The University of North Carolina at Charlotte was founded in 1946 to fill the major city’s need for a local state university (as the closest was 90 miles away) and to help fill needs for education (and educators) following World War II and the influx of new technology and needs. It today stands as the largest college in the Charlotte area (4th largest in the UNC system), both a major research university (recognized since 2000) and one of the main providers of small businesses and educators for the state.
Located on 1000 acres of wood land just 30 or so miles from the Atlantic, UNC Charlotte provides 25,000+ students with a bevy of degree options, with 91 Bachelor programs, 59 Master’s, and another 18 PhDs, in addition to numerous certifications (many in the area of education and teacher licensure). The 7 Colleges that make up this leg of the UNC system realize the needs of their state and provide graduates that are prepared to serve in state, but are educated to contribute and succeed in the larger global community.
“UNC Charlotte’s online programs provide busy individuals…the opportunity to continue their education”. Distance education here is, or course, fully accredited, with a variety of online courses, graduate level degrees and certificates, as well as help for those who have already accomplished some of the steps towards certain baccalaureate degrees. Most programs offered here are in the area of Education, with options ranging from completely online graduate courses like their M.Ed. programs in Middle and Second Grades and M.A.T. programs in Special Education, to online graduate certificates, post-master’s certifications, and even pre-education courses for community college students that will be soon transferring to UNC Charlotte to pursue further education training. In addition, the hybrid “Pathway to Teaching” initiative takes mid-career changers and ex-professors, retraining them for licensure to address the overwhelming shortage of educators in the state. Mixing online and evening work, this program takes Bachelor degreed applicants and gets them certification or even Mater’s degrees that allow them to teach in the state.
In addition to Education, there are also online degree programs offered in Engineering (including two B.S. degrees for those who have already gotten their Associate’s and an M.S. in Engineering Management), Nursing (grad certificates in Administration or Education, an M.S. in Nursing with multiple concentrations, and, of course, an RN to BSN), as well as a Bachelor completion in Kinesiology, and some Technology programs (an M.Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology and two graduate certificates). This is in addition to the typical Internet tools, like library, registration, email, and the like.
However, that’s not all the distance education offered, as site-based programs conducted in partnership with local community colleges offer UNC Charlotte backed degrees with evening and weekend work allowing people less travel time without sacrificing education. Again looking to address educational needs in the state, Stanly County offers Associate holders an Elementary Education B.A. completion, Cabarrus County offers M.Ed. tracts in Middle Grades and Reading Education, and there are three different counties whose community colleges offer a Master of School Administration (Gaston, Rowan, and Union). It’s safe to say they are trying to fill the teacher shortage without sacrificing quality.
With numerous internship opportunities (with downtown Charlotte 8 miles away) and a mission of leveraging “its location in the state’s largest city to offer internationally competitive programs of research and creative activity, exemplary…programs [at all levels], and a focused set of community engagement initiatives”, UNC Charlotte has become a vital part of the UNC system in its 50 + years, and aims to stay that way.