FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact:
Arkansas Department of Higher Education
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board reviewed the notification from Mid-South Community College of plans to proceed with the agreement of merger and plan of transition between the Arkansas State University System and Mid-South Community College (MSCC).
After the merger, MSCC will be known as Arkansas State University Mid-South (ASU Mid-South), as an institution of higher learning in the eastern Arkansas Delta region and a campus in the ASU System.
Reports from ADHE staff indicated a decrease in enrollment for Fall 2014 by 1.1 percent. A five-year comparison showed a decrease of 2.7 percent. Total enrollment for Fall 2014 was 168,621, including undergraduate and graduate-level students at all public and private institutions.
Anytime remediation rates in all subjects – math, English and reading – fell from last year’s 43.2 percent to 41.4 percent in Fall 2014.
In other business, the board approved the following new academic programs:
•Master of Jazz at the University of Arkansas at Monticello
•Associate of Applied Science in Construction Technology at NorthWest Arkansas Community College
•Bachelor of Arts in Innovative Media at Henderson State University
•Certificate of Proficiency and Technical Certificate in Commercial & Residential Facility Maintenance by the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope
•Associate of Applied Science in Occupational and Life Skills at NorthWest Arkansas Community College
The board also approved new degree certifications from colleges and universities through its Institutional Certification Advisory Committee, which evaluates and 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 issues:
•$18.4 million for NorthWest Arkansas Community College for 15 years at a rate not to exceed 3.75 percent. Proceeds will be used to refinance district capital improvement bonds.
•$10 million for Southern Arkansas University for 30 years at a rate not to exceed 5.0 percent. Proceeds will be used to construct and/or renovate facilities for the Engineering program and to make improvements in the Health, Kinesiology and Recreational facilities and to construct and/or renovate facilities for the Engineering program on the campus of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas.
•$1.5 million for Arkansas State University for 10 years at a rate not to exceed 0.0 percent. Proceeds will be used to complete energy efficient upgrades of the cooling tower system at the Convocation Center and the energy control system of the Arkansas Biosciences Institute building.
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.