ECSU Among The Nation's Best Institutions


By Shawn Schaller
Summer 2011

Elizabeth City, N.C.: CReSIS partner institution, Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), was recently ranked America’s No. 2 public college in the South region and the No. 17 Historically Black College of 2011 by U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News & World Report determines its collegiate rankings using standard indicators such as graduation and retention rates and faculty strength. An additional qualifying criterion set for the regional college rankings is that each school awards fewer than half its degrees to non-liberal arts disciplines.

“ECSU was that nurturing institution of 1500 students that prepared me for life, society, and my career,” ECSU education program manager and CReSIS staff member Darnell Johnson said of his feelings on his alma mater’s recognition. “What a thrill!”

Prestigious distinctions are nothing new to Johnson and ECSU. In 2010, the Washington Monthly ranked the university No. 11 among all baccalaureate institutions in America, missing the top 10 by a fraction of a point. The publication’s unique scoring system awarded the No. 10 spot to Benedict College of South Carolina instead.

Johnson primarily credited the achievement to ECSU’s involvement in the North Carolina Tomorrow Initiative. The initiative’s purpose, Johnson said, is to discover how the school can appropriately respond to twenty-first century challenges facing its students, the state of North Carolina, and the entire nation. This goal will be met by effectively fulfilling three individual missions: teaching, scholarship and research, and public service. Johnson said the organization shapes and guides current and future university priorities, thereby contributing to its sustained success.

Elizabeth City

The prestigious Elizabeth City State University is one of the top baccalaureate institutions, public colleges, and historically black colleges in the nation.

Unfortunately, the ECSU family doesn’t have much time to sit back and admire its own accomplishments. Though proud of the recognition, Johnson’s focus was fixed on the future. For Johnson, sustaining and building on such tremendous success all boils down to a single factor, one that happens to be an ECSU specialty.

“ECSU administrators, faculty, and staff will continue to maintain a family atmosphere,” Johnson said. “It has been stated by many, ‘Students don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.’”

With a staff so passionate and devoted to its university’s success, the sky is the limit for ECSU. Greater feats, and even higher rankings, are certainly within reach for this prestigious institution.