Colleges See Need For Northwest Arkansas Outposts

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, Jun. 3, 2013 12:00 am  

Board of Trustees Chairman Ric Clifford announces plans for a Washington County expansion of Northwest Arkansas Community College. The Bentonville school is eyeing at least half of 39 acres in Springdale near Arvest Ballpark as the location. (Photo by Rob Smith)

Proximity to Springfield, Mo., makes the Benton County location a natural for Drury, said Kristy Nelson, marketing director for the university’s College of Continuing Professional Studies.

“We have a really strong alumni network in the area,” Nelson said. “The location is a natural extension for us to set up an office in the Bentonville area to work with our alumni. We’re working closely with NWACC on some articulation agreements to help their students work toward a bachelor’s degree.”

Drury’s degree completion program is perfect, Nelson said, for students who finish up the associates program at NWACC. Construction on the office was completed in March, and Nelson said officials are still “working to get furniture in the door.” Drury is also looking for someone to run the offices, which will offer two different bachelor’s degree programs in leadership and a degree in business administration. Nelson said the operation is “still a work in progress,” but the school is confident that demand will be there.

Are there too many options? Malone doesn’t think so. He sees plenty of opportunity.

“We need more bachelor’s degree holders. We need more certificate holders. We need more technically trained workers,” Malone said. “We’ve got workforce demands across the region. We hear that from almost all employers in the region, so permanent homes and expansion of higher-ed institutions are key.”

Post-Secondary Schools in Northwest Arkansas

Four-year Universities

  • University of Arkansas
  • UAMS Northwest
  • John Brown University
    Siloam Springs, Rogers
  • Harding University
  • Drury College
  • Ecclesia College

Two-year Colleges

  • Northwest Arkansas Community College

Technical Schools

  • Northwest Technical Institute
  • Synergy Tech



Please read our comments policy before commenting.