Today the Arkansas Department of Higher Education approved for Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Human Services and a Supply Chain Management option for its AAS in Business Technology.
The degree and additional option were approved during a quarterly meeting of the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board in Little Rock.
Arkansas Tech-Ozark sought approval for the Human Services AAS after regional employers indicated a need for specialized training to serve their diverse industry needs, as well as the diverse social needs of the communities they serve.
Chief Academic Officer Bruce Sikes said, “This program is a culmination of the Ozark Campus’ work with its industry partners serving the needs of the River Valley region. Industry partners were instrumental in the development of the curriculum, as well as agreeing to serve as intern sites for the students.”
This spring, a survey of human-services-assistant employers showed that some of the state industry’s greatest needs exist in the underserved communities surrounding the campus: Franklin, Logan, Crawford, Sebastian, Johnson and Pope counties.
“There is definitely a need for this type of program in our area,” said Dr. Lance Fisher, executive director of Next Step Day Room in Fort Smith. “Our agency recently hired an [licensed master social worker] and two additional case managers. We received very few resumes from individuals with a background or experience in the human services area.
“We are pleased to have this resource become available to students in Western Arkansas.”
Employers surveyed include senior citizen centers, correctional facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation programs, childcare development centers, departments of human services and non-profit agencies specializing in these services.
The Human Services program, which will accept up to 25 students, will consist of 60 hours of coursework and two eight-week field experiences at various social service agencies.
Sikes said, “The AAS in Human Services will benefit the service providers by delivering a training program that develops incumbent workers and entry level applicants in the diverse human services occupations.”
The approved Supply Chain Management option is a culmination of discussions with procurement, logistics and operations managers in a number of industries. Graduates will be trained to face the tasks and challenges required to effectively manage a business supply chain.
It is now the second option for Arkansas Tech-Ozark’s AAS in Business Technology. The program also offers a Banking option.
In all, Arkansas Tech-Ozark offers 25 programs of study tailored to me a variety of industry specific careers.