National Park College announced Tuesday that it has teamed up with the University of Arkansas at Monticello to offer a four-year bachelor of business administration on campus this fall.
"We understand that students achieving credentials that result in a greater earning power is really what we're all about," said NPC President John Hogan. "It helps our economy, it improves our quality of life, it sets you as students on a higher trajectory, and it's worth the effort. And we're grateful to UAM for being here today."
Hogan noted as potential UAM students, once they complete their studies at NPC and would like to continue at NPC to study business administration, they will have the same privileges as NPC students have on the campus.
"You'll really be NPC and UAM students," he said. "Four-year degrees means that you as students no longer have to relocate or commute and you can complete your bachelor's degree here in person."
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After a morning news conference at the University of Arkansas System Cammack Campus in Little Rock Tuesday, representatives from both colleges joined students and community members for the public announcement at NPC's Student Commons that afternoon. Nighthawk cheerleaders, the Nighthawk mascot, and the UAM Boll Weevil mascot were also on hand.
According to a news release, students will pay NPC tuition rates during the first two years and then UAM tuition rates for their junior and senior years. Students in the program will have access to all of the services and resources from both schools and will earn their associate degree from NPC and bachelor's from UAM.
UAM Chancellor Peggy Doss said UAM is extraordinarily excited about being a part of the partnership.
"We know the quality of education at National Park College and the hard work that this faculty and staff do," she said. "And in this model, you're going to be able to get your 55 hours, your associate degree, here at this campus and move seamlessly into a bachelor of business administration degree with the University of Arkansas Monticello. And you do not have to leave this area to do so."
Doss said the model is called a "campus within a campus model" and the future for higher education is going to be in partnerships and collaboration.
She went on to announce that UAM will offer a $3,000 per semester Nighthawk Transfer Scholarship for NPC students to help offset tuition costs. To be eligible, students must complete 55 credit hours and maintain a 2.5 GPA.
"This is a great day for Nighthawk Nation," NPC Student Government President Tyanna Lindsey said.
"I'm proud to be a part of a campus that puts the needs of our students first and is always looking for ways to expand opportunities for us. We are grateful to our partners at UAM for extending such a generous scholarship package and we look forward to the impact this will have on our community."
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to correct that the GPA requirement for the scholarship is 2.5, not 3.5. The newspaper regrets the error.