Arkansas Tech University – Ozark Campus and the Russellville Area Career and Technical Center (ACTC) will collaborate in delivering workforce training programs which lead to skill development and degree attainment.This partnership between post-secondary and secondary educational institutions is supported by the missions of both the Russellville Public Schools and Arkansas Tech University – Ozark Campus.
This partnership will allow Arkansas Tech – Ozark to give college credit for technical instruction delivered to ACTC to surrounding school districts, including Russellville, Dardanelle, Atkins, Pottsville, Lamar, Clarksville, Hector, Two Rivers, Western Yell, Dover and Danville.
Chancellor, Dr. Jo Alice Blondin stated, “The purpose of this merger is to create relevance for all career and technical programs and tie these programs to industry; to initiate advising and college entrance programs for the ACTC, and to serve ACTC’s student population.”
The transfer and merger is in line with an economic development vision identified by the Governor’s Task Force for the 21st Century Economy, in a document entitled Building a Twenty-First Economy in Arkansas. The document emphasizes the importance of establishing “a system for workforce training that allows students to enter the system while in high school and proceed, seamlessly, toward a proficiency in workforce training or a baccalaureate degree.”
Arkansas Tech – Ozark is making a difference in the River Valley by expanding technical educational opportunities. Mr. Bruce Sikes, Chief Academic Officer, said, “The Ozark campus has expertise in delivering high-quality technical instruction and managing off-site locations, and for these reasons we look forward to the opportunities we can provide secondary students.”
The Area Career and Technical Center is an extension of the participating area high school curriculum. The director and staff work closely with administrators and counselors so that the learning experience becomes an integral part of the student’s total high school program.
Patricia Edmunds, Director ACTC remarked, “I am very excited about ACTC merging with ATU Ozark. This is an opportunity for area students to find success entering the workforce or advancing their studies. With this merger, ACTC and ATU Ozark will provide a seamless transition for students K-16. We will provide the support while students are still in high school to make a smooth transition from secondary to post secondary. K-12 schools have been telling students for a long time that they can be successful in college. This merger will allow ACTC and ATU Ozark to prove to our students that they are successful.”