Archives for August 2017

Arkansas Tech ELI Earns Accreditation

The Arkansas Tech University English Language Institute (ELI) has earned accreditation through the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA).

“This two-year process would not have happened without our expert faculty and staff who helped give their time and assistance,” said Brent Hogan, coordinator of the Arkansas Tech ELI. “A big thank you to the members of our curriculum committee and steering committee: Dr. Paola Gemme, Dr. Regina St. John, Mr. Will Taylor, Mrs. Jill Balaster, Dr. Browder Swetnam, Mr. Yasushi Onodera, Ms. Brandy Cunningham and Mrs. Monica Buck.”

The Arkansas Tech ELI offers five eight-week sessions each year for incoming international students. According to the ATU ELI mission statement, the program “prepares English language learners with the skills necessary to develop academic proficiency to successfully meet the demands and expectations of the college classroom.”

Subjects taught through the ATU ELI are grammar, reading, writing and listening/speaking.

Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a national accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions, CEA accredits more than 300 programs and institutions.

“CEA’s accreditation process comprises an eligibility application, workshop, self-study report, site visit and accreditation decision,” reads text from the organization’s website. “Site visits are conducted by qualified professionals from the field who are trained as peer reviewers. In addition to accreditation process activities, CEA oversees continued compliance with standards and CEA requirements and conducts regular systematic review and revision of standards to respond to changes in the field.”

Learn more about the Arkansas Tech ELI.

Nichols Honored by NASPA for Research Study

Dr. Keegan Nichols, vice president for student success at Arkansas Tech University, is part of a team of researchers that has been recognized by professional organization NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Nichols, Dr. Lisa Baumgartner of Texas A&M University, Dr. Shannon Breske of the University of Missouri and Dr. Brett Bruner of Fort Hays State University co-authored a paper entitled “Paying it Forward: First Gen Latinas/a/o Students Sense of Responsibility.”

The paper received a 2017 NASPA Region IV West literature and research award.

A native of Vilonia, Nichols is in her first year as vice president for student services at ATU. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from the University of Central Arkansas, a Master of Science degree in college administration from the University of Central Missouri and a Doctor of Education degree in adult and higher education from Northern Illinois University.

Nichols was previously associate vice president for student affairs at Fort Hays State University from 2013-17 and vice president of student affairs at Colby Community College (Kan.) from 2010-13. She has additional experience working in student services at Northern Illinois University and Rockford College (Ill.).

New Resource for National Guard Members

Arkansas Tech University has entered into a new agreement designed to benefit Arkansas National Guard personnel enrolled in classes at the institution.

Signed by ATU President Dr. Robin E. Bowen (photographed, right) and Major Johnathan S. Metcalf of the Arkansas Army National Guard (photographed, left), the agreement provides ATU office space for Sgt. Thomas Roots to serve in the role of Army National Guard liaison to Arkansas Tech University for the Arkansas National Guard.

Roots will provide guardsmen and guardswomen with information about the new Arkansas National Guard Tuition Assistance (NGTA) program and all other education benefits that ATU National Guard students have earned.

National Guard personnel seeking assistance from Roots may visit him in the ATU Office of Financial Aid, located in suite 206 of Dr. Robert Charles Brown and Jill Lestage Brown Hall on the Russellville campus, or send e-mail to

Learn more about the NGTA program.

ATU Among National Leaders in Social Mobility

Arkansas Tech University is the No. 1 option in Arkansas for students seeking an opportunity to improve their economic standing for a third consecutive year.

CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index (SMI) looks at the economic background of a university’s student body and compares it to the institution’s tuition rate, graduation rate and endowment as well as the early career salary for its young alumni.

For 2016 data, ATU has a SMI score of 51.64 to rank among the top 7 percent of the 931 institutions across the United States included in the survey. Arkansas Tech has increased its national SMI ranking from 93rd in 2014, to 90th in 2015 and 61st in 2016. No other Arkansas institution appears in the top 170 for the most recent ranking.

“The new SMI rankings show that through wise policy-making, colleges and universities can be part of improving both economic opportunity and social stability in our country,” wrote Jim Wolfston, president of CollegeNET, in an explanation of the theory behind the rankings. “Let’s recast the chase for quality to include lowering tuition, recruiting more economically disadvantaged students, and ensuring that enrolled students graduate into good paying jobs.”

View the CollegeNET Social Mobility Index.

Paint the Town Green and Gold Back for 2017

Businesses and citizens in Russellville will show their Arkansas Tech University pride by participating in the second annual Paint the Town Green and Gold celebration in September.

The program is co-sponsored by the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce and ATU.

Activities will begin Sept. 7-10 with exterior window and interior decorating at local businesses. Judging of the Tech-themed decorations will take place Sept. 11-12, and the business that displays the most Tech spirit will receive possession of a traveling trophy that will be presented during a 5:30 p.m. pep rally at ATU’s Hindsman Tower on Thursday, Sept. 14.

Entry forms for the window decorating contest are available through the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce at 708 W. Main St. For more information, call (479) 968-2530 or send e-mail to

Below is a list of additional events associated with Paint the Town Green and Gold 2017:

Wednesday, Sept. 13
Lunch at Depot
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 14
Golden Suns Volleyball
Tucker Coliseum
6 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 15
State of the University Breakfast
Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce Members
$12 per person
Williamson Hall Dining Room
7:30 a.m.

Golden Suns Volleyball
Tucker Coliseum
11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16
Golden Suns Volleyball
Tucker Coliseum
11 a.m.

Party at the Plaza
Centennial Plaza
3 p.m.

Wonder Boys Football
Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field
6 p.m.