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2013.01.15 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO Online Degree Program Ranked As One of Best by US News & World Report

Omaha - A University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) degree with post-WWII origins has been recognized for its flexibility in the 21st century as one of the country’s best online bachelor degree programs according to U.S. News & World Report.

UNO’s online Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree, the only fully-online bachelor's degree available in the University of Nebraska System, is in the top 5 percent of online degree programs in the country. The BGS ranked 11th out of 200 programs, ahead of offerings from the University of Florida, George Washington University and the University of Missouri.

“For over 60 years, the BGS degree has provided many students the access and flexibility needed to move them ahead in their career,” said John Bartle, acting dean of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, which houses the BGS program. “This ranking recognizes the quality and relevance of the degree. Those looking to complete their bachelors degree or for an option that gives them greater flexibility find it in the BGS, and the online option makes it that much more convenient.”

UNO’s online BGS degree is designed with the modern adult learner in mind, featuring seven degrees and 18 areas of specialization including Computer Science, Nonprofit Administration and Criminal Justice.

The online degree program is part of UNO’s larger BGS program, which houses over 40 degree specialties, which can be taken online, on campus or through a blend of those two options.

The degree’s origins date back to the 1940s when the U.S. Government initiated its “Operation Bootstrap” program to help prepare those who served for post-military life through a strong, yet flexible education program. UNO’s role in the program made the BGS degree one of the first of its kind in the country.

“I'm extremely pleased with this recognition for our BGS degree program,” Chancellor John Christensen said. “This has been a long standing, high quality program at UNO, which the faculty and staff have admirably translated into an online form of teaching and learning that is providing important options and opportunities for students.”

In the over 60 years since it was formed, UNO has educated active military and veteran students who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosvo, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, among many others. Two such alumni are former Sen. Chuck Hagel and Lt. Col. Robert Moore.

“My decision to pursue and complete my Bachelors of General Studies Degree from UNO was a positive, life-changing decision for me,” said Moore, a maintenance squadron commander for the Air Force. “It allowed me to complete my degree in minimum time and, unlike other accelerated degree programs, I was able to get my degree in the major I was interested in. With the help of UNO's outstanding staff, not only did I get my degree fast [but] I was selected to attend Officer's Training School in the Air Force the first time I applied. UNO made my career-long dream of becoming an officer a reality."

UNO began offering the BGS through distance education in 1997 and through online courses in 2007.

One notable online program graduate is Eva Payne, founder and CEO of Project Kindle, a nonprofit, cost-free camp for children impacted by HIV and AIDS.

“I never thought I would not finish school,” wrote Payne after receiving an alumni award from UNO’s Division of Continuing Studies. “Even though I started Kindle and was viewed as a leader, I felt less for not having my degree,” she said. “I was able to complete my undergrad with ease through the online program. I am proud to be an alum of UNO and look forward to my continued involvement with the school.”

As part of its online course offerings, the BGS provides live streaming audio and video; recorded audio and video; smartphone and tablet applications; and online labs. Online students are also given complete access to academic advisors, the UNO Bookstore, career placement assistance, digitized library materials, technical support and writing workshops.

The BGS has awarded over 22,000 degrees since its first class graduated in 1951.

For more information on the BGS degree, or its online component, contact Gina Toman, director of the Division of Continuing Studies, at 554.4832 or by email at rtoman@unomaha.edu.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu