The USC Viterbi School of Engineering has earned top honors in two online education categories in this year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings, it was announced.
The school garnered the No. 1 slot in both the Online Graduate Engineering Programs and Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs (computer science) rankings, recognized for excellence in peer reputation, student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, and admissions selectivity.
The Distance Education Network at USC Viterbi (DEN@Viterbi), one of the first of its kind, was created in 1972 to address the continuing education needs of Southern California’s aerospace industry.
Following four decades of growth and investment, USC Viterbi currently offers more than 40 online engineering master’s degree programs, graduate certificates and professional courses from custom studio classrooms on the University Park Campus.
“I firmly believe that this distinction would have been impossible without the welcoming acceptance of DEN teaching by our faculty [tenured, tenure-track, research and faculty of the practice],” said Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of USC Viterbi. “When others in academia dismissed the importance of technology in delivering education, all Viterbi faculty have been forthcoming and eager partners in this venture.”
DEN@Viterbi students range from active military personnel who are deployed overseas to employees of corporate partners, such as Qualcomm, Boeing, Korean Air and Kuwait Oil Co., who are able to further their education without leaving their jobs and families in their home countries.
USC Viterbi’s online education integrates a blended classroom model, allowing distance students to engage and learn from the school’s research faculty, not differentiating between on-campus and off-campus graduate and professional students.
Enforcing the same admission standards and graduation criteria for all graduate engineering students, regardless of whether they are on campus or at distance, has enabled the school to deliver the same high-quality education for both classes of students.
Online education at USC Viterbi has continued to evolve in an ever more competitive online environment while maintaining the highest standards in delivery, support and education.
The latest innovation for the school is the iPodia Alliance, an online education collaboration between USC and schools in China, Germany, India, Israel, South Korea and Taiwan that allows students around the world to learn together in real time in a fully interactive “classroom without borders.”
“In the ongoing debate regarding distance learning, DEN@Viterbi provides a new type of classroom in which quality remains strong as the scale increases, and technology is used to enhance access to our top faculty and their instructional content,” Yortsos said.
“The parallel creation of the iPodia classroom and its alliance provides yet another world-leading example, this time of a global classroom, which would have been impossible without the in-house developed DEN know-how,” he added.
Yortsos praised the leadership of Kelly Goulis, senior associate dean for Graduate and Professional Programs, and Binh Tran, executive director of DEN, for their leadership over the last several years in shaping DEN@Viterbi.
For more information about DEN@Viterbi, visit viterbi.usc.edu/den