About Us


As we respond to the needs of the university and the citizens of North Carolina we are guided by the university’s enduring values of respect, authenticity, accountability, teamwork, commitment to serve and the following principles…


Established in 1947 as the Bureau of Field Services and re-named the Online Learning, Academic Outreach, and Academic Innovation, the office has been honored to serve eastern North Carolina for over 75 years. Focused on service, the office continues to be called upon to lead and support initiatives sometimes considered to fall outside the boundaries of the traditional university. The targeted support for these important initiatives has allowed the University to achieve statewide leadership roles in these endeavors.


The Office of Online Learning, Academic Outreach, and Academic Innovation serves as a bridge between the student at a distance and the academic and administrative units of the university. The office respects and understands the unique demands of the lifelong learner and is committed to assuring quality, accessible programs and services. The office supports the university in maintaining its leadership role in the areas of distance and technology enhanced learning both in our region and beyond. The educational and economic development of the citizens of its service area is a focal point for the office. OLAOAI partners with the academic and administrative units of the university to serve business, industry, the military, community colleges, and local school systems.


Since its inception in 1907, East Carolina has evolved from a teacher’s training school to a national research university. The student population has grown from 147 to over 28,000. The campus now includes more than 160 buildings. The university’s academic programs are housed in ten colleges and professional schools, including the Brody School of Medicine and the School of Dental Medicine.

East Carolina University has been a leader in distance education in North Carolina for over 75 years. ECU recognized the potential of online learning early and was among the first schools in the nation to develop and offer a degree completely over the Internet. Since then, the university has created more than 100 degree and certificate programs in health, education, technology and other areas. Chances are you will find a program that suits both your professional needs and your academic goals.

East Carolina University has a long history of providing educational opportunities to students away from the campus.

  • ECU’s first extension course began in 1947.
  • By 1965, ECU offered the most credit courses of any extension program in the state.
  • In 1993, the North Carolina Adult Education Association awarded ECU the Creative and Innovative Program award.
  • Not long after, ECU became one of the first universities in the nation to develop a master’s degree for internet delivery.

East Carolina University, a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina, is a public doctoral university committed to meeting the educational needs of North Carolina and beyond. The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. The university is dedicated to educational excellence, responsible stewardship of the public trust, and academic freedom. ECU values the contributions of a diverse community, supports shared governance, and guarantees equality of opportunity.

The university’s motto is “servire,” meaning “to serve.” The university seeks to meet that obligation through the interrelated components of its mission: service through education, research and creative activity, and leadership and partnership.

Services We Offer

ECU Online/Distance Education

East Carolina University offers more online degree programs and enrolls more online students than any other institution in North Carolina. If you are interested in planning a program for online or distance delivery, we can help you with the paperwork necessary for stages of approval at institutional and at the UNC system level. We also have student services representatives that work with both potential and currently enrolled online students. For more information, contact Jennifer Baysden at baysdenj@ecu.edu.

Online Learning, Academic Outreach, and Academic Innovation can also help you market your distance education program. Each semester, we do a wide variety of general advertising meant to raise awareness of all distance education programs at ECU. We maintain the “ECU Online” website  – which is the front door for many prospective online students. We can also help you design and distribute individualized marketing pieces for your particular program.

Testing Services

ECU Testing Services provides examination services through the ECU Proctoring Center and ECU Testing Center. Each facility hosts their own unique list of examinations and offers specialized proctoring needs to both ECU students as well as the Greenville community. To learn more about the exams offered, please visit the ECU Proctoring Center and ECU Testing Center.

Military Outreach

ECU Military Outreach is designed to reach out and assist with the higher education needs of all individuals serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America, including their families, veterans, ROTC (Army or Air Force) and base personnel. ECU offers options and pathways to prepare individuals with degree and graduate certificate programs. These degree programs and graduate certificates are designed to meet academic KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) for use in current job positions and/or future undertakings of choice. ECU has been recognized with two of DoD’s highest awards for service to our military communities. ECU is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. ECU’s main campus is located in Greenville, NC.

Collaborative for Online Learning

The ECU Collaborative for Online Learning (CfOL) was officially launched in December 2021. The purpose of the CfOL is to provide a comprehensive ecosystem of support to assist both faculty and students within the online learning space. The initial efforts of the CfOL have been to provide mechanisms for movement for programs that are identified through the strategic enrollment efforts (SEM – APPD) as having potential for growth in the online learning space – specifically as 100% online programs. To support the development of fully online programs, the CfOL is also collaborating with Faculty Senate to convene an Online General Education Task Force to provide recommendations and an implementation plan for offering fully online programs that include general education coursework

Online Learning, Academic Outreach, and Academic Innovation Staff Listing