83rd Annual

Sunday, 9 February 2003
Harris E. Williams, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC
The Online Weather Studies course is presented in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). The course is structured to an audience of mainly undergraduate students. NCCU, a Historically Black College/University (HBCU), is one of the 16 constitute institutions of the University of North Carolina system. The Kipling Report ranked NCCU as the top HBCU in the nation. Recently, NCCU was ranked as one of sixteen North Carolina Universities in the top one hundred institutions in the nation by the Kipling Report. NCCU is an expanding university with a culturally diverse student body of over six thousand and is projected by the University of North Carolina to have over ten thousand students within the next ten years.

The Department of Geography and Earth Sciences was started in 1960 by Dr. Theodore R. Speigner. It has been a major producer of students trained in Geography and the Earth Sciences. The undergraduate degree program (BS) is in Geography while the graduate degree program (MS) is in the Earth Sciences. Although the graduate degree program is only about 6-years old, it has produced qualified students with the M.S. degrees in the Earth Sciences.

The Online Weather Studies at NCCU is a 2000- level course, taught to students from all disciplines. Students majoring in Geography and Earth Sciences, Chemistry, Biology Criminal Justice, Psychology and other disciplines elect to enroll in the class to gain practical knowledge centering on atmospheric dynamics. Students not only gain valuable information but also satisfy general curiosities regarding weather. Test results indicate that comprehension levels exceed the average. The class is taught hands-on in an interactive learning format. The Online Weather classes have been limited by the availability of computers and because it is a new course. These numbers are expected to increase with student awareness. Without exception, all the students have given the course very good reviews.

The introduction of the Online Weather Studies on NCCU's campus as well as other campuses is a major boost to the programs. It also helps smaller institutions that have minimal resources to better compete with much larger universities that are well endowed.

Online Weather Studies has been a very useful and popular course in the Geography and Earth Sciences curriculum at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina.

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