Home Local News UNCP expands academic partnerships with ECU

UNCP expands academic partnerships with ECU

From left, LaKesha Alson Forbes, ECU associate provost for equity and diversity; Dr. Grant Hayes, ECU interim provost and senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Zoe Locklear, UNCP Interim Provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, sign a memorandum of understanding between the two universities.

PEMBROKE — Students graduating from UNC Pembroke have been eager to continue their education in our state’s top graduate schools, and ECU is an obvious choice. For years, and in many other programs, UNCP students have been admitted to ECU for master’s- and doctorate-level studies. Academic leaders from both institutions recently met at ECU to ink a new agreement which expands previous arrangements and promises to expand further. 

Initial areas of focus include the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Art and Design in the College of Fine Arts and Communication, the College of Nursing, and the School of Dental Medicine. The partnership will expand into other disciplines and program areas as the relationship evolves, said LaKesha Alston Forbes, ECU’s associate provost for equity and diversity. 

Interim Provost Zoe Locklear said the two universities share a focus on regional service. She said the relationship between the two campuses has existed for a long time, and it feels right to formalize it. 

“We’re living it every day, and I could rattle off the names of many students who went to Pembroke for undergrad and matriculated to ECU for graduate studies,” she said. Many of them return to their home counties to serve the communities they came from as doctors, dentists and other professionals.” 

According to the agreement, ECU and UNCP will establish lines of communication designed to encourage collaboration and partnerships between academic programs and faculties regarding research, scholarship, public service and other creative activity. 


“We share the desire to provide the people of our state and our region opportunity and access — access to new ways of thinking, access to diverse perspectives and opinions, access to a better education and a better life — and that’s something that our colleagues at UNC Pembroke also share,” said Dr. Grant Hayes, interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at ECU. “This partnership really is a signal of our real commitment and dedication to access.” 

Current partnerships with ECU include Early Assurance with the Brody School of Medicine and a pathway to graduate programs in public health: Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health. 

Dr. Richard Gay, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, reflected, “We value our partnership with ECU because it provides additional pathways for our students to succeed in their career goals; and collaborations like this one strengthen and vitalize southeast North Carolina.” 

Faculty collaborations are also being prioritized.  

“Faculty at our universities are working in such common fields so we can collaborate on grants and research projects that are mutually beneficial,” adds Dr. Joanna Hersey, associate dean of student success and curriculum for the College of Arts and Sciences.” 

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