Newsweek names MTSU to America’s Top Online Colleg...

Newsweek names MTSU to America’s Top Online Colleges 2022 list

Middle Tennessee State University has been named to Newsweek’s list of America’s Top Online Colleges 2022.

The prestigious recognition is compiled by Newsweek and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider.

MTSU ranked 40th among the 150 higher-ed institutions highlighted and was the only Tennessee university that made the list.

Dr. Trey Martindale, chief online learning officer (Photo by Russ Houston / Mississippi State University)

Dr. Trey Martindale

Dr. Rick Sluder, vice provost, Student Success; dean, University College

Dr. Rick Sluder

The ranking highlights the nation’s top colleges with online degrees, based on an online survey earlier this year with over 12,000 assessments from more than 9,000 respondents who participated in online college degree programs and/or general online learning courses in the United States.

Respondents shared their experiences by rating the institutions on several criteria: organization and accessibility, support and service, the cost of the program, its perceived organizational reputation, their expected success, and the practical relevance of the program’s contents.

Finally, respondents could indicate how satisfied they were with the organization and to what extent they would recommend it to others.

MTSU Online, which is administered by the University College, offers several fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees and concentrations.

The university has invested heavily in recent years in technology upgrades to expand its ability to provide high-quality online courses, both synchronously and asynchronously.

University College Dean Rick Sluder said the support of MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee has been “an essential part of the equation for success” in the growth of the university’s online offerings over the past two decades.

“MTSU has a 20-year foundation of involvement in online learning. Within the past three years the development of additional online capacity has become a primary university strategic priority,” Sluder said. “We have hired a new chief online learning officer and three instructional designers, added important supports for both students and faculty, and asked faculty and chairs to add online programs.

“Outcomes to date include the development on 11 additional online programs to be launched soon, with another 12 online programs in the final phases of completion.”

Spearheading the online expansion is Chief Online Learning Officer Trey Martindale, who joined the university a year ago and leads MTSU Online, a team of professionals that includes a director, instructional designers and support staff.

This unit is responsible for facilitating faculty efforts in developing online courses and programs and coordinating supports for students enrolled in online courses.

“I am so pleased to see this ranking, because it serves as a recognition of the hard work by our faculty as they develop innovative courses and our instructional designers and support staff as they help our faculty and students succeed online,” Martindale said.

“We are very vigilant about the quality of MTSU online courses. And while awards and rankings are good news, we are most gratified with the success of students as they pursue their life goals. We are here to serve those students and achieve our goals of a well prepared and educated citizenry for Tennessee and beyond.”

Newsweek and Statista recognized a total of 182 institutions that offer online learning courses or online degrees to adult learners. They divided the institutions into two groups: “America’s Top Online Colleges,”  150 colleges and universities that offer online degree programs, including hybrid programs with online and offline courses or exams; and “America’s Top Online Learning Providers,” 32 institutions other than a university or college which provide access to their own or third-party online courses.

To learn more about MTSU’s online course offerings, visit

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