East Carolina University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Division of Continuing Studies
Greenville, North Carolina

Distance Learning Program

East Carolina University's academic community has developed a diverse offering of distance learning programs in direct response to the needs of students. A number of fully online programs are currently available, with additional programs under development. ECU is committed to providing programs designed to meet the professional needs and demanding schedules of busy, working adults. For more information on the latest offerings, students should visit the Web site for the Division of Continuing Studies, which is listed in the Contact section of this description.

Delivery Media

East Carolina University's Web-based courses are faculty-member created Web sites that contain course materials and interactive tools. Many use the Blackboard Course Management System. Faculty members may employ a variety of communication tools within their courses, including threaded discussion groups, small-group work, asynchronous Web-based chats, and instant messaging. In addition, faculty members may elect to deliver essential components of their courses via audio and video streaming, by distribution of CDs, or by using desktop videoconferencing technologies.

Programs of Study

The Master of Arts (M.A.) is offered in English/technical and professional communications and in psychology*. The Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) is offered in art education, business education, health education, instructional technology, science education, and special education. The Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) is offered. The Master of Science (M.S.) is offered in criminal justice, instructional technology, nutrition and dietetics, speech-language pathology*, and vocational education/information technologies. The Master of Science in Industrial Technology (M.S.I.T.) is offered in computer networking management, digital communications, distribution and logistics, information security, manufacturing, and performance improvement. The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) is offered in family nurse practitioner*, neonatal nurse practitioner*, nurse midwifery*, and nursing education*. The Master of Library Science (M.L.S.), Master of Music (M.M.) in music education*, and Master of Science in Occupational Safety (M.S.O.S.) are also available. The * denotes those programs that require some on-campus atten dance.

ECU also offers undergraduate degree completion programs leading to the Bachelor of Science in Business Education (B.S.B.E.) in information technologies, the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology (B.S.I.T.), the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.), and the Registered Nurse/Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN/B.S.N.). The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree is offered in birth through kindergarten education, communications, health information management, health services management, hospitality management, and information and computer technology. ECU offers graduate certificate programs in assistive technology, computer network professional, information assurance, multicultural literature, performance improvement, professional communication, security studies, tele-learning, virtual reality in education and training, and Web site development. The assistive technology program requires some on-campus attendance.

Post-master's nursing certificates are offered, with concentrations in family nurse practitioner*, nurse midwifery*, neonatal nurse practitioner*, and nursing education.

ECU offers add-on licensure programs in computers in education, driver's education, and preschool. The preschool program requires some on-campus attendance.

Founded in 1907, East Carolina University (ECU) is the third-largest of the sixteen institutions in the University of North Carolina system and offers baccalaureate, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees in the liberal arts and sciences and professional fields, including medicine. Fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the University's goal is to provide students with a rich and distinctive educational experience. ECU's commitment to providing outstanding off-campus educational opportunities is long-standing; the University offered its first distance education course in 1947. The Division of Continuing Studies provides a portal at http://www.options.ecu.edu to the resources of the University as well as assistance that allows adult learners to choose programs that fit their schedules and academic goals. East Carolina University is constantly evaluating and updating its distance learning programs to take advantage of the latest technology and is committed to meeting the evolving needs of the lifelong learner.

Additional online programs currently under development include the M.A. degree in health education, the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in educational leadership, and a certificate in community college teaching.

Student Services

Distance learners at East Carolina University have access to library services, the campus network, e-mail accounts, the bookstore, registration, and academic advising at a distance. Academic advisers are available by phone, e-mail, fax, and in person to assist students with course selection.

Credit Options

Transfer credit is granted on academic course work within degree-specific limits, and no credit is granted on the basis of professional experience. CLEP course credit may also be available.


ECU's approximately 1,300 full-time faculty members, the majority of whom hold terminal degrees, teach both the on-campus and distance-learning courses.


Before registering for a course, students must first apply and be admitted to ECU. Students may be admitted as degree-seeking or as nondegree/visiting students. Admission for students seeking a degree is based on their previous academic record and standardized test scores. A performance-based admission policy is available for adult students. In addition, graduate students are required to submit letters of recommendation.

Tuition and Fees

Undergraduate tuition and technology fees are $88 per semester hour for in-state residents, $376 per semester hour for out-of-state students, and $433 per semester hour for in-state nonresidents. Graduate tuition and technology fees are $124 per semester hour for in-state residents, $506 per semester hour for out-of-state students, and $630 per semester hour for in-state nonresidents. Graduate students taking under-graduate courses are charged graduate tuition. Rates are projected and subject to change without prior written notice.

Financial Aid

Distance learning students are eligible to apply for financial aid and are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid at 252-328-6610, [email protected], or via the Web at http://www.ecu.edu/financial/ for more information.


Carolyn Dunn
Division of Continuing Studies
215 Erwin Building
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina 27858-4353
Phone: 252-328-2657
800-398-9275 (toll-free)
Fax: 252-328-1600
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.options.ecu.edu


Prospective students must submit an application, accompanied by a fee of $50, for admission. Applications can also be obtained online from the Division of Continuing Studies at the Web site listed in the Contact section. While most programs accept students year-round, students are urged to apply early. No on-campus orientation is required for distance learning students.

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East Carolina University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth