Elizabeth City State University dates back to 1891, when it opened as a two-year normal school to its first 23 students and two teachers. It got its start as a teaching college, where African American teachers could receive training to teach in common schools. In 1937, the school was elevated to a full four-year teachers college, before eventually expanding to include additional academic majors in addition to teaching.Today, the college offers 36 degree programs, including the basic arts and sciences, and four master's programs in elementary education, biology, mathematics and school administration. The school has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and has established itself as a premier school in the south, boosting it and Elizabeth City's reputation for academic excellence. ECSU has earned acclaim from U.S. News and World Report magazine's ranking of best colleges in the south consistently from 1999-2010. In 2010, it was ranked 2nd in the magazine's category of Best Colleges: Top Public Schools. Aside from academics, the school has found success in athletics as an NCAA Division II school, as well as in its active student government and multiple clubs and organizations. And, with a total of just 3,307 students enrolled, ECSU is able to provide a personal touch to its teachings. More Higher Education Another option for higher education in Elizabeth City is Mid-Atlantic Christian University. It is located along the Pasquotank River, north of downtown Elizabeth City, and was founded in 1948. Mid-Atlantic offers students more than 20 majors in four-year and two-year programs. All degrees are from a Christian worldview. The College of The Albemarle is known as the first community college to be established under the (North Carolina) Community College Act of 1960. For 50 years, the College of The Albemarle has provided educational and workforce development opportunities for the northeast region of North Carolina. Read about more education options in Elizabeth City, NC.