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University of Arkansas community college program in Hope and Texarkana finalist for Bellwether award

by Andrew Bell | November 1, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.
From left: Presenters at the Bellwether awards will include Mikki Curtis, dean of Secondary Programs; John Hollis, dean of Institutional Effectiveness; and Laura Clark, vice chancellor for Academics. (Photo courtesy of Casey Curtis/UAHT)

HOPE/TEXARKANA, Ark. -- The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana has been named a top 10 national finalist for the Bellwether Consortium Awards in the Instructional Programs & Services category for the college's innovative collegiate academy high schools.

Community colleges from 19 states submitted entries for the 2022 competition, and UAHT was the only community college finalist from Arkansas. This is UAHT's second year in a row to be named a finalist for a Bellwether award.

Bellwether finalists represent community colleges whose innovative programs and practices were selected among competitive submissions as exemplary. According to the Consortium, the award focuses on cutting-edge, trendsetting programs worthy of replication.

The UAHT collegiate academies operate in partnership with the Hope Public School District and the Texarkana Arkansas School District. The goal of the academies is to provide academic and career pathways to a diverse group of students by offering a three-year curriculum that allows them the opportunity to complete a high school diploma and an associate degree simultaneously while being fully immersed on a college campus.

The academies are available to students entering the 10th grade and who meet the entrance requirements to attend. The academies are free of charge and are located on the University of Arkansas Hope and Texarkana campuses.

"This took a lot of hard work from many different stakeholders, including administrators, instructors, district administration and community support, to provide this wonderful opportunity for our students," Dean of Secondary Programs Mikki Curtis said. "Our students in the Collegiate Academies work hard every day to walk across the graduation stage with both their high school diploma and associate's degree."

In January, the Bellwether finalists will undergo a second and final round of review at the 2022 Community College Futures Assembly in San Antonio, Texas. Each selected college provides a 60-minute presentation on its program or model to an anonymous panel recognized as skilled practitioners and thought leaders in the field.

The Bellwether Awards are viewed as a prestigious national recognition in the community college circuit.

"We are thrilled to have been named a finalist," Curtis said. "It shows that we are willing to try new innovative ideas to provide our students with the best education possible."

The following ten institutions have been named finalists in the Instructional Programs & Services category. The category recognizes programs or activities that have been designed and successfully implemented to foster or support teaching and learning in the community college.

Finalists are Blinn College District, Bucks County Community College, Community College of Baltimore, El Paso Community College, Horry-Georgetown Technical College, San Diego Mesa College, South Mountain Community College, Tulsa Community College, University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana and Yavapai College

All finalists will be presented at the 2022 Community Colleges Futures Assembly, and one winner will then be selected from each category by a panel of national experts.

"I am very proud of the Collegiate Academies and all that the students have accomplished," Curtis said.

(For more information about the Hope Collegiate Academy or Arkansas High Collegiate Academy , visit uaht.edu online or call 870-722-8133.)

Print Headline: University of Arkansas community college program in Hope and Texarkana finalist for Bellwether award

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