Story by Mary Clark
Director of Marketing and Public Relations UACCM
The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton is a two-year community college serving west-central Arkansas. The institution was established in 1963 and joined the University of Arkansas System in 2001.
UACCM offers a variety of degree options including transfer programs and career-specific/technical programs. The campus offers one- and two-year certificate and associate degree programs such as air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration, automotive collision repair, automotive service technology, business, computer information systems, drafting, early childhood development, education, emergency medical technician, industrial mechanics and maintenance, practical nursing, registered nursing, surveying and welding. Demand for these programs is high because they offer excellent opportunities for graduates. Internship opportunities, technical expertise and funds have all been committed by area businesses and industry that strongly support these programs.
The college-transfer program allows students to enroll in general education and liberal arts classes that transfer to the state’s four-year universities. Students can complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree before transferring, and articulation agreements with the universities help ensure the classes will transfer.
Construction will soon begin on a 53,000-square-foot Workforce Training Center to house automotive service; heating, air conditioning and refrigeration; welding; and industrial mechanics and maintenance labs as well as a space for specialized workforce training and the UACCM Workforce and Community Education office. The project was developed to replace aging facilities that were built over 50 years ago when the college first opened. The college also has plans to develop a diesel mechanics program.
This new facility, funded in part by the Give Meaning campaign, will allow UACCM to double the capacity of technical education programs thereby increasing the number of graduates with credentials and positively impacting the regional economy. The technical programs housed in this facility addresses the workforce shortage of skilled technicians and prepares graduates for high-wage, high-demand employment opportunities.
In addition to the credit programs offered at UACCM, the college has an increasingly robust workforce and community education program. The workforce and community education classes are short-term, non-credit classes offered throughout the year, and they can be customized for specific businesses when requested. Classes vary from beginning piano, Microsoft training, occupational Spanish, arts and crafts, and genealogy, to CPR/first aid, basic welding, and CDT training.
The new, non-credit, Commercial Driver Training Program is now being offered with classes beginning every four weeks and consisting of 160-164 training hours. Upon completion of the program, students will be tested for their Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
UACCM is partnering with high schools in Conway County as well as other counties in the service area to offer concurrent technical classes that are offered at UACCM. This agreement ensures that students taking advantage of the concurrent enrollment classes will be attending UACCM as full-time college students while meeting state requirements for high school graduation. In addition, these classes may be at little to no cost to the student with the tuition and fees being split between UACCM and the student’s high school.
This partnership will give high school students the opportunity to earn credits toward a college degree in a technical field while encouraging them to continue their education beyond high school. They will also gain first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be a college student in a small-campus atmosphere while obtaining job skills necessary to succeed and gaining an increased sense of responsibility. This will help Conway County and the surrounding counties develop a stronger workforce base.
UACCM offers individual academic advising services, counseling and disability services, tutoring, and an array of support services. Financial aid — in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and Career Pathways — is available to qualified students.
UACCM has been one of the region’s greatest assets for over 50 years, and it continues to be a great value in terms of affordability, convenience, and personal attention students receive. Because UACCM produces graduates with marketable in-demand skills, companies choose to locate in the area, businesses grow, and new jobs are created, ultimately enhancing economic development throughout central Arkansas. For more information, go to uaccm.edu or call (501) 977-2000.