Grant Funds to Create New Learning Opportunities

Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus has received $137,000 from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Regional Workforce Grants program.

The funds will aid the allied health, computer information technology and logistics management programs in providing relevant career education to ATU-Ozark students.

“At ATU-Ozark, we strive daily to educate our students in the pursuit of high-demand jobs, including those stemming from industry recognized credentials, career and technical certificates, associate degrees and beyond,” said Dr. Sheila Jacobs, ATU-Ozark chief academic officer. “We are committed to building a skilled and employment-ready workforce that is critical to a thriving economy. This grant will provide our students with additional state of the art equipment and software that will create enhanced learning experiences and translate directly into industry.”

Due to the funding, the allied health programs at ATU-Ozark will be able to purchase an Anatomage table, which provides students with a virtual human anatomy visualization system.

“This table opens a whole new avenue of instruction for all students,” said Ester Leonard, program chair for practical nursing at ATU-Ozark. “I especially see it helpful when teaching the proper administration of such things as intramuscular injections. The student will be able to see the muscle as well as the nerves and blood vessels contained within the muscle and why proper placement is so important.”

Todd Birkhead, ATU-Ozark program chair for emergency medical technician/paramedic, explained that his students will utilize the Anatomage table as they build upon foundational courses in anatomy and physiology.

“We will be able to reinforce the knowledge that students have gained from their previous classes with real-world visual learning,” said Birkhead.

ATU-Ozark computer information technology students will gain access to advanced skills and credentialing through Cisco as a result of the grant funding. Graduates of the program are prepared to work in networking, programming and computer repair.

“This grant will enhance our students’ employability by giving them the means to train on current Cisco equipment that meets new industry standards,” said Kale Rudolph, ATU-Ozark computer information technology chair.

In the ATU-Ozark logistics management program, the grant funding will mean new supply chain simulation software.

“Students will be able to use their critical thinking and decision-making skills on real-world scenarios,” said Heather Nelson, chair for the ATU-Ozark logistics management program. “They will be able to see immediate results of their decisions as a learning and improvement tool. I am very excited about the engagement and practical application of this new resource.”

The Arkansas General Assembly passed the Workforce Initiative Act Regional Workforce Grant program in 2015 and it was subsequently signed into law by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Goals of the program include creating a statewide, comprehensive structure enabling students in Arkansas universities, community colleges and secondary centers to participate in career and technical education programs developed with input from area employers.

Visit for more information about educational opportunities at ATU-Ozark.