East Carolina University
In January 2017, the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina unanimously approved Higher Expectations, a five-year Strategic Plan for the UNC System. The Plan calls on the UNC System to achieve ambitious goals in access, student success, affordability and efficiency, economic impact and community engagement, and institutional excellence and diversity.
Progress on these goals and metrics will be achieved through the hard work and commitment of institutional leaders, faculty, and staff. In that spirit, East Carolina University has identified these contributions that East Carolina University aspires to make to the UNC Strategic Plan over the next five years.
By fall 2021, ECU will enroll 8,070 low-income students, an 11.7% increase over 2015 levels (843 additional low-income students over a base of 7,227).
From ECU: ECU will be a national leader as a “best value” in undergraduate and graduate education while minimizing student debt and cultivating an institutional culture of timely graduation. The university will develop programs to grow the number of enrolled and graduating low-income students through the provision of micro-scholarships in partnership with RaiseMe and strong relationships with community colleges, including through Pirate Promise, a co-admissions partnership with nearly 20 participating NC community colleges.
By fall 2021, ECU will enroll 10,915 rural students, an 8.8% increase over 2016 levels (883 additional rural students over a base of 10,032).
From ECU: ECU has a proud history of providing access to excellence and opportunity. ECU enrolls students from all 100 North Carolina counties, including more students from distressed counties (Tier 1 and Tier 2) than any other constituent UNC System institution. Much like our strategies for low-income students, the university will develop programs to grow the number of enrolled and graduating rural students through the provision of micro-scholarships in partnership with RaiseMe and strong relationships with community colleges, including through Pirate Promise, a co-admissions partnership with nearly 20 participating NC community colleges. Our goal is to equip students with the skills needed to address grand challenges and to improve social mobility.
By 2021-22, ECU will produce 2,198 low-income graduates, an increase of 23.2% (414 additional low-income completions over a base of 1,784).
From ECU: ECU will be a national leader as a “best value” in undergraduate and graduate education while minimizing student debt and cultivating an institutional culture of timely graduation. The continued diffusion of financial literacy programming and optimization of student employment opportunities are institutional priorities. ECU is designing improved intervention strategies on the basis of predictive analytics. Through an analysis of historical financial aid, we are reforming aid distribution to support the completion agenda.
Five-year Graduation Rates
By 2022, ECU will improve its five-year graduation rate from any accredited institution to 70%. This is an improvement over a base of 61.3% for ECU’s 2010 cohort.
From ECU: ECU’s actual completion rates (four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates) compare favorably to the rates of its official peer set. We demonstrate our commitment to timely degree completion through our Finish in Four initiative and Undergraduate Student Success Council. Among the methods the university uses toward this target: advanced analytics (predictive), reductions to the size of degree programs, refined general education requirements, strategies for improving math pathways, refined four-year degree plans, and investments in student success resources, including the Pirate Academic Success Center, the University Writing Center, and the Academic Advising Center.
By 2021-22, ECU will receive $60,000,000 in research and development sponsored program awards and licensing income, an increase of 37.1% ($16,230,933 additional over a base of $43,769,067).
From ECU: ECU is investing in our people, tools, and facilities to seek solutions to our region’s challenges, including health and health care, coastal community resiliency, rural development, advanced manufacturing, and assistance for the military. ECU has designated five research clusters to target future investment in research activities. ECU’s new Economic Growth Collaboratory will leverage big data and analytics with visualizations to aid business solutions that will drive economic development. Capital improvements in support of research include a new Life Sciences and Biotechnology building and a research greenhouse. Through partnerships and discovery, we will be a force for rural progress, achievement, and growth, helping the local community to have a global impact.
By 2021-22, ECU will produce 2,601 rural graduates, an increase of 17.7% (391 additional rural completions over a base of 2,210).
From ECU: ECU graduates more students from distressed counties (Tier 1 and Tier 2) than any other constituent UNC System institution. Undergraduate students are supported through learning communities and living learning communities, a professional advising collaborative, the Pirate Academic Success Center, University Writing Center, and collaborative programming through Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. ECU emphasizes high impact practices, including undergraduate research, study abroad, service learning, internships, etc. Recent national surveys indicate that nearly 80 percent of ECU undergraduates participate in at least two such practices before they graduate, which is well above the national norm. Our goal is to equip students with the skills they need to address grand challenges and improve social mobility.
By 2021-22, ECU will produce 3,517 critical workforce credentials, an increase of 12.3% (386 additional critical workforce credentials over a base of 3,131).
From ECU: ECU emphasizes critical workforce needs in the region and beyond, including STEM, K-12 teacher education, and health care. The College of Education collaborates with public school partners through the Latham Clinical Schools Network to produce the very best teachers throughout the network and across the state. The Miller School of Entrepreneurship serves as a regional hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. The College of Nursing is designated as a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence and is among the top distance education programs in the country. ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology has expanded degree programs and is experiencing significant growth. ECU leverages these relationships to create new ways to understand complex issues, develop and operate innovative solutions, and drive change for people and organizations in our region and beyond.
Achievement Gaps in Undergraduate Degree Efficiency
By 2021-22, ECU will reduce by 50% the achieve gap in undergraduate degree efficiency between male and female students.
From ECU: As is the case at many universities, females at ECU are retained and graduate at significantly higher rates than male students. ECU is investing in male student-success initiatives. As part of this effort, the university has established a living learning community, freshman seminars, the annual Male Student Success Summit, mentoring, and targeted academic advising. One new initiative in 2017-18 was the Male Achievement Crew, offered through the Pirate Academic Success Center, which provided common courses, seminars, and mentoring to a cohort of first-time, full-time male students.
Undergraduate Degree Efficiency
By 2021-22, ECU will improve its undergraduate degree efficiency to 22.5 over a base of 20.7.
From ECU: ECU’s actual completion rates (four-, five-, six-year graduation rates) compare favorably to rates of its official peer set. ECU is committed to the continued improvement of these completion rates. The university will maintain and improve upon the tools already in place to promote degree efficiency: advanced analytics (predictive), reductions in the size of its degree programs, refined general education requirements, strategies for improving math pathways, and refined four-year degree plans. In addition, the university will continue to invest in its student success resources: the Pirate Academic Success Center, the University Writing Center, and the Academic Advising Center.