AHECB approves loans, academic programs, policy changes 



Brandi Hinkle, Communications Coordinator
Arkansas Department of Higher Education

AHECB approves loans, academic programs, policy changes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved language Friday that updates the Board’s concurrent enrollment policy, or for those high school students enrolled in a college course primarily taught on the high school campus for both high school and college-level credit.

Changes include clarifying the requirements for concurrent program approval, what coursework is required, teacher credentials and how faculty should be trained, and payment of tuition and fees. The policy changes have been crafted over the last several months, officials said, with input from campuses at all levels. It will take effect in Fall 2013.

Department staff also reported the college-going rate for Fall 2012 is up to nearly 53 percent, from 52.2 the year before to 52.9 percent for first-time, full-time students. Of those enrolling right out of high school, 63 percent attended a four-year university and 34 percent attended a two-year college. The remaining three percent attended a private institution.

In other business Friday, the board approved the following new academic programs:
• Associate of Applied Science in Digital Media: Mid-South Community College
• Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, Technical Certificate, and Certificate of Proficiency in Hospitality Management: Mid-South Community College
• Bachelor of Arts in Political Science: University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

The board approved 155 new degree certifications from 32 colleges and universities through its Institutional Certification Advisory Committee, which monitors degree programs offered to Arkansans by out-of-state institutions. A number of other programs with requested changes or deletions were also approved. A complete list is available at www.adhe.edu.

The board also approved the following bond and loan issues:
• $1 million from the College Savings Bond Revolving Loan Fund for Arkansas State University for 10 years at a rate not to exceed one percent for Americans with Disabilities Act campus surface improvements, including pedestrian walkways and parking.
• $1.1 million private loan for Henderson State University for 20 years at a rate not to exceed five percent for repayment for equipment and café renovations in the Garrison Activity and Conference Center.

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education is responsible for carrying out the policy directives of the AHECB, approving and reviewing college and university academic programs and developing funding recommendations for the state’s 11 public universities and 22 public two-year colleges as well as several other post-secondary entities.

In addition, the agency is responsible for distributing approximately $170 million annually from state revenues and lottery funds intended to ease the financial burden of students seeking an education beyond high school. For more information, visit www.adhe.edu.