Elizabeth City State University has made two lists in Washington Monthly’s most recent national college rankings: 13th among the national Best Bachelor’s Degree Colleges and 18th among the Best Bang for Your Buck institutions in the southeast.

ECSU also announced this week that it’s partnering with Apple and Tennessee State University’s HBCU C2 program to become a Community Center for Coding and Creativity.

According to the Washington Monthly, ECSU made the Best Bachelor’s Colleges list in the magazine’s 2021 rankings because “it enrolls and graduates relatively large numbers of students” and “makes higher education accessible for low-and-moderate income students” by offering affordable tuition and Pell Grants.

“We rank liberal arts colleges — four-year institutions that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees and that focus on arts and sciences rather than professional programs — based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research, and promoting public service,” states Washington Monthly’s website.

The Best Bang for the Buck ranking similarly looks at the number of programs a university or college offers and its tuition costs. Colleges ranked among the Best Bang for the Buck are judged on contributions “to the public good” in three categories: social mobility, research and provision of opportunities for public service. The ranking also considers how a university helps “non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”

“We are incredibly proud to receive these rankings from the Washington Monthly,” Chancellor Karrie Dixon said in a press release. “ECSU is rising, and people are taking note that we are providing access to a high-quality education at an affordable price.”

Dixon also weighed in ECSU’s new partnership with Tennessee State and Apple. The university is now one of nearly four dozen universities serving as HBCU C2 community coding centers or regional hubs for the program.

“Partnering with HBCUs across the country to expand career opportunities for our students and communities is an important step to establishing a strong footing for future careers,” she said. “Coding and STEM development and our partnership with Apple and the other HBCU C2 centers provides an opportunity for students to gain more skills that will prepare them for an increasingly competitive workforce.”

According to a press release, the partnership is part of Apple’s Community Education Initiative and Tennessee State University’s HBCU C2 program. The initiative is designed to help HBCUs “expand technology and creativity experiences” both on campus and in their broader community.

Since 2019, HBCUs participating in the HBCU C2 program have offered new learning opportunities to thousands of degree-seeking students and community residents through partnerships with local K-12 schools, community organizations and local governments.

As part of its Community Education Initiative, Apple is supporting ECSU with equipment and ongoing professional development. Faculty and educators will learn about coding and app development, and work with Apple to identify opportunities to incorporate its Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curricula. Apple also is providing HBCU C2 centers with mobile iPad and Mac labs, opportunities for student jobs and scholarships, and funding for staff.