at K-1-12 community college, university or in business such as corporate training.

“UTB was a pioneer in developing this degree,” Escotet said. “Most of the graduates have been from the Rio Grande Valley; however, every year students from throughout Texas, the country and some international students have also been attracted to the program.”

One of those out-of-state students was Julianne Phillips, the first graduate to receive a Master of Education in Educational Technology and the UT System’s very first “virtual graduate” in 2001.

A Poughkeepsie, New York, IBM employee and mother of a six-year-old at the time, Phillips used email, chat rooms and webcasts to keep in touch with professors and fellow students, working nights and weekends in a schedule that was strictly of her own design.

Phillips was among 78 other virtual UTB students, some in her cohort as far away as Germany and others as close as Edinburg, TX.

“It has been perfect, everything I had hoped for and then some,” said Phillips at her graduation, a former junior college computer science and English teacher and education coordinator for a server logistics division of IBM.

Building on the successful foundation of this program, UTB began its first doctoral track in the field of educational technology in the fall of 2011.

The announcement of the national rankings comes at an opportune time as the College of Education celebrates its 20th anniversary at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 13. The event will take place on the second floor tower of the Education and Business Complex on University Blvd and is open to the public.

For more information on the Master Degree Online Program in Educational Technology, contact the UTB College of Education at 956-882-7466 or

Published by UTB News and Information.

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