ATU Brings Training Resource to River Valley

Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus and its Office of Business and Community Outreach partnered with the ATU Office of Sponsored Programs and University Initiatives on the Russellville campus to host a Lean Six Sigma White Belt Certification training for employers across the state on Aug. 24.

Fifty-four participants representing 15 companies attended the training at the Doc Bryan Student Services Center in Russellville.

Participants traveled from as far west as Waldron and as far east as Little Rock for the training. The employers represented such industry sectors as manufacturing, health care, education and utilities.

Participants were not required to have Lean Six Sigma training to take part in this industry-recognized credential. The White Belt is the introductory certification and gives employees basic working knowledge and fundamentals.

Instructing the course was Kevin Clay, president and chief executive officer of Six Sigma Development Solutions, Inc.

“Six Sigma is known across the nation for helping organizations implement basic methods that can reduce waste and defects,” said Justin Smith, chief business and community outreach officer at ATU-Ozark. “The training also involved games and simulations to show how Lean and Six Sigma work together to improve company processes.”

Each participant earned their Lean Six Sigma White Belt Certification and will now have the opportunity to work with Arkansas Tech University and Six Sigma Development Solutions on further training.

“It is wonderful to be able to pull together several organizations on a common training need and also partner with our Russellville campus and Six Sigma Development Solutions, Inc., to provide programming in which industry has a growing need for,” said Smith. “It is essential to stay connected with industry and their needs, and then do our part to be proactive in providing training and academic opportunities, while filling any skill gaps that might exist.”

Leadership Franklin County Picks Class Project

Leadership Franklin County’s class of 2017 has selected Youth Leadership Program for underprivileged students in Franklin County as its class community project.

Through a partnership with Community Services Inc. (CSI), the program will provide identified youth in Franklin County with monthly opportunities during the 2017-18 academic year to interact with industry leaders, practice leadership skills, conduct professional conversations, participate in team building activities and give a day of community service.

The program is designed to be a youth-oriented version of what Leadership Franklin County is for adults.

“With love, support and commitment our clients learn that they can have endless possibilities as they tackle the stepping stones of life and I hope this will empower students enrolled in the program to achieve more,” said Kaethe Hoehling with CSI. “I believe with the two entities unified as one body we are making our youth strong and tomorrow prosperous.”

A portion of the funding for the program was made possible through the donation of a 500-pound calf by Bill and Chris Sossaman of Sossaman Farms in Ozark. The calf was the prize in a drawing won by Rex Heffington of Ozark that raised $3,000 to support Youth Leadership Program in Franklin County.

“The initial plan is to develop the program for one year,” said Laura Rudolph, director of Leadership Franklin County and director of public and external relations at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus. “Pending resources, it’s our hope to create an annual fundraiser to continue this program throughout the years. However, we believe that if we can help just one child through this one-year program, it is worth our time and effort. There are many children in our community that need a focused opportunity to develop leadership skills and awareness of what our community has to offer them.”

Potential students will be identified by local school counselors, juvenile court, the Arkansas Division of Youth Services or CSI staff. Applicants will be required to agree to the requirements of the program.

For more information about Youth Leadership Program, call (479) 508-3315.

Photographed (from left-to-right): Jamie Higgins, director of development for Community Service Youth Foundation; Kaethe Hoehling, CSI community outreach manager and Leadership Franklin County class member; Sydney Acord, Leadership Franklin County class member; and Laura Rudolph, public and external relations at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus.

New Certificates of Proficiency Approved

Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus has received authorization from the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board to add five Certificate of Proficiency programs to its curriculum effective immediately.

Certificate of Proficiency programs in medical billing, logistics management and mobile applications will each require a student to complete 12 credit hours in order to earn the credential. Fifteen credit hours will be required for successful candidates seeking a Certificate of Proficiency in medical coding or in phlebotomy.

All five of the latest Certificate of Proficiency programs at ATU-Ozark are designed to lead into more advanced credentials through Arkansas Tech University. Certificate of Proficiency graduates are eligible to continue on through Technical Certificate, Associate of Applied Science and Bachelor of Applied Science degree programs as a result of ATU’s stackable degrees approach.

Visit to learn more about academic opportunities at ATU-Ozark.

ATU HVACR Programs Earn Accreditation

HVAC Excellence has granted national accreditation to the Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) programs.

Based in Mount Prospect, Ill., HVAC Excellence is a program of ESCO Group, an organization dedicated to improving the technical competency of the current and future HVACR and building science workforce.

The accreditation process included a self-study conducted by ATU-Ozark. Following the review and approval of the self-study, a team of two independent evaluators conducted an on-site visit to evaluate each aspect of the university’s associate’s degree and technical certificate programs in HVACR.

According to a news release from HVAC Excellence, accreditation means that the HVACR programs at ATU-Ozark can “provide students with quality assurance of the program” and “provide employers assurance that graduates are properly trained.”

Learn more about the HVACR programs at ATU-Ozark at

Lean Six Sigma for Employers Coming to ATU

Employers in the Arkansas River Valley seeking to improve their business processes by utilizing statistical analysis are invited to register for a one-day Lean Six Sigma white belt certification course that Arkansas Tech University will host on Thursday, Aug. 24.

Lean Six Sigma is a concept that seeks to teach employers about process improvement, variability, process performance and the specific roles that different team members play.

The course will take place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Doc Bryan Student Services Center room 242 at 1605 Coliseum Drive in Russellville. Cost is $35 and includes lunch.

Kevin Clay, president and chief executive officer of Six Sigma Development Solutions, will facilitate the course.

Registration in advance is required. To register, send e-mail to Justin Smith, chief business and community outreach officer at ATU-Ozark Campus, at