About Us

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The Upper Coastal Plain Learning Council (UCPLC) was formed to provide higher educational opportunities through a collective effort of the University of North Carolina, the North Carolina Community College System and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities in order to achieve the UNC-Tomorrow recommendations to increase access to higher education through UNC institutions and Community Colleges. The UCPLC was formed to address this collaboration covering the five county regions including Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton and Wilson Counties and including the two private colleges in the region, Barton and NC Wesleyan. The North Carolina General Assembly has provided recurring funding since 2008 for this northeastern North Carolina initiative. The members of the council are exceptional leaders in their communities in the fields of education, business, and government.


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A Program Committee was established by the UCPLC with the charge to implement higher education programs using the resources of the council members. North Carolina State University was assigned the responsibility of leading the Program Committee and serving as the administrative and financial home for the work of these collaborations.

Discussions of the UCPLC since 2008 have covered broad topics relating to the overall economic status of the region, K-12 education, workforce preparedness, better health care and services in addition to how the UCPLC member institutions can assist with improvements to these issues. Specifically, the Program Committee identified the following three key points:

  • The region needs more and better teachers. Within the UNC-Tomorrow strategy of Improving Public Education (4.3), Recommendation 4.3.1 asks UNC to improve the quantity, quality and geographic distribution of school teachers and Recommendation 4.3.2 asks UNC to enhance the teaching skills of in-service teachers.
  • Many K-12 students in the region do not necessarily see that higher education is accessible for them. Within the UNC-Tomorrow strategy of Access to Higher Education (4.2), Recommendation 4.2.1 asks UNC to increase access to its programs and Recommendation 4.2.2 asks UNC to strengthen collaboration with NC Community Colleges.
  • The region needs more nurses and better healthcare services, practices and education for children and adults. Within the UNC-Tomorrow 4.5 Our Health strategy, UNC should lead in improving health and wellness of all people and wellness of all people and communities in our state.

The UNC-Tomorrow Commission also emphasized that the identified issues are exacerbated in rural and underserved areas, like the five-county areas included in the UCPLC, and that UNC should “focus specific effort” in addressing those issues. Hence, the opportunities to focus the collected resources of UNC on the needs of this region, in collaboration with community colleges, private colleges and the community in general, represent a comprehensive implementation of UNC-Tomorrow.

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Who We Are


The UCPLC is one of the eight units within MCE&CE. The UCPLC offers educational opportunities and support to teachers, principals, administrators, students, parents, and the community in the northeastern area of our state.


What We Do


The UCPLC compiles and maintains an inventory of existing programs for teacher preparation, professional development and continuing education, and student retention programs. We collaborate with teacher education personnel at the UCPLC member institutions–Barton College, East Carolina University, Edgecombe Community College, Elizabeth City State University, Halifax Community College, Nash Community College, NC Central University, NC State University, NC Wesleyan College, and Wilson Community College–to organize and deliver professional development opportunities through in-service training for teachers, principals, administrators, and students to increase success in the classroom, school, and/or system; recruit non-traditional candidates for teacher education using existing programs offered by UCPLC member institutions; plan, establish, and facilitate traditional and non-traditional teacher education degree programs to be offered in the region or on-line by UCPLC member institutions; and write grant applications and cultivate grant/program funding opportunities from foundations and private sector donors in the area of teacher education and student retention/success.


Where We Are


The staff has offices at the Gateway Technology Center in Rocky Mount, NC on the campus of North Carolina Wesleyan College.


The Services We Can Provide from Start to Finish


  • Access to extension and engagement educational opportunities with UCPLC partners
  • Assistance in developing educational opportunities for K-12 personnel to reduce teacher turnover and increase student success
  • In-service training for teachers, principals, and administrators
  • University non-credit education opportunities for workforce development