Elizabeth City State Earns Grant To Bolster Adult Learning PDF Print E-mail
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
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.


Alamance Community College Gets $577,917 Grant PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Friday, 03 September 2021 16:32
Alamance Community College (ACC) has been presented a $577,917 federal grant from the Economic Development Administration to The grant will assist the college in the acquisition of equipment needed for its new Biotechnology Center of Excellence in partnership with LabCorp, based in NC-13.
The project is anticipated to create nearly 100 jobs and leverage millions in private investment.
Rep. Tedd Budd said in a statement: “It was my pleasure to join Alamance Community College President Algie Gatewood, LabCorp’s Don Van Hagen, and State Senator Amy Galey today to present this competitive federal grant to help ACC continue on it’s way to becoming a regional powerhouse for biotechnology. This grant will help create jobs, propel private investment, and strengthen our regional economy.”
This EDA investment supports the Alamance Community College with purchasing equipment needed for the college's new Biotechnology Center of Excellence in Alamance County, North Carolina, a designated Opportunity Zone.  
The new center will include training for critically needed workers in health care, medical testing in the bio agriculture industries, and provide a skilled workforce necessary for the region’s growing biotechnology cluster.  
The CARES Act provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
Elizabeth City State Becomes Coding And Creativity Center For Apple PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 08:43

Elizabeth City State University is now a community center for Coding and Creativity as part of Apple’s Community Education Initiative and Tennessee State University’s HBCU C2. The teaching and learning initiative is designed to empower Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to expand technology and creativity experiences within their institutions and broader communities. 

“Partnering with HBCUs across the country to expand career opportunities for our students and communities is an important step to establishing a strong footing for future careers,” said ECSU Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon. “Coding and STEM development and our partnership with Apple and the other HBCU C2centers provides an opportunity for students to gain more skills that will prepare them for an increasingly competitive workforce. We are excited to be a part of this important collaboration.”

ECSU is now among nearly four dozen universities across the country serving as HBCU C2 community coding centers or regional hubs. Since 2019, participating HBCUs have offered new learning opportunities to thousands of degree-seeking students and community learners and expanded their impact through partnerships with local K-12 schools, community organizations, local governments, and more. 

As part of its Community Education Initiative, Apple is supporting ECSU with equipment and ongoing professional development to become the pre-eminent HBCU C2 community center to bring coding and creativity to Northeastern North Carolina communities. 

Faculty and educators will learn about coding and app development, and work with Apple to identify opportunities to incorporate its comprehensive Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curricula, which utilizes the easy-to-learn Swift programming language. Support from Apple also includes mobile iPad and Mac labs, opportunities for student jobs and scholarships, and funding for staff.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 September 2021 08:56

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