Educators meet legislators at the Graduate Education Research Day
Kesha Williams June 13, 2014
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