For students want to earn their degrees at a college with small enrollment and plenty of one-on-one instruction, East Central University (ECU) in Ada, Oklahoma provides a quality education in a rural, middle-American setting.
U.S. News and World Report gives the university praise for its rehabilitation counseling program. ECU’s nursing program is also highly regarded, with the large majority of ECU nursing students passing the all-important National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
ECU is well known for its education and business programs and is also home to a few well-regarded specialty programs, including a parks and recreation degree and a health science degree. The university, which is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, is also known for its cartography program, one of just a few in the nation.
East Central offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The school has more than 70 undergraduate degrees and four master’s degree programs, including accounting, education, psychology, and human resources. The university’s degree programs are divided into five colleges:
- College of Education and Psychology
- College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
- College of Health and Sciences
- School of Business
- School of Graduate Studies.
ECU was founded as a teaching school, and that tradition remains strong. The university’s most popular degree program is education, with other popular majors including health professions, public administration, business, and parks and recreation.
Like most colleges and universities, East Central has devoted considerable resources to developing and expanding its online learning offerings. The school offers many courses online and has distance learning labs at its satellite campuses.
Most Popular Fields of Study
East Central has a rolling admissions deadline. Students will need to submit high school transcripts and ACT scores. An admissions essay is required, and students should also turn in relevant documentation of volunteer work and letters of recommendation.
ECU has a selective admissions policy; however, most students who apply to the school are accepted. The average ACT scores of incoming students falls between 18 and 22.
The university will occasionally make an exception to its admissions policies for extraordinary students who may not meet all requirements.
Many applicants are eligible for federal grants and student loans. There are also a number of grants and scholarships offered by the state of Oklahoma, the university itself, and other outside organizations.
The university offers many major-specific scholarships. A full list of scholarships offered and forms for application can be found on the university’s website.
Like virtually all universities, East Central requires the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for scholarship and other financial aid opportunities. Potential students should be sure to complete and return the FAFSA in a timely fashion to have the best chance of obtaining a scholarship.
The university’s Office of Financial Aid stands ready to help students discover lesser-known grant and scholarship opportunities and determine their eligibility.
Student Financial Aid Details
A relatively small enrollment gives the university a close-knit, small town feel. East Central has three fraternities and three sororities and more than 100 student activity organizations, including professional and educational groups and recreational organizations such as the ECU Gamers. The university also has a wellness center to meet students’ medical needs.
Catering to students with a taste for the arts and entertainment, the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center features rehearsal halls, art studios, an art gallery, a state-of-the-art television studio, two theaters, and more.
ECU staff and administrators have implemented a number of precautions to ensure student safety, such as 24-hour police patrol, late-night escort and transportation services, security lighting, dorms secured by keycard, and emergency telephones scattered throughout the campus.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
East Central is a member of the NAIA, and the school’s teams compete in the Great American Conference. Previously, the school was a member of the Lone Star Conference.
The university offers men’s baseball, basketball, football, golf, cross country, and tennis. Women’s sports include basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, golf, cross country, and tennis.
The school’s football team won an NAIA National Championship in 1993. More recently, the team won a Lone Star Conference North Division Football Championship in 2010.
The university’s teams are called the Tigers. The mascot is Roary the Tiger and the official colors are orange and black.
The school hosts an annual literary festival, which is a well-regarded Oklahoma cultural event.
Another unique annual event at the university is the Mudstock Volleyball Tournament, a yearly event in which teams play volleyball in mud courts. The event is very popular among students, and money raised from entrance fees funds a prize pot for the best team.
Orange Crush is the school’s yearly spring fling event, which includes art, games, food, entertainment, and more.
Students show their community spirit by participating in the annual Salvation Army Angel Tree event, which gives Christmas presents to needy children.
Additional School Information
Established in 1909 as East Central State Normal School, shortly after Oklahoma achieved statehood, the school was originally a six-year preparatory school, providing four years of high school education followed by two years of college. Educating teachers was its mission; graduates of East Central State Normal School were awarded lifetime teaching certificates.
ECU alumni include five former governors of Oklahoma.
Josh is a full-time professional writer and organic farmer who lives in rural Kentucky.