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Pieces of Eight


UNC System Rolls Out Online Portal

The University of North Carolina is launching a new Web site designed to bring information about all system-wide online degree programs together on one location. The site will be rolled out this month with marketing and public relations efforts.

ECU, the acknowledged leader in the UNC system in distance education, welcomed the development as a way to make it easier for potential students to access information about online programs.

Dr. Elmer Poe, associate vice chancellor for academic outreach, said, “ECU is pleased to be part of the UNC Online Portal project. The portal is essential to North Carolina’s march to the future and ECU will continue to offer a rich selection of programs to North Carolinians who cannot attend class on a resident campus.”

The UNC effort is one of coordination rather than creating new programs. No new program or “virtual university” has been created. Altogether, the 16 campuses of the UNC system will offer more than 1,000 online courses and more than 90 online degree programs. The new Web site offers the ability to search for programs or courses and the programs are grouped by subject. Links are provided to each individual campus.

The UNC Board of Governors, at its May meeting, endorsed the UNC Online program and asked for periodic reports on its development.

Poe, who directs ECU distance education activities, said, “ECU has a long and rich history in academic outreach to its region and to the state. The university offered its first course away from the campus 60 years ago in the fall term of 1947. We look forward to our 61st year of outreach to those students who cannot come to our campus to study, who are restricted by work, community and family responsibilities.  

“In the spring semester 2007, more than 4,500 students were taking classes away from the campus in either face-to-face cohorts or online and did not have to come to the campus unless they wanted to.  

ECU offers more than 60 programs in one of those formats away from the campus. Nearly 35 of those programs are offered entirely online.”

Poe said the university intends to continue to apply the energy and resources necessary to serve students at a distance. He said the University of North Carolina Online will be a great partner with the university in its efforts to serve students away from the campus, to work with business and industry to develop a workforce that is ready for the next generation of professional development needs, and to address significant social issues in the region and the state that can be served with programs that are delivered using the latest, and sometimes future, educational technologies.

“We look forward to a rich partnership with the University of North Carolina Online as it unfolds,” Poe said.  

“This partnership will rely on the history of outreach afforded by the university’s work away from its campus and to the much broader promotion of online learning to North Carolinians that will be the result of a partnership between East Carolina University’s outreach efforts and the promotion of the University of North Carolina Online.”

The Web site is available at http://online.northcarolina.edu/.


This page originally appeared in the June 8, 2007 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at http://www.ecu.edu/news/poe/Arch.cfm.