UACCH added to Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium

The University of Arkansas Community College at Hope is pleased to announce that it is one of two institutions approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing(ASBN) to be added to the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium(ARNEC). Rich Mountain Community College (RMCC) in Mena, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH) will join ARNEC for the January 2011 class. Jill Hasley, Program Director of the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC), announced today that the Consortium has also received approval from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) to increase the number of seats it offers to Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPNs/LVNs) who wish to become Registered Nurses.

The six colleges presently in the Consortium are: Arkansas State University-Newport, Black River Technical College-Pocahontas, Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas-Nashville, Ozarka College-Melbourne, South Arkansas Community College-El Dorado, and University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.

Laura Massey, R.N., Dean of Health Professions at UACCH said, “I am very excited about this partnership and what it will do to increase the educational opportunities for working LPNs in our area. By providing a second pathway to becoming an RN, UACCH is again showing its commitment to the area residents of southwest Arkansas.”

ARNEC was created in 2004 to address the chronic shortage of Registered Nurses in the state’s rural areas. Late last year, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing estimated that nationally, there will be over 250,000 unfilled jobs for Registered Nurses by 2025.

Currently, ARNEC offers 120 seats at six of the state’s rural two-year colleges. Hasley stated that, in 2011, ARNEC will offer up to forty seats at the six current member colleges, and ten seats each at the two new member colleges. Each college will determine how many more students they can enroll, depending on the availability of clinical instruction space.

ARNEC is currently accepting applications for the January 2011 class. The annual deadline is August 31st. For interested LPNs/LVNs, more information and an admission application are available at Students may apply to more than one of the eight ARNEC member colleges, but should only submit an application to their first choice. All applicants will receive a letter regarding their admission status by early October. For more information contact Laura Massey, Dean of Health Professions at UACCH at 870-777-5722.

New Endowed Scholarship

Today, the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope is pleased to announce the establishment of a new endowed scholarship that honors husband, father, and teacher Ronald Sweat on his retirement from Blevins School District. Sweat, who was raised in the McCaskill area, has invested 40 years to improving the lives of students at Blevins High School. A1965 Blevins graduate, Mr. Sweat received a bachelor’s degree from Southern State College before returning to Blevins to begin a career in the classroom. However, the classroom is only a small part of the positive impact that he has made on his community and family.

Married to Kim Geist Sweat, Sweat is father of Kyla Sweat Hamilton of Hope and Kellen Sweat of Bauxite. He is often seen riding his 3 grandchildren, Kennedy and Karson Hamilton and Karter Sweat, on the 4-wheeler around the farm. He is active in Avery’s Chapel UMC and has always been involved in activities that support his children and students. When not in the classroom, Sweat can be found on the family farm feeding cattle or whatever chores the day requires.

The Ronald Sweat Family Endowed Scholarship will allow others to be able to pursue a dream of helping young people reach their potential. This scholarship is designated for a student seeking a career in Education with a preference given to a Blevins graduate. The scholarship is being established as a retirement surprise by Sweat’s wife and children.

Kim Sweat said, “Ron has always been a supporter of higher education. He has encouraged countless students throughout his 40 years of teaching to further their education beyond high school. He has tried to be a good teacher and role model for our community and its children.”

UACCH is honored to be able to announce the Ronald Sweat Family Endowed Scholarship thanks to the caring gift made by this family to the UACCH Foundation. The establishment of this scholarship is a reminder that an Endowed Scholarship is a great way to honor a loved one while giving back to countless others through an endowed scholarship. For more information about this scholarship, visit the UACCH website at

Support for UACCH Kids’ College

Pictured left to right: Steve and Celia Montgomery, Nancy Kenworthy, Kids’ College Director at UACCH, and UACCH Chancellor Chris Thomason.


The University of Arkansas Community College at Hope is pleased to announce the recent $2,000 gift from Steve and Celia Montgomery and the Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Charities to support the UACCH Kids’ College Program. The Montgomery’s are the owners of the Hope McDonald’s and have been supportive of this program at the College for many years.

Kids’ College, which began Monday and continues again next week, provides 1st through 6th graders a week of fun, educational activities on the UACCH campus. It is an enrichment boost for capable and motivated students that will focus on cultivating new interests, expanding knowledge, and sparking the children’s imaginations and creativity.

The University of Arkansas Community College at Hope wants to extend a special “Thank you” to Steve and Celia Montgomery and the Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Charities for their support.

For more information about Kids’ College or other programs at UACCH, visit our website at

Leaders Celebrate UACCH Expansion

Hope, Hempstead County, and Southwest Arkansas celebrated Tuesday as the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope broke ground for one of the premier educational facilities in the state and opened a state-of-the-art science technology center on campus.

Federal, state, educational and local leaders told the 200 or so in attendance at groundbreaking ceremonies for Hempstead Hall and ribbon cutting ceremonies for the UACCH Science/Technology Center that Hempstead County was in the forefront of educational partnership and progress. Congressman Mike Ross, D-Ar., a 1979 graduate of Hope High School congratulated “the voters of Hempstead County who chose to tax themselves” to support the $10 million auditorium/conference center project.

“The sucess of this project has been directly correlated to the power of partnership; the partnership between the voters of Hempstead County, the City of Hope, Hempstead County and the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope,” Ross said. “These types of partnerships are an example of what can happen when people come together to work to better the community.” “This goes beyond Hope and Hempstead County; this is going to be a shining light for all of Southwest Arkansas,” he said. “This will serve as an innovative approach to economic development for Hope, Hempstead County and Southwest Arkansas for many years to come.”

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said that Hempstead County is doing what he has asked the entire state to do. “In today’s world, now more than ever, community colleges are responding to the workforce needs of their region and state,” Beebe said. “Hempstead County is a valuable player in this whole process of talking about education and economic development.”

He said without the development of a highly-educated workforce, Arkansas will only continue to provide employees to other states. “It’s incumbent on us at the same time we work on education to work on economic development, so that when they get that training they can stay right here in Arkansas,” Beebe said. “Historically, our two-year colleges such as UACC-Hope have provided affordable and accessible education.” He said that the development of Hempstead Hall is “another opportunity for that to be delivered in fine fashion.” But, Beebe said the key to the process is the people who support higher education at the local levels in communities statewide.

“The strength and vitality of an institution lies in its people; it lies in its teachers, its administrators and staff, in all the people in the community that support it from the board of visitors to the foundation board; all of the community leaders that work together to try to make the institution viable,” he said. “We’re here to celebrate the actual accomplishment of ‘town and gown.’ But, it’s merely the beginning of a long road of cooperation and success between a community and the institution that serves that community.”

University of Arkansas System President Dr. B. Alan Sugg said UACCH’s growth has been a remarkable story. “Back in 1996, the citizens of Hope and Hempstead County overwhelmingly passed a quarter-cent sales tax to expand educational opportunities at UACCH,” Sugg said. “The enrollment promptly took off like a rocket; and, any way you measure it, UACCH has been hugely successful, and the college has become the cultural and educational center of Hope and the surrounding counties…. The citizens of Hope and Hempstead County are to be commended for their vision and committment in making this community a better place to live, work and raise a family. And, to the faculty, staff and administration at UACCH, I thank you for developing a great community college, and I am tremendously proud that UACCH is part of the University of Arkansas System.”

UACCH Chancellor Chris Thomason said the Hempstead Hall project will be a monument to the “spirit” of the community in Hempstead County, and its service to higher education. “In about 18 or 24 months, we will be able to come together on this campus to celebrate the grand opening of Hempstead Hall,” Thomason said. “But, we won’t just be celebrating the building of another building. What we will be celebrating is the realization of a dream; a vision to construct a multi-purpose facility here in Hempstead County for all the residents of Hempstead County. Hempstead Hall is becoming a reality and is now within reach because of the commitment and sacrifice of all of Hempstead County, Arkansas… This dedication day best demonstrates that dedication in the fact that they passed a sales tax in diffcult economic times to make this building a reality….

“I don’t know that there has ever been a day that I have been more proud of this place I call home.” Community and area political leaders also praised the project in a video presentation before the official “turning dirt” on the UACCH campus Tuesday. “I believe the possibilities are endless for this facility, for the college and our community, and I could not be any more proud for our community,” UACCH Board of Visitors President Jerry Pruden said.

Hempstead County Judge Wallace Martin explained the genesis of the project. “Two years ago, a group of us met out here at the college, and we discussed the possibility of a building like this, and there was quite a bit of enthusiasm among that group. We started taking steps to bring it about; and, we took it before the voters and they voted the sales tax, and I think it’s something we are all going to be really proud of,” Martin said.

Hope Mayor Dennis Ramsey followed that by noting, “Some fifteen months ago, the voters of Hempstead County voted to tax themselves to build Hempstead Hall…. It will serve to bring events to Hope and Hempstead County which will help our economy, including educational opportunities, civic and cultural opportunities, as well as events and conventions which will serve to help the economic growth of our area…. Grow, UACCH, grow.”

UACCH Foundation Chairman Ned Ray Purtle expressed thanks to supporters of the project. “As chairman of the UACCH Foundation Board, I want to personally thank Hempstead County for your support of Hempstead Hall,” Purtle said. “Since the foundation board and agreed to sponsor the election to bring this issue to the taxpayers of Hempstead County, we are grateful for your support. The foundation is already at work looking at events for this facility that I feel will be an asset for the students to use for generations to come.” And, area legislators State Senator Larry Teague, D-Nashville, and State Representative David “Bubba” Powers, D-Hope, added congratulations.

“From a personal standpoint, and as a legislator, I’m very proud of what goes on out here on the UACCH campus. Nothing could make me prouder than the Hempstead Hall project. I’m very proud of the voters; they’re the ones who made it possible to bring this beautiful building to reality in a couple or three years. As a 55 year resident of Hope and Hempstead County, I think our folks here have done a wonderful job of showing a progressive attitude….,” Powers said.

By Ken McLemore Hope Star Wed Aug 19, 2009, 05:14 PM CDT

New Henderson State University Scholarship Opportunity

ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHPS ARE VERY COMPETITIVE – EARLY APPLICATION IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. The Access Scholarship will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and as funds are available. Scholarships will be governed by university policies located at The value of the scholarship is $1,000 per fall/spring semester (maximum of $2,000 per academic year).

1. You must have an associate’s degree from a public two-year college in Arkansas or a minimum of 60 transferable credit hours with a 3.00 cumulative grade point average based on a 4.00 system. Fifty percent of transferable credit hours must be from a public two-year institution.

2. You must be admitted to the university before being considered for a scholarship. You must submit the application for scholarship along with an official transcript(s).

3. Applicant must be entering Henderson for the very first time. Individuals who have completed any college credit from Henderson are not eligible. (Enrollment at Henderson during the summer immediately prior to first fall semester is acceptable.)

4. You will not qualify for the ACCESS Scholarship if you are the recipient of a Community College Transfer Scholarship or a President’s Community College Transfer Scholarship.

5. All scholarship recipients must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online at

6. The scholarship is renewable for three (3) additional consecutive semesters if you enroll in and complete 14 hours and maintain a minimum 2.50 cumulative grade point average by the end of the fall semester. At the end of the spring semester, you must have completed 28 hours with a 3.00 cumulative grade point average.

7. The scholarship is not available for use in summer semesters and is non-renewable after two (2) years.

Please Note: Scholarship applications must be returned to the Office of University Relations/Admissions, HSU Box 7560, Arkadelphia, AR 71999-0001.

To download an application for this and many other scholarships, please visit, click the “Financial Aid” link then click the “UACCH Scholarships” link.