About the College
A comprehensive, public two-year college, North Arkansas College provides a variety of educational opportunities to the citizens of Boone, Carroll, Marion, Searcy, Newton, and Madison counties in northern Arkansas.
A conservative estimate of Northark’s return on investment for taxpayers in its service area is over $73.8 million.
Northark offers transfer and technical degree programs, one-year technical certificates, certificates of proficiency, customized business and industry training, adult basic education (GED) classes and non-credit community education courses. In addition, partnerships with area universities provide the opportunity to achieve a bachelor’s degree in Harrison.
Northark is open and inclusive of everyone.
Two-thirds of degree-seeking students at North Arkansas College during the fall semester of 2011 received fee-based financial aid. Sixty percent (60%) of Northark students are female. Although most of the college’s students are 18-20 years old, the average age of a Northark student is 27.
While we pride ourselves in providing a successful academic experience to our students, we also like to have fun. Northark currently has many different student activity organizations, allowing our students to maximize learning experiences outside the classroom.
Pioneer athletics draw sports fans, student athletes and visitors to Pioneer Pavilion on the South campus each year. Northark currently fields teams in basketball, baseball, softball, rodeo and cheerleading. All teams play a competitive junior college schedule. Our student athletes believe in “Academics, then Athletics”. They strive for excellence in the classroom, as teammates on and off the field, and as student leaders.
North Arkansas College was the first institution in the state to be accepted as an AQIP institution. AQIP, the Academic Quality Improvement Program, is an alternative means of accreditation now offered by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. AQIP allows participating institutions to meet accreditation standards by developing and using processes which lead to continuous improvement.
In 2012 Northark became the first college in Arkansas to be accepted into the Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN). The membership organization affords CEO’s of colleges and universities as well as corporations associated with higher education significant networking and learning opportunities to foster continuous improvement and achievement of performance excellence.
North Arkansas College is an acknowledged leader in forming community partnerships and providing health education in northern Arkansas. The college partnered with North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC) in 1996, creating the North Arkansas Partnership for Health Education (NAPHE), an organization dedicated to professional and community health education. Beginning as a local partnership, NAPHE has expanded to a regional coalition with over 60 participants, houses a thriving AmeriCorps VISTA program which has saved area residents over $4.2 million in prescription medication costs over four years. NAPHE has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is a model for partnership programs across the nation.
In 1973 a group of citizens met in Harrison to discuss the methods for establishing a community college. Due to the efforts of these founding fathers, in November of that year the voters of Boone County approved a millage to finance permanent facilities for North Arkansas Community College. The college opened its doors in 1974 with 225 students in the former Eagle Heights Elementary School, and one year later moved to what is now known as the South Campus.
After construction of Pioneer Pavilion, the Student Center, and additional classrooms in 1980, a Library and classroom construction project was completed in 1992. One year later, Northark was a partner in a “first” for Arkansas: North Arkansas Community College and Twin Lakes Technical College became the state’s first community college-technical college union. The facilities housing the former Twin Lakes Technical College became the North Campus of the college, which was renamed at the time North Arkansas Community/Technical College. On July 1, 1997, North Arkansas Community/Technical College was renamed North Arkansas College.
In 2005, Northark purchased the former Regions Bank building located in the heart of downtown Harrison and it became the Center Campus. Administrative offices, community outreach programs and the L.E. “Gene” Durand Center are located on this campus.
The Carroll County Center opened in 2008 in Berryville, AR. A variety of classes allow students to begin their Northark academic careers close to their Carroll County homes. Adult Education programs including GED and ESL have expanded beyond weekday offerings to encompass Saturday classes designed to accommodate varied schedules. The facility makes the college’s programs and services more accessible to citizens of its second-leading feeder county.
Although North Arkansas College celebrates its storied past, its future is bright as it continually strives for fresh, innovative ways to serve and nurture its current students as well as provide a new, inviting, and exciting environment to attract future ones.