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HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University has been ranked fourth in the state for the affordability of its online programs by the web site Affordable Colleges Online.
In its rating methodology, AC Online reviewed all four-year degree granting public or private colleges, universities and online programs in Louisiana that are fully accredited.
"For-profit schools no longer dominate the distance-learning landscape," said Dan Schuessler, founder of AC Online. "So many of today's top universities have added full online degree programs, making it much easier for non-traditional students to receive a quality education."
Southeastern was cited for its program for registered nurses, allowing licensed professionals who have completed an associate's degree or diploma from accredited institutions to work toward a bachelor of science degree. The program draws students from throughout Louisiana as well as other nearby states.
Through the RN to BS degree program, registered nurses complete a set curriculum of online supplemental courses required to earn a bachelor's degree. The program is flexible and allows students to work at their own pace.
"The program has been quite successful for practicing nurses who lack a four-year degree," said Ann Carruth, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. "For many nurses, this is an important step if they plan to advance in their profession and chosen career."
Carruth said Southeastern's graduate programs leading to a master's degree and a doctorate in nursing practice are also offered largely online, allowing graduate level adult nurse practitioners to complete the educational requirements to sit for the family nurse practitioner certification exam in as little as 14 weeks.
Southeastern also offers a doctorate in educational leadership in a consortium with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, in which many of the courses are online. In place since 2006, the program offers specializations in special education administration and educational technology administration. The program has graduated 50 students since its inception.
The newest online degree program initiated at Southeastern leads to a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership with a specific concentration in the area of disaster relief management. The program is offered in cooperation with the eight other institutions in the University of Louisiana System with the other institutions offering a variety of different concentrations.
Karen Fontenot, interim dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Studies, said the degree is a good fit for Southeastern, which has served as a staging area for various agencies during hurricanes, major storms and other disaster-related incidents. The degree, she said, will help to prepare professionals who can recognize existing and potential areas of disaster and who can plan and implement relief strategies before, during and after incidents.
The program is intended primarily for individuals who have completed some college, providing them an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree online without having to go through traditional college courses.
The AC Online ranking can be found at affordablecollegesonline.org/online-colleges/louisiana/.