HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — National Park College (NPC) and the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) announced a new bachelor’s degree partnership Tuesday. The institutions will collaborate to bring a Bachelor of Arts in K-6 elementary education degree to Hot Springs beginning in the fall of 2023, pending approval from the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
All four years of the new bachelor’s degree will be offered through the NPC University Center on the NPC campus. Students will complete the first two years of the degree enrolled as NPC students and the junior and senior years enrolled as UAM students.
Students will pay NPC tuition rates for the first two years of coursework and UAM tuition rates for the junior and senior years of coursework. Students who participate will have access to all the services and resources NPC offers, as well as those UAM offers. Students will earn an associate degree diploma from NPC and a bachelor’s degree diploma from UAM upon graduation.
UAM will offer NPC students a $3,000 per semester Nighthawk Transfer Scholarship to offset tuition costs, making the UAM Bachelor of Arts in K-6 elementary education degree at NPC one of the most affordable bachelor’s degrees in the state. Students will be required to complete 55 credit hours and maintain a 2.5 grade-point average to be eligible.
Dr. John Hogan, president of NPC, said, “For NPC, this means looking past tradition and turf and into an age where strategic partnerships and academic pathways put students’ dreams first. Thanks to UAM, we were able to take another giant step forward today. Our aim is to continue to expand opportunities for students, continue to embrace our academic, vocational and workforce mission and help forge a better future for our students.”
Dr. Peggy Doss, chancellor of UAM, said, “The addition of the Bachelor of Arts in education degree to the existing campus within a campus partnership with National Park College will address another critical need in the Arkansas workforce. Providing highly qualified teachers for schools in every region of the state is the cornerstone for ensuring every child’s educational needs are met. We value the opportunity to work with NPC to serve the needs of the region’s public schools and to demonstrate the power of collaboration between these two Arkansas institutions of higher education. The outcome will be another opportunity for NPC students to earn an accessible four-year degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello at one of the most affordable rates in the state, thanks to the Nighthawk Transfer Scholarship.”
A press conference for media was held on the NPC campus Tuesday in the Student Commons. Speakers included Dr. Hogan, Dr. Doss, Shawn Higginbotham, superintendent of the Lake Hamilton School District and UAM alumnus, and Joyce Craft, chair of the NPC Board of Trustees and retired superintendent of Hot Springs School District.
National Park College was established in 1973 and is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The College enrolls over 7,000 credit and non-credit students per year. NPC is a comprehensive two-year institution offering associate degrees and certificates as well as continuing education, community services and workforce training.
The University of Arkansas at Monticello was established in 1909 and was formally known as the Fourth District Agricultural School, the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the Fourth District and Arkansas Agricultural and Mechanical College. The four-year institution is located in Monticello, Arkansas. In 2003, UAM expanded its mission to include vocational and technical education when the UAM College of Technology-Crossett and the UAM College of Technology-McGehee became part of UAM to create a comprehensive system of postsecondary education in Southeast Arkansas.