Stephen F. Austin State University

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Five SFA degree programs recognized among top in nation

November 22, 2016 - University Marketing Communications

Within the past two months, SFA has been recognized by national organizations for the exceptional value and affordability of five degree programs offered through various SFA departments.

Online programs leading to Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration degrees were recently ranked as two of the most affordable in the U.S. Additionally, in the James I. Perkins College of Education, SFA's counseling program, its family and consumer sciences program, and the master's program in educational leadership were ranked among the top in the nation.

Business

Value Colleges ranked SFA among the top 50 universities to offer one of the most affordable online undergraduate business programs for 2017.

Value Colleges used reputability as scored by the U.S. News and World Report as well as pay scale data and overall tuition cost to determine which programs were the most valuable.

SFA's online Bachelor of Business Administration degree appeals to students who have earned an associate degree from a community college or who hope to build on foundational courses to earn a BBA in a more flexible format.

"The online BBA completion program is an exceptional program providing the opportunity for many students to complete their business degree," said Dr. Tim Bisping, dean of the Rusche College of Business. "I am pleased to see the quality of this program, resulting from the dedication of our faculty and staff members, being recognized in this way."

Public Administration

In the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, the online Master of Public Administration, which is housed in the Department of Government, was noted as one of the nation's 30 most affordable programs, according to College Values Online.

College Values Online reviewed 150 such degrees offered through non-profit, regionally accredited schools. According to the ranking organization's website, SFA's online Master of Public Administration students gain real-world experience through research projects, graduate assistantships and internships.

"The affordability of the SFA program is to ensure that a quality master's program in public administration becomes available to all," said Dr. Kwame Antwi-Boasiako, chair of SFA's Department of Government. "The fully-online program allows our faculty members to utilize all available technological outlets to communicate effectively with our students. Our faculty members are committed to reaching out to our students so it's not just another online program but a committed and dedicated one with a quality education."

Counseling

In November, SFA received the No. 1 ranking from topcounselingschools.org for having the top-value counseling master's degree in Texas.

"We recognize and take seriously the responsibility of training professional counselors. We have high expectations for our students, and they rise to the challenge," said Dr. Le'Ann Solmonson, director of SFA's professional counseling program and professor. "We believe we do an excellent job training counselors. This ranking provides validation to the strength of our program."

SFA's 60-hour master's in professional counseling program includes three degree concentrations: school counseling, clinical mental health counseling and clinical rehabilitation counseling. The program is a combination of online and face-to-face courses.

All three programs lead to the Licensed Professional Counselor credential. The school counseling and clinical rehabilitation counseling students also are certified in their specialization, Certified School Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.

Family and Consumer Sciences

Additionally, the university was ranked among the top 50 great value colleges for family and consumer sciences degrees in the nation by Great Value Colleges.

SFA's No. 47 ranking among the almost 400 U.S. colleges identified for comparison distinguishes it as one of the most attractive programs for consumer sciences students.

"This recognition is a testament to how qualified and supportive SFA's School of Human Sciences faculty members are," said Dr. Lynda Martin, director of SFA's School of Human Sciences. "They go the extra mile to make sure our students receive a quality education."

Educational Leadership

In October, SFA's online master's degree program in educational leadership was named the third best and among the most affordable online programs in the nation, according to a ranking by Educational Leadership Degree Programs, a website dedicated to helping students select the degree program that best suits their needs.

"It is a terrific honor to be recognized for the excellence and value that we've always known our program to have," said Dr. Barbara Qualls, assistant professor of secondary education and educational leadership and program coordinator at SFA.

Website editors based the rankings on specific criteria, including tuition, accreditation and size of the program. Site editors said SFA's program "bolsters Texas' status as the queen of online education leadership degrees."

SFA's nationally accredited program offers a 30-hour master's degree in educational leadership and an 18-hour principal certification. The program is administered completely online.

"Our students are the future of Texas' educational leadership. They deserve and receive the best and most consistent educational experience we can give them," Qualls said.

The program utilizes a scholar-practitioner approach incorporating theory and practice-based learning that focuses on research-based practices, curriculum and instructional leadership.

For more information about any of these programs, visit the website at www.sfasu.edu/academics.