The University of North Carolina at Wilmington was opened in 1947 as a junior college, offering freshman level education to around 250 students. Twenty-two years later, they had achieved full college status, becoming part of the UNC system (the fifth school to join), and expanding their programs to graduate levels. Their motto of “Dare to Learn” represents their commitment to the “integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service”, creating a college that, like so many other UNC schools, educates the leaders and servants vital to North Carolina’s success as a whole.
UNC Wilmington offers mainly Bachelor and Master’s programs, with 52 baccalaureate programs and another 36 Master’s, but there are also 2 Doctoral programs offered here. The 13,000 students at UNCW mainly major in education or nursing (great needs in North Carolina currently), but business is also heavily taken and there is a PhD program in Marine Biology (owing to their proximity to the Atlantic coast). Routinely awarded for value in education (both for instate and out of state residents) as well as being in the top ten in Master’s universities of the south, UNCW is a strong educational force in the UNC system.
Distance education does exist at UNC Wilmington, but they utilize an extension program with other community colleges and even Camp Jejune (a military base), offering hybrids as well as a few online degree programs. UNCW’s online classes use Blackboard to organize, also using it for class registration, to host web aspects of class, and disperse/accept homework assignments and tests for their online courses (or those that have online aspects).
There are two Bachelor programs and two Master’s currently offered online to Onslow County. For undergrads, there are two nursing programs, one RN to BSN program and a B.S. in Clinical Research. Courses for both are either online or web enhanced, with any applicable lab work and all practical work done at nearby community colleges or even in the hospitals where students are currently employed. For graduates, the Master of Science in Chemistry and the newly introduced M.S. in Instructional Technology are completely online tracts for advanced students looking to degree themselves beyond the baccalaureate without worrying about commuting. In addition, the extension programs at Onslow County (Coastal Carolina Community College to be exact) offer 4 hybrid Bachelor degrees, using evening and weekends as well as online aspects, an MA in Liberal Studies, and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education.
Other online offerings for UNCW students include teacher licensures in a number of areas through Wilmington’s Watson School of Education, with online courses offered through community colleges in Brunswick, Duplin, and Columbus County. Also, active military at Camp Jejune (Onslow County) are often given numerous learning options.
Online learning may involve some face-to-face (even if the catalogue lists the course as ONLIN), but most contact is maintained through emails, with course work and due dates updates thusly. For the student looking to learn on their own time, with only deadlines rather than a constant day-to-day, laid out learning plans, UNCW works to make that a reality.
Filling the geographic niche in the UNC system and utilizing nearby locations to increase its net of teaching, UNC Wilmington offers up an affordable education with a variety of majors to choose from, with a theme of addressing the needs of the state, but also providing solid education to go and succeed in the world beyond.