Jul 14, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Distance Education

Online Distance Education

East Carolina University has been a leader in distance education in North Carolina for over seventy years. ECU recognized the potential of online learning, and was one of the first universities in the nation to offer degrees entirely over the Internet. ECU currently offers more than 90 degrees and certificate programs online in fields such as business, education, health care, and technology, among others.

East Carolina University’s online distance education programs allow students to access their coursework twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Online courses are taught by the same instructors that teach on-campus courses. Level of coursework, required readings, and examinations are the same for online and on-campus courses. Programs are designed with the student in mind. Instruction focuses on active participation and academic success.

Distance Education Students

Online learning is ideal for those concerned about balancing the rigors of an academic workload with employment or family obligations.

Online courses are typically delivered using learning management systems selected for their ease of use for students and instructors. As with on-campus sections, syllabi and schedule of assignments for online courses become available to students within the first few days of the semester. Assignments and homework are submitted electronically. All necessary materials are available within the learning management system. When administered online, students take examinations during a prescribed timeframe. Proctors are available when necessary.

In an online course, students and instructors communicate in discussion forums. Some courses include synchronous “chat” sessions so students and instructors may interact in real time about course material. Students also have the opportunity to work in groups where they benefit from the professional experiences of their peers.

Students opting to complete their degrees using distance education typically increase their comfort level with online delivery of information. During this process, students strengthen self-discipline and increase organizational and time management skills. The format is ideal for giving students heightened independence in pursuit of higher education, while providing the mentorship traditionally associated with on-campus instruction. Although convenience and flexibility are emphasized in distance education coursework, the same amount of effort and participation is required for online and face-to-face courses.

Information about the distance education programs offered at ECU can be found on the ECU Online website. Helpful links to information regarding admission, registration, tuition, and financial aid may also be found there. Academic regulations and policies, university calendars, and student services described in this catalog are applicable to all students, except where otherwise indicated. All students are required to have access to a computer. Some departments may require specific types (see Pirate Techs Student Support for details).

From admission to graduation, a system of student support services is available to assist all distance education students.The online support systems give distance education students access to resources without having to come to campus. A dedicated email address and a toll free number staffed by student service specialists help students navigate the online resources available to them. They provide a single point of contact for distance education students. Contact the ECU Online student services area for assistance by emailing onlineservices@ecu.edu or calling 1-800-398-9275.

Students enrolled in online distance education classes through ECU, or through UNC Online, in which proctored exams are required, have access to the DE (Distance Education) Proctoring Center, http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/deproctoring/. The university does not impose any proctoring fees on students enrolled in its distance education courses if they utilize the ECU proctoring center. However, students can select alternate proctoring sites/providers and may obtain a list of proctors located within their geographic area, along with any associated fees on the UNC Online Academic Services website. Students may incur charges with alternate providers if they choose to have their exams proctored at sites external to ECU. When students select alternate proctoring sites, the university does not impose any additional charges specifically related to verification of student identity.

Online Degree and Certificate Programs

Add-On Licensure

  • Birth-Kindergarten Education
  • Special Endorsement in Computer Education

Undergraduate Degree-Completion Programs

The programs listed below allow students with college credit to complete the last half of their degrees online.  Applicable program concentrations are italicized.

* Partnership East utilizes a part-time cohort model and is designed for students transferring from a North Carolina community college.  Interested students should contact the appropriate coordinator prior to applying to the ECU. Please see www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/partner_east/Index.cfm for more information. 


Note: East Carolina University offers a substantial number of graduate online degrees and certificate programs.  For a complete list of programs, please see the Distance Education section of the current graduate catalog.