UAF is first university to earn QM ‘exemplary’ status
The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers its students an exceptional online special
education and teaching program, according to a top rating organization for online
Quality Matters, which promotes high-caliber online education, designated UAF’s online
special education and teaching program as “exemplary.” UAF is the first university
to earn that status from QM in any field.
Exemplary programs are those that earn QM certifications in four areas within three years. UAF’s special education and teaching program earned
its fourth certification — in online learner success — in June. It previously was
recognized for program design, teaching support and learner support.
“I completed a master’s degree in special education completely online through UAF
while I was teaching full-time,” said Kristy Robbins, principal and teacher at Eagle
Community School in eastern Alaska. “The quality of the program was first-rate all
the way. While the coursework was often challenging, I always felt supported. The
flexibility of the teaching staff and their understanding of my unique situation made
my experience very personal.”
QM’s exemplary program distinction confirms that UAF provides the key parts of a high-quality online program where students learn what they need.
“Our goal is for every online student to maximize their achievement and obtain the
tools and knowledge needed for success in today’s world. Having key program components
in place assists them in doing that,” said Anupma Prakash, UAF provost and executive
vice chancellor. “And attaining Quality Matters exemplary program status reinforces
to stakeholders — including students and parents — that we have those components in
place and are committed to providing the highest quality online education and services
for our learners.”
QM’s rigorous review process examines the components that students need to succeed
in online learning, from aligned measurable course objectives to student and faculty
support in learning and teaching online. The criteria are based on research-supported
evidence, as well as knowledge gained from reviewing several thousand courses, from
hundreds of institutions, over more than a decade. QM also reviews external comparisons
and benchmarks to determine if program participants succeed at a high rate.
“Earning Quality Matters exemplary program status is an outstanding achievement that should be commended,” said Deb Adair, QM’s executive director. “In today’s competitive online learning landscape, it serves as a differentiator and highlights University of Alaska Fairbanks’ resolve to set students up for success — now and in the future.”