ECSU ranked 7th among universities awarding math degrees

Kesha Williams
June 21, 2011


Diverse Issues in Higher Education recently released a report on universities that successfully are graduating minorities with bachelor's degrees in mathematics. Elizabeth City State University is ranked seventh among them for math degrees conferred to African-American students.

In 2008-2009, ECSU graduated three students with a math degree. That number increased in the next academic year to 10 students. And the university is on course to graduate 12 to 15 students in mathematics during the 2011-2012 school year.

Dr. Farrah Jackson Chandler, chairperson of the ECSU Mathematics and Computer Science Department, said she is proud of the department's efforts in increasing the number of math graduates. Mathematics is the backbone of many sciences and math skills are essential to many of the best paying jobs in the country, Chandler said. The increasing number of math graduates also means area school districts will have more math teachers who can use creative efforts to teach students.

To Chandler's delight, many of the 2011 graduates who earned B.S. degrees in math are now enrolled in the graduate program at ECSU.

"Seven of the 12 who graduated in 2011 are now enrolled in our graduate program. Dr. Paula Viltz, program director of the Office of Graduate Education, has a wonderful grant that helps them return for graduate school," Chandler noted. "Those students are dispersed in all three of our graduate student concentrations -- Applied Mathematics, Mathematics Education and Remote Sensing."

She is confident that math graduates will become eligible for a host of jobs that are quickly developing around the country.

"Our students need these math skills as our country searches for sources of energy other than those we rely upon today," Chandler said. "In order to put Americans in the forefront, we must produce math graduates."

ECSU's top-level ranking was published recently as part of Diverse Issues in Higher Education's Top 100 Degree Producers, which ranked institutions that award the most degrees to minority students. The rankings indicate the total number of degrees awarded in specific disciplines.

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