Education & Learning: How Little Rock Gets Ahead

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 12:00 am  

Little Rock not only offers but promotes a lifetime of learning. From innovative, public pre-K for all to graduate-level offerings unique on the planet, the region values education and economic development as inseparable.

Pre-K – 12 (Public)

Charter Schools

Pre K – 12 (Private)

Pre-K – 12 (Special needs)

State, private and branches of national graduate schools offer the region’s professionals advanced degree programs to fit any schedule.

Colleges & Universities

A wide variety of state, private and branches of national undergraduate colleges and universities offer associate and bachelor degree programs for the full or part-time student.

  • Arkansas Baptist College, led by its dynamic president, Dr. Fitz Hill, is an historically black college drawing national attention for its innovative offerings and historic growth, while transforming the lives of its students and the community in which they live and learn.
  • Central Baptist College
  • John Brown University Little Rock Branch
  • Philander Smith College, under its “Think Justice” banner, this historically black college features the Bless the Mic series with guests like Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson and Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, boasts such distinguished alumni as Dr. Joycelyn Elders (former U.S. surgeon general), Hubert “Geese” Ausbie (legendary Harlem Globetrotter) and Dr. Robert Williams (father of black psychology).
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR)had its business school ranked among the top tier in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, with 70 percent graduating with an internship, part- or full-time job and 65 percent choosing to remain in the region.

Graduate And Professional Schools

The region is the system home of Arkansas’ two largest universities.

Little Rock is a magnetic force. I’ve encountered a steady stream of young people who grew up here, left at some point to establish or further careers in other cities, and then upon starting a family, made the decision to move back to Little Rock because they realized that this is the best possible place to raise children.
- Jeff Hathaway, Coldwell Banker Commercial Hathaway Group

Community Colleges

The Central Arkansas Consortium of Two-Year Colleges partners with the chamber and Metro Little Rock Alliance to foster economic development in the region by responding to the workforce needs of the region’s employers and sharing resources, curriculum and funding to further enhance the region’s competitiveness.

  • Pulaski Technical College has over 11,000 students, while its Culinary School has dual accreditations from the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation and the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration and is one of only two schools in the nation (the other being in Napa Valley) with a wine accreditation through London Wine and Spirits Education Trust. 

Partnerships with central Arkansas’ businesses and industry are building a creative class of citizens who will provide the knowledge-based innovations on which the 21st century economy is being built. Our graduates in all disciplines — from computer science and nanotechnology to art and music — are the key to the workforce central Arkansas needs now and in the future.
- Dr. Joel Anderson, University of Arkansas at Little Rock



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