Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Preparing High School Students for College-level Math

ECU administrator recognized by state and nation

November 16, 2016

by Lacey L. Gray
Director of Marketing and Communications
Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences

Ellen Hilgoe

Ellen Hilgoe, associate director of the N.C. Early Mathematics Placement Testing Program (N.C. EMPT) housed at East Carolina University, is receiving local and national attention for her work in preparing high school students for college-level mathematics courses.


“N.C. EMPT helps strengthen ECU’s mission to reach out and offer early intervention to not only the high school students in the eastern part of the state, but statewide and across state lines,” said Hilgoe.


In October, Hilgoe received national recognition for the program, when she was selected to present a session on “N.C. Early Mathematics Placement Testing Program: A Looking Glass into College Math Readiness,” at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference held in Orlando, Florida.


Organizers of the conference mentioned in opening sessions that they received hundreds of applications to present.


“I was so fortunate to be chosen,” said Hilgoe. “Spreading the word about N.C. EMPT in my presentation to mathematics educators from more than 10 southern states, as well as others across our nation, was an opportunity to share N.C. EMPT’s accomplishments, highlight ECU’s name, emphasize North Carolina’s dedication to mathematically preparing its youth for their futures and to proudly assert that N.C. EMPT is the largest EMPT program in the nation.”


Since the conference, Hilgoe also has received local acknowledgement and honors.


On Nov. 2, she was presented with the 2017 North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics Innovator Award. Hilgoe received the award at the council’s 47th annual conference celebration in Greensboro.


During the event, the council stated, “North Carolina mathematics education is fortunate to call this innovator one of our own.”


“It was wonderful to be recognized at the state level by the N.C. Council of Teachers of Mathematics,” said Hilgoe. “With more than three-quarters of a million students served, we continue to strive to provide each participant with a reality check of readiness for college-level math and the motivation to maintain strong math skills.”


The N.C. EMPT Program recently completed its 20th year of service to all North Carolina public and non-public high schools. For more information visit