The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana has been named a top 10 national finalist for the highly coveted Bellwether Consortium Awards in the Instructional Programs & Services category for the college’s innovative collegiate academy high schools. Community colleges from 19 states submitted entries for the 2022 competition, and UAHT is the only community college finalist from Arkansas. This is UAHT’s second year in a row to be named a finalist for a Bellwether award. Bellwether finalists represent leading community colleges whose outstanding and innovative programs and practices were selected among competitive submissions as exemplary. According to the Consortium, the award “focuses on cutting-edge, trendsetting programs worthy of replication.”
The UAHT collegiate academies operate in partnership with the Hope Public School District and the Texarkana Arkansas School District. The goal of the academies is to provide academic and career pathways to a diverse group of students by offering a three-year curriculum that allows them the opportunity to complete a high school diploma and an associate degree simultaneously while being fully immersed on a college campus. The academies are available to students entering the 10th grade and who meet the entrance requirements to attend. The academies are free of charge and are located on the University of Arkansas Hope and Texarkana campuses.
In January, the Bellwether finalists will undergo a rigorous second and final round of review at the 2022 Community College Futures Assembly in San Antonio, Texas. Each selected college provides a 60-minute presentation on its program or model to an anonymous panel recognized as skilled practitioners and thought leaders in the field. The Bellwether Awards are widely regarded as one of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious recognitions for community colleges. “The Bellwether College Consortium prides itself on identifying and celebrating replicable, scalable, and results-based programs and models and disseminating these highly lauded examples of institutional success to peer institutions,” said Dr. Rose Martinez, director of the Bellwether College Consortium.
The following ten institutions have been named finalists in the Instructional Programs & Services category. The category recognizes programs or activities that have been designed and successfully implemented to foster or support teaching and learning in the community college.
- Blinn College District
- Bucks County Community College
- Community College of Baltimore County
- El Paso Community College
- Horry-Georgetown Technical College
- San Diego Mesa College
- South Mountain Community College
- Tulsa Community College
- University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana
- Yavapai College
All finalists will be presented at the 2022 Community Colleges Futures Assembly, and one winner will then be selected from each category by a panel of national experts. “UAHT is an innovator in helping students attain a higher education while at the same time breaking down financial barriers,” said Mikki Curtis, Dean of Secondary Programs. “We take pride in trying to do what is best for students, and that’s what the collegiate academies do. These academies help students get ahead, learn to work hard, and save them and their parents thousands of dollars. The hard work of everyone involved in creating these programs has paid off, not only in being nominated for this award but in seeing our students walk across the graduation stage with a high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time at no cost to them. These programs change lives; that’s why we work so hard to provide them to our students.”
Left to right: Presenters at the Bellwether awards will include Mikki Curtis, Dean of Secondary Programs; John Hollis, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness; and Laura Clark, Vice Chancellor for Academics.