Educators meet legislators at the Graduate Education Research Day

Kesha Williams
June 13, 2014

educators-meet-legislator Elizabeth City State University was one of several graduate school programs participating in the annual Graduate Education Research Day at the state capitol. The North Carolina Conference of Graduate Schools coordinates the annual event that draws faculty and graduate students to Raleigh for presentations with lawmakers. The North Carolina Council of Graduate Schools includes 22 public and private colleges and universities in the state that offer more than 800 master's, doctoral and first professional degree programs in a wide variety of fields, including degrees education, social work, engineering, nursing, biomedical and pharmaceutical fields and others. A delegation from the ECSU Graduate Program traveled to Raleigh to raise awareness among state legislators of the importance of graduate education. Governor McCrory issued a proclamation declaring May 19-23, 2014 as Graduate Education Week for the State of North Carolina. In the proclamation, the governor noted "graduate education is vital to the scientific, cultural and economic needs of local, state and global communities and is critical to discovery and creativity." According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a graduate degree (master's degree or doctoral degree) can influence a person's median weekly salary in some fields of study but not in all fields of study. The nation will need additional master's degree graduates in select fields of study. Currently, ECSU offers four master's degree programs: elementary education, school administration, mathematics and biology. ECSU's Department of Education and Psychology representatives included faulty/administrators, Dr. Paula S. Viltz and Dr. Miles M. Fisher, IV, accompanied by Mrs. Amy Jo Spencer, the university's Community Liaison for the Graduate Education program and two recent graduate students, Eunice Meekins, a math teacher at Northeastern High School and Patrina Bly. Both Meekings and Bly earned master's degrees in May of 2014 from ECSU. Meekins and Bly presented posters that were reflective of research the two completed for their graduate thesis projects in April. Meekins researched the idea of "The Effects of Cooperative Learning Groups on Students' Communication and Achievement." Bly researched the idea of "Wetland Land Cover Analysis of the Great Dismal Swamp Utilizing Remote Sensing Techniques from 1985-2013." While in Raleigh, the ECSU delegation met with Sen. Bill Cook and Representatives Annie Mobley and Bob Steinberg. They discussed current challenges facing graduate students and graduate programs. At the Spring Commencement on May 10, 29 students received their master's degrees from Elizabeth City State University. See the governor's proclamation of Graduate Education Week: http://p1.governor.nc.gov/newsroom/proclamation/20140519/graduate-education-week