[Rosemont, IL] – Northwestern College - a career-focused two-year college in Illinois with a 112 year history - announced that they were named one of BestColleges.com’s Top 100 Online Colleges for the 2014 Academic Year. BestColleges.com divided its rankings into the Top 50 four-year colleges and Top 50 two-year colleges in the nation that offer fully online degree programs. Northwestern College came in at #42 in its two-year college category.
“We are honored to be named in BestColleges.com’s Top 100 Online Colleges for the 2014 Academic Year!” commented Northwestern College President, Lawrence Schumacher. “For over 112 years Northwestern College has strived to prepare and empower our diverse student body to pursue their professional and educational goals. In order to best meet our students’ needs, we continually adapt our programs into forms that accommodate today’s working student; the result was the emergence of our NC Online programs. BestColleges.com’s selection of Northwestern College for its list of Top two-year colleges in the nation further affirms the quality of the online programs we offer, and is a testament to the commitment we have to our students.”
Northwestern College instituted its online programs in 2009, offering its Business Administration, Criminal Justice and Health Information Technology Programs. In 2013 the College’s ABA approved Paralegal Program was added to its online offerings as a Hybrid Paralegal Program. In compliance with the ABA’s requirement that four courses in the Program be conducted at a brick-and-mortar campus, and due to an externship being required at a locally based legal firm, the program is not a 100% online one; consequently it is considered a “hybrid” program.
“Northwestern College offers a variety of ways for students to obtain their degrees,” noted Mary Reynolds, Northwestern College’s NC Online Campus Director. “There’s on-ground if you are local to the Chicagoland area, online for those who aren’t local or whose lives are just too busy to spend time traveling to our campuses, and finally, students can blend their schedules with both online and on-ground classes.” According to Reynolds, with today’s students having extremely busy lives and numerous commitments, the convenience and flexibility of online programs affords working adults, parents, or busy people with the opportunity to not just get a degree, but to obtain a new career. The NC Online programs provide interaction with professionals, permitting students to learn directly from people who work in the field and understand it from the inside out.
BestColleges.com is a resource for prospective college students designed to help them make an educated college choice. They have created a database of schools through the use of student and faculty surveys, independent research, ranking systems, and input from “highly credible and authoritative sources,” as noted on their website. In selecting its Top 50 Online Colleges in Northwestern College’s two-year category, BestColleges.com included only those institutions that offered at least one fully online associate degree. They compiled an initial list of schools offering these degrees online using the most current information from the IPEDS and College Navigator databases which are maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics. They went on to explain that their list was then narrowed further to include only institutions that had at least two out of the following four data points published in one of those two databases: 1) Acceptance Rate - the percentage of first-time, undergraduate students admitted into the college out of all who applied; 2) Retention Rate - the percentage of first-time undergraduate students who completed their first year and returned the following year to continue their studies at the school; 3) Graduation Rate - the percentage of full-time, first-time students who graduated within six years of beginning their education; and 4) Enrollment Rate - the percentage of students admitted into a school who actually enrolled.
According to BestColleges.com, institutions were all ranked against each other for each data point, with all data points weighted equally. Institutions lacking a particular data point were excluded from that particular ranking to avoid unfairly docking them for not having that information available. Using this formula, the Top 100 Best Online Colleges for the 2014 Academic Year were determined.
Northwestern College has been family-owned since its inception in 1902. In 1958 it was purchased by Violet Schumacher who was both an alumnae in the late 1930’s and later an employee and administrator. The institution has remained in the Schumacher Family since that time, with Violet’s son Lawrence Schumacher being elevated to the position of President in 1978.
“We’re excited about being named to Bestcolleges.com’s Top 100 Best Online Colleges List,” Reynolds proclaimed. “Northwestern College isn’t a large, corporate-type college where you’re just a number. Our online education instruction is responsive, with continual feedback from instructors, so students don't get lost in cyberspace. As a family owned College with a rich, 112 year history of proven success, we pride ourselves on focusing on the individual student through small classroom environments. This focus transcends from the brick and mortar campuses to our online venue, and is part of what makes Northwestern College unique!”
About Northwestern College:
Northwestern College (NC) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, http://www.ncahlc.org. The college offers focused career-oriented associate degree and certificate programs with flexible schedules and a supportive faculty. Day, evening, weekend, online classes and online programs are available. More information can be found at www.northwesterncollege.edu or by calling toll-free (888) 205-2283.