The University of Houston-Victoria's Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences in computer information systems was once again named a "Best Buy" from GetEducated.com's list of online computer science and information technology degrees.
Ranked fourth in the nation, the program was listed high for value and affordability in rankings released last week. UHV was the only Texas university that made the list.
"UHV administrators do a great job of keeping tuition fees low for our students but still allowing us to provide a quality education," said Li Chao, a computer science and mathematics professor, and chair of the Science, Technology and Mathematics Division in the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. "We have limited resources to promote our program compared to the larger, flagship universities. This ranking shows that we offer a quality degree that is affordable."
GetEducation.com, a consumer group that rates online college programs, calculated the rankings by reviewing and analyzing tuition and distance learning fees at 50 regionally accredited U.S. colleges. The survey covered a wide range of computer science majors, including information systems, applied technology and telecommunications.
"UHV's online computer science program represents a type of forward thinking that is critical to the future of public higher education," GetEducated.com founder Vicky Phillips said. "UHV is a laudable example of a public university where innovation through educational technology is an established part of the institution's mission to deliver quality higher education that is both affordable and accessible to working information technology professionals nationwide."
The national average cost of an online computer science bachelor's degree is $49,546, according to GetEducated.com. But UHV is more affordable at an average of $26,555 for Texas residents.
GetEducated.com releases new rankings every other year. The last ranking in 2011 also listed UHV's program fourth in the nation.
"The high ranking of our program speaks to the quality and dedication of our computer science faculty," said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. "The program has improved each year, with only a few more steps to go to become the highest-ranked program in the country."
Chao agreed that the ranking helps promote the strength of the UHV computer science faculty members, who understand the importance of staying active with research in a field that is constantly changing. He said the computer science program has a high rate of faculty members who are published in books and journals, so they know the latest technologies.
UHV's computer science degree is designed for students who want to work as a computer programmer, systems analyst or software engineer. Students who want to teach computer science or continue their education at the graduate level also are a good fit for the program.
The university has offered online computer science classes since the mid-1990s. Chao said it is hard to offer a computer science degree online because of technology and security related issues, but the university uses new technologies, such as virtualization and cloud computing, to give students access to cloud-based online computer labs.
UHV also offers computer science bachelor's degrees in digital gaming and simulation, networking and security, and Web and media, and a graduate program in computer information systems.
GetEducated.com has researched and published consumer data about 3,817 different accredited online degrees. Since 1989, the online degree clearinghouse has been cited by CNN Money and Newsweek as a credible, trustworthy source for information about online degree programs.