COVID-19 impacted instructional formats, with most universities initially shifting to online-only course delivery prompted by stay home protocols. It has also affected some college rankings, which now place more emphasis on distance learning options. Northern Michigan University is the only U.P. school in Michigan's top “Tier 1,” according to an Educate to Career (ETC) ranking adapted for the COVID-19 climate.
ETC released a ranking system in 2014 based on economic metrics such as reasonable total cost and getting grads into the labor market with high relative earnings. This year, according to a press release, ETC has ranked schools in four tiers based on different criteria.
“With our new rankings system, a 'distance learning' component is mandatory for a high ranking, simply because there is a real possibility that at least some instruction will be done via the internet,” stated the rankings introduction. “Colleges that rank in our Tier 1 meet the following criteria: a physical campus for in-classroom instruction, should the health authorities allow colleges to open [NMU announced its plan to return to face-to-face instruction this fall]; robust software and systems to support distance learning programs; faculty experience in teaching online; and reasonable tuitions and fees on a relative basis.”
The system revision of the 2020 ETC College Rankings identifies 1,200 colleges sorted by state. It ranks them according to their ability to offer a quality education under any conceivable scenario: in-classroom, online and a blend of each format.
See the full ETC rankings here.