SUNY Delhi leads in online learning

By Perry Russom

January 15, 2014 Updated Jan 15, 2014 at 7:25 PM EDT

Delhi, NY (WBNG Binghamton) SUNY Delhi started their online nursing courses trying to meet the states needs for nurses.

With the colleges strength in teaching them, the program is now receiving national recognition.

In the 2014 edition of U.S. News and World report, SUNY Delhi sits at the top of the list for best online bachelor's program.

"Yes, we deserve this," said Candace Vancko, president at SUNY Delhi. "It's a fabulous program."

"It seemed almost impossible that a little college in the middle of beautiful upstate New York would receive that kind of national recognition."

SUNY Delhi received the national recognition because of their nursing school.

"It's really the faculty and staff that got us to this level," said Mary Pat Lewis, dean of the School of Nursing.

The online bachelor's program started five years ago when enrollment was projected to be around 50 students.

That number has since spiked to 750.

"It was the perfect marriage between that student group and our program strength," said Vancko.

Vancko said the beauty of the program is that you don't have to be on campus to learn or teach for that matter. One of the professors teaches 5,600 miles away in Jerusalem.

"Students wouldn't know that," said Lewis. "They can connect with her at anytime."

To be in the program, you have to be a registered nurse with an associates degree.

"Their experience in our program surpasses what they experience in an on-ground program in their associate degree program," said Lewis.

With the nursing program on it's way, their focus is now on growing their online criminal justice program. It's the first one in the SUNY system.

On Tuesday, SUNY Delhi was approved for the first graduate program for a masters in science for nursing. Vancko said she hopes to start that program by the upcoming fall.