As the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope begins a new year and semester,  the college relations office wants to share a brief look back at 2011, to share with the community a few of the College’s accomplishments, starting with retention rates that kicked off the spring 2011 semester.  The overall student retention rate from the fall of 2010 through the spring of 2011 was a College high at 76 percent.  Students receiving scholarships had a 93 percent retention rate.  Both of these percentages set new records for the College, leading to a record-breaking May graduation.  The Complete College America year-end-review listed UACCH with the 5th highest graduation rate among public two-year colleges in the state.  These retention rates and record graduation numbers indicate that students who have scholarships to assist with the cost of an education are more likely to continue in the pursuit of that education, compared to students without financial assistance.

A second outstanding accomplishment was the May graduation of 2011, the largest graduation in the history of the College, which awarded 574 certificates and degrees. Among these certificates and degrees awarded were a record 179 Associates Degrees, a 33.6% increase from the previous year.  Included in this historical number of graduates was the first class of students completing the Associate of Applied Science in Power Plant Technology.  The new Power Plant Technology program has helped define one of the key elements of the two-year college by exemplifying the College’s ability to respond to the educational needs of industry throughout the region.  This program, which graduated 59 students in May, has helped many individuals achieve the education they needed to obtain gainful employment in order to better support themselves and their families. 

Continuing to look back on the accomplishments of 2011, the “Natural Partnership” with Arkansas High was established, allowing UACCH to offer college classes to citizens in Miller and Bowie counties at the Arkansas High Campus in Texarkana, Arkansas.  This partnership, along with broad community support, lead to the establishment of the UACCH-Texarkana Campus in November 2011. 

With a student-focused approach at UACCH, Chancellor Chris Thomason has worked diligently to assure that students are welcomed each day on campus with a safe educational environment.  The opening of the Hempstead County Law Enforcement Sub-station, along with the installation of the Emergency Notification Loud Speaker System, has helped take safety to a new level on campus.  This notification system will streamline law enforcement and the administration’s ability to communicate to the entire campus in response to weather, fire, or other situations that might occur on campus.

As 2011 concluded, the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope held the inaugural Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC) pinning ceremony on the UACCH campus.  During the ceremony, ten pioneering students became UACCH’s first graduates of the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program.  These ten students will now prepare to sit for the Registered Nursing Licensure Exam. 

The celebrations of 2011 are mere shadows of the great things that lie ahead for the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope in 2012-great things like the opening of Hempstead Hall and the first classes on the UACCH-Texarkana Campus.  Let UACCH help you achieve your educational goals this year. For more information about UACCH, visit our website at  Let the College help you “Build Your Bridge to a Brighter Future”.