A great article, Elizabeth.
A key reason I went with Northeastern and not some of the other school options was that I wanted access to talented instructors. I was impressed with the background of the instructors that worked with Northeastern.
Now that I've been there a year, I've been extremely impressed with how skilled many of them are.
Still, even a school with a good reputation is going to have its ups and downs. After an experience with an instructor who I felt was quite average, I began researching my instructors before signing up for a class. I look them up both with Northeastern's internal review system and also a web-based public review system. This has helped me to avoid one or two instructors who other students said were just not up to the high standards I'd want.
Since I'm taking these classes to really learn the material - not just to "get the credits and move on" - it's important to me that the teacher is exceptional and engaged.