Educate to Career non-profit evaluated schools on economic value, distance learning capabilities
GARY, Ind. — Indiana University Northwest was named as a Tier 1 College in a new ranking system developed by Educate to Career (ETC), a nonprofit that aims to provide education attainment and career outcomes data for students, employers, and parents to use in their decision-making about college and career planning. It is the only university in Northwest Indiana to be named to the list.
The organization recently evaluated more than 1,200 colleges and ranked them according to their ability to offer a quality education under any conceivable scenario: in-classroom, online, and a blend of each format. The ranking system, first conducted in 2014, was revised in 2020 with criteria inspired by today’s ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic and the need to look at university’s ability to adapt in this new environment. It is designed to help students navigate this crisis and uncertainty in a cost-effective and practical manner.
Last week, Indiana University announced that it will welcome students back to its campuses, including IU Northwest, for the fall semester with a blend of in-person and online courses, as well as an adjusted calendar through May 2021. The return will make extensive use of technology while preserving as far as possible the most important elements of the in-person experience, important criteria for the ETC ranking.
“Indiana University helped pioneer distance learning in the state,” said Vicki Román-Lagunas, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Today we offer more than 150 online courses and degrees, and look forward to providing flexible, hybrid instruction on campus and online this fall.”
The college rankings index is based on the economic value the student derived from attending a particular college. Schools are evaluated by their ability to provide in-classroom instruction with provisions in place to close and move online should a second wave of the virus occur. Additionally, high-ranked campuses are located close to student’s home allowing for an easy commute back to school when situations change.
Addressing college planning right now in the time of Covid-19, the ETC ranked schools in four tiers. Colleges that rank in Tier 1 meet the following criteria:
- A physical campus for in-classroom instruction should the health authorities allow colleges to open in September
- Robust software and systems to support distance learning programs
- Faculty experience in teaching online
- Reasonable tuitions and fees on a relative basis
About Indiana University Northwest
One of eight campuses of Indiana University, IU Northwest is located in metropolitan Northwest Indiana, approximately 30 miles southeast of Chicago and 10 miles from the Indiana Dunes National Park. The campus has a diverse student population of approximately 4,000 degree-seeking students and 1,500 dual-credit students. The campus offers Associate, Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees in a variety of undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degree options available from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, the School of the Arts and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary, which actively involves students in research and local healthcare needs through its four-year medical doctorate program. IU Northwest emphasizes high-quality teaching, faculty and student research and engagement on campus and in the community. As a student-centered campus, IU Northwest is committed to academic excellence characterized by a love of ideas and achievement in learning, discovery, creativity and engagement. Indiana University Northwest is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to achieving excellence through diversity. The University actively encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, persons with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented groups.