News and "Education Trust" Commend UNCW for Online Excellence and Strong Graduation Rates

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

It has been a year of high praise for the University of North Carolina Wilmington, recognized time and again in 2015 by highly respected publications and organizations. To build upon an already spectacular year, the university announced two new notable rankings: a 4th place ranking on’s list of Best Online Master’s in Education Programs, and an 8th place ranking on The Education Trust’s list of most impressive gains in graduation rates by four-year public institutions in the nation. ranked schools across the nation according to admissions, enrollment, graduation and retention rates, ultimately naming just 25 to its Best Online Programs list. Education students at UNCW can earn an online master’s in elementary education or instructional technology, both of which offer several licensure and specialization opportunities, increasing the value and versatility of a graduate degree. offers their annual list to help current and aspiring teachers weigh their program options.

According to The Education Trust, a national non-profit advocacy organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels, UNCW significantly improved six-year graduation rates among underrepresented minorities (URM) and reduced the gap between white and minority students over a decade. That progress occurred even as average graduation rates improved for all students from 2003 to 2013, the period covered by the organization’s report, “Rising Tide: Do College Grad Rate Gains Benefit All Students?”

In addition, UNCW improved the graduation rate among underrepresented minorities by 14.3 percent over the ten years covered, and narrowed the gap between white and URM students by 7.3 percent. During the same period, UNCW’s overall graduation rate improved by 7.4 percent.

UNCW’s place among top-gaining institutions reflects a comprehensive effort to narrow the completion rate gap and increase graduation rates across the board,” Chancellor Jose. V. Sartarelli said of the new report. “The university has long been committed to ensuring that students who enter as freshmen earn a degree within four to six years, enabling them to embark on careers or continue their education.”

UNCW’s spot on the “Rising Tide” list is the latest in a series of recognitions for the university this calendar year. Other highlights include:

-        Recognition in numerous publications for academic excellence, affordability and innovative approaches to education. U.S.News & World Report and The Princeton Review counted the university among the region’s top universities. In fact, U.S.News ranked UNCW 6th among public universities in the South and 16th overall in the South.

-        Consumers Digest ranked UNCW 10th in the nation on its list of “Best Value” public colleges and universities.

-        The Business Journals touted UNCW as one of the Top 50 public institutions in the country.

-        The university’s ongoing commitment to a successful and diverse student body garnered notable acknowledgement. U.S.News & World Report’s rankings placed UNCW 4th among public universities recognized as “Best Colleges for Veterans” – one of numerous examples of support for veterans and active-military students.

-        The White House honored Centro Hispano as a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” for its efforts to support achievements by Latino students.

Impressive acknowledgement for the Cameron School of Business, Watson College of Education and several programs, both online and traditional university-wide, add further endorsement to the fact that UNCW is dedicated to offering a community rich in diversity and inclusion, global perspectives, and enriching the quality of life through scholarly community engagement.

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The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is consistently recognized at a national level for academic excellence and affordability. UNCW is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. A public institution with over 14,000 students, the university is widely acknowledged for its superb faculty and staff and a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship. UNCW offers an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and doctoral programs in marine biology and educational leadership. The university is dedicated to offering a community rich in diversity and inclusion, global perspectives, and enriching the quality of life through scholarly community engagement in such areas as health, education, the economy, the environment, marine and coastal issues, and the arts.