Education
NC Based American Teachers Alliances Launches Nationwide PDF Print E-mail
Education
By Donna Martinez   
Friday, 08 October 2021 17:21

North Carolina based educator association, Carolina Teachers Alliance (CTA), expanded nationwide this week with the launch of “American Teachers Alliance (ATA).”  American Teachers Alliance’s vision is an academically sound unbiased education for all children. ATA is a nationwide alternative to the politically charged teacher unions.  

CTA was founded by college adjunct and high school teacher, Amy Marshall, in early 2021, and its membership continues to grow in North Carolina. “We are extending our memberships and benefits nationwide, as an affordable alternative to the large politically charged unions. Many teachers are paying over $1,000 a year in dues to unions whose ideologies they oppose.  

We at ATA hope to unify and empower American educators focused on delivering achievement-driven content designed to improve student performance, so American children may excel academically. Also, teachers need to have the freedom to teach patriotism and love of America and should not be forced to deliver non-academic political content. American Teachers Alliance is not just for teachers, but is for all school staff, parents, and community members who want a strong, quality, academics-based education for America’s children. We believe parents are partners, not obstacles,” said association president, Amy Marshall. 

American Teachers Alliance offers tiered memberships, with annual dues ranging from $300 to $25 a year. Any W2 school employee, full or part time, public or private, pre-K through college, may join and have coverage under their nationwide insurance and legal professional educators’ plan. ATA offers a full suite of member benefits: 

  • Affordable alternative to expensive union dues 
  • Professional educators’ liability insurance and legal protection 
  • Extensive nationwide corporate discount program 
  • Professional development rebate program (up to $100/year rebate per member) 
  • Free and discounted professional development  
  • Scholarships and grants 
  • Member advocacy – quarterly surveys to state and federal policy makers 
  • Monthly member spotlights and awards 
  • Discounts on education magazines; Monthly e-newsletter 
  • Leadership opportunities 
  • Free and discounted promotional merchandise 
  • Member cash rewards program 
  •  

American Teachers Alliance is a program of Carolina Teachers Alliance, Inc, a North Carolina non-profit corporation trade association, filing for tax-exempt status with the IRS under 501(c)(6).

 
Elizabeth City State Prepares Regional Economic Forecast PDF Print E-mail
Education
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 06 October 2021 10:35

As Elizabeth City State University’s Oct. 14 Regional Economic Summit draws near, professor of economics for the Department of Business, Accounting and Sport Management, Dr. Kingsley Nwala, is putting the final pieces of a regional economic forecast together for a presentation that will assist as a catalyst for the future of the region. His work will calculate the economic data taken from 2019 through 2021, providing local governments and economic developers a window to a possible future.

“2019 was the beginning of the COVID-19 period and so 2020 is highly impacted,” says Dr. Nwala. “So, you look at what happened and where it will lead.”

What happened was a massive shutdown of public and private sector operations amidst an ongoing pandemic. The shutdowns throughout 2020 made a lasting impact on the region, says Dr. Nwala, but the outlook is not dire.

He says that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, because of the widespread shutdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19, there was a collapse in consumer spending and many businesses reduced hours of operations and employees. His data will not only show the details of that impact, but also provide a view into a possible economic future that is actually looking up, he said.

“We know that the North Carolina population grew in 2020,” he said. “Unemployment is going down. There are some growing industries in the state and they are projected to grow faster. So that’s all good.”

The report will focus on the 21-county region that makes up Northeastern North Carolina. Dr. Nwala’s presentation, he said, will use all of the available economic data to “depict economic activities in the state of North Carolina and these counties.”

The data used in his forecast includes regional Real GDPs (Gross Domestic Product), industry contributions, industry employment size, population growth, unemployment rates, and the regional labor force.

The forecast will provide a look at which industries have declined and which ones have grown.

The summit, which requires pre-registration to attend, will take place at the K.E. White Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 14. Topics during the summit will range from the economic forecast, to tourism and travel, to transportation, to renewable energy and more.

A list of speakers throughout the day will include experts in renewable resources, tourism, marketing, industry, transportation, business development, and workforce issues.

Machelle Sanders, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, will be the event’s keynote speaker.  

The Regional Economic Summit is part of an ECSU initiative to secure its position as a catalyst in regional economic, social, and environmental development, and to facilitate collaboration with industry and government to improve life in Northeastern North Carolina.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 October 2021 10:54
 
Elizabeth City State Earns Grant To Bolster Adult Learning PDF Print E-mail
Education
By Donna Martinez   
Friday, 01 October 2021 16:56

Elizabeth City State University has received a $175,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation to help eliminate barriers blocking adult students from the education they need for long-term success.

ECSU is one of five HBCUs in North Carolina to receive the grant.

“This is a capacity-building grant to help us put things in place to better serve our adult learners,” said ECSU’s Vice Chancellor for the Division of Student Affairs, Dr. Gary Brown.

Adults returning to higher education, or coming to universities for the first time, is a growing trend across the country. At ECSU, the number of adult students has consistently grown in recent years, marking a trend that the university is aiming to bolster through its existing and future programs.

“In the fall of 2019, we had 359 adult learners. In 2020 we had 446, now, in 2021, we have 521 adult learners,” said Dr. Brown. “So, we continue to grow in this space.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 40 percent of all enrolled college students are 25 and older, and this number is projected to rise. Dr. Brown says these students come to the university with an existing level of responsibility due to work and/or family obligations, so their needs are different from traditional students.

Dr. Brown said the grant will assist ECSU in developing a three-step strategy to assist adult students. The first step, he said, will be to develop a survey that will help the university understand the experience of the students and, “create a baseline to better serve our adult learners.”

“Two, we want to create a policy that allows us to give credit to our adult learners for the experience they bring,” he said. Work and life experience could, under this policy, be counted toward college credit hours.

The third step is to look at making education even more accessible to adult students. In the past, ECSU had offered evening and weekend classes. Dr. Brown says his team will look at bringing those back to campus to better assist adult students, for example.

The university will also look at specific degree programs that would be ideal for adult learners. Currently, ECSU offers online degrees such as Interdisciplinary, Homeland Security, and Elementary Education. The online Interdisciplinary Degree program, for example, is growing in popularity and giving students the opportunity to pursue a degree while juggling life responsibilities off campus.

“Our online presence is making an impact for this group,” he said.

In addition, Dr. Brown says because COVID-19 had required remote and hybrid learning through the early stages of the pandemic, university officials began to see the potential of hybrid learning options. The hybrid approach allows students to take classes both in-person and online.

“The hybrid approach to instruction provides a level of flexibility,” he said. “For someone working, that flexibility is important.”

The Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation based in Indianapolis, Indiana that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all people. Through their work, they envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Their goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and success in a global economy.

ECSU is a University of North Carolina System constituent university in Northeastern North Carolina offering 28 bachelor’s degrees and four master’s degrees and is the only four-year university offering a bachelor’s degree in aviation science and unmanned aerial systems, or drones, in the state.

 
Elizabeth City State Masters Program Earns Accreditation PDF Print E-mail
Education
By Administrator   
Monday, 20 September 2021 17:20

Elizabeth City State University’s Master of Elementary Education and Master of School Administration degree programs have received advanced accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation, or CAEP.

According to Dr. Joy Smith, dean of the School of Education and Business and director of Graduate Education, advanced CAEP accreditation means that students in these graduate degree programs in the “teacher leader track,” are now covered by this accreditation. CAEP is an organization created to advance the excellence in educator preparation “through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.”

ECSU Provost Farrah J. Ward announced the news to the university’s board of trustees during their quarterly meeting Tuesday, Sept. 14. She explained that these programs had previously been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, but the accreditation responsibility has now moved to CAEP, which had accredited ECSU’s undergraduate teacher education program and Masters of Elementary Education’s initial licensure track two years ago.

“We received both of these accreditations (for the master programs) without recommendation,” Provost Ward told the trustees. Without recommendation means that CAEP is 100 percent satisfied that ECSU’s program meets its standards.

According to CAEP’s standards for advanced accreditation, these programs are defined as “educator preparation programs at the post-baccalaureate and graduate levels leading to licensure, certification, or endorsement.”

Advanced level programs such as those at ECSU are designed to develop pre-K through grade 12 teachers who “have already completed an initial preparation program, currently licensed administrators, other certificated school professionals for employment in P-12” schools and school districts.

Accreditation means that ECSU shows “evidence that the provider’s graduates are competent and caring educators,” and show “solid evidence that the provider (ECSU) has the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.”

Dr. Smith says the CAEP standards represent a “sea change” in the way programs are assessed by the accreditation organization. Programs, she says, that are CAEP accredited have shown how they assess their students and have “developed metrics that document evidence of the education received by their students.”

“Achieving CAEP Advanced-Level Accreditation shows the evidence of the focused and rigorous learning undertaken by graduates of these programs,” said Dr. Smith.

In January 2019, ECSU began offering its first online Master of Education degree program. In addition to the Master of Elementary Education Teacher Leader Track that prepares students to seek National Board Certification, the university also offers a Master of Elementary Education Initial Certification Program for anyone with a bachelor’s degree that chooses to become an elementary school teacher.

ECSU also offers a Master of School Administration degree. Many of the region’s public-school principals have graduated from this program and have going on to lead K-12 institutions.

ECSU continues to receive high rankings from national organizations such as the recent Washington Monthly top 20 for bachelor’s degree colleges nationwide or the Military Times Best Bet for Vets, and most recently U.S. News and Worlds Report for Top Public Schools in the Regional South, 10th for Top Performers in Social Mobility in the Regional South, 22nd in the nation for Top HBCU, and 33rd for Best Regional College South.

Elizabeth City State University is a UNC System constituent university in Northeastern North Carolina. ECSU offers 28 bachelor’s degrees and four master’s degree and is the only four-year university offering a bachelor’s degree in aviation science and unmanned aerial systems, or drones.

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