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Leading the Way: Online LPS Program Earns Quality Matters Certification

LPS graduates pose for a photo in their regalia with program advisor and faculty member.
The spring 2019 LPS graduates gather for a photo. Left to right: Christina Martin, Bridget Crabtree, LaShica Waters, Forrestine Parker-Fenner, Tracy Appling and Miles Canady.

The online Leadership in the Public Sector (LPS) bachelor’s degree completion program is making history at NC State as the first program to earn Quality Matters (QM) Program Review Certification — and becomes just one of eight in the nation to earn certification in the program design category. 

What does this mean for students? A proven commitment to their success and the promise of earning a high-quality education. QM program recognition means every single course in the LPS program meets a set of nationally recognized course design standards based on research and best practices. 

Teaching Assistant Professor Tracy Appling first got started with Quality Matters in the Online Course Improvement Program led by DELTA’s Assistant Director of Course Quality Bethanne Tobey. Appling credits much of her success and the program’s QM certification to Tobey and the team at DELTA.  

When a student begins their journey in the LPS program, they can count on receiving the best of the best in online education. Courses are structured and organized, assignments have clear rubrics, and students know exactly where to go to get the information they need.

This commitment to excellence is also reflected in the 2021 U.S. News and World Report rankings where the LPS program jumped 25 spots from last year to No. 14 in the country for best online bachelor’s programs

Among the outstanding faculty and staff, Program Advisor LaShica Waters, Ph.D., adds a personal touch to the program. From the first inquiry to graduation, Waters holds one-on-one sessions to get to know students, including their academic and career goals as well as their family life. 

Waters prides herself on being attentive and responsive. “If they’re up, I’m up,” she says about answering emails at all hours of the day. 

Waters and the instructors of the program are well-versed in online and distance learning — understanding the system and its challenges, and always providing students a sense of connection and community in their courses.  

Many of these attributes are the result of each instructor’s time and dedication to one thing — quality. Quality course and program design with the ultimate goal of student success. 

About LPS 

The online Leadership in the Public Sector bachelor’s degree completion program is fully asynchronous to give students the flexibility they need to earn their degrees. The 120-credit-hour program is intended for students who already have at least 60 credit hours or an associate degree. 

Many military members enroll in the program to have the content accessible and ready to complete at their own time and pace regardless of time zone. 

Career opportunities in the public sector are endless — nonprofit, government agencies, higher education institutions and more. 

Are you interested in completing your degree? Apply by Oct. 1 for spring 2022 admission. 

Visit the LPS program page for more information, and follow the program on Facebook for more updates. For specific questions, email

To learn more about NC State’s efforts to raise the bar for quality online education, visit the Course Quality Program website.