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U.S. Department of Education grant, $3 million, funds ECSU graduate programs
Kesha Williams
September 22, 2009

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) received $3 million from the U.S. Department of Education under the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Masters Degree Program Grant. Funding will be allocated over a six-year period at $500,000 per year. Funds are intended to establish and/or strengthen master's degree programs in the following areas: mathematics; engineering; the physical or natural sciences; computer science; information technology; nursing; allied health; or other scientific disciplines. ECSU plans to strengthen existing graduate programs in biology and mathematics by providing additional personnel; equipment and materials; and graduate student scholarships. Funds will also be used to create a new Professional Science Master's (PSM) Program in Applied Mathematics.

Dr. Paula S. Viltz, Professor and Director of Graduate Education at ECSU and principle investigator for the grant, said the region will benefit when students graduate from these programs and return to work in area communities.

"We will increase the number of students graduating with degrees in areas where there are critical needs--- math and science. The grant will improve graduate educational opportunities for African-Americans and low-income students. After graduation, they will qualify for good jobs that contribute to the economic development and productivity of the region," Viltz said.

"Our graduate program joins other University of North Carolina system graduate programs to embrace the PSM degree which prepares students for careers in business, government and non- profit agencies. Students in this program will take a series of mathematics courses and professional skill development courses which are highly valued by employers in those sectors."