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Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC) is the largest two-year college in northeast Arkansas. ANC’s main campus is located in Blytheville (Mississippi County), with educational centers located in Burdette (Mississippi County), Leachville (Mississippi County), Paragould (Greene County), and Osceola (Mississippi County). The college offers a variety of associate degrees, technical certificates, and job-training programs.
In 1974, the residents of Mississippi County voted for a tax increase to finance the initial construction of the new school. Mississippi County Community College (MCCC) gave the local community an opportunity to receive an inexpensive higher education. Harry Smith was selected as the first president of the college. In 1975, the college became accredited and attained membership in the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
In 1977, the college was awarded six million dollars in grant money to build the nation’s first community college solar photovoltaic prototype facility. Although the solar panels never completely powered the college, the information gathered by the federal government was vital to the study of harnessing solar energy. The federal government cut funding for the project in 1983, citing low productivity and cost of upkeep.
The year 1983 was a pivotal year for the college. Not only was the solar panel project discontinued, but Smith also retired. He was replaced by John Sullins. The tenure of Sullins brought about the expansion of the main campus and an increase in the number of employees. Sullins served the college for twenty years and retired in 2004. His replacement was Robin Myers, the former vice president of instruction.
On July 1, 2003, MCCC merged with Cotton Boll Technical Institute to become Arkansas Northeastern College. Cotton Boll Technical Institute had opened in 1966. It had two campuses, located in Burdette and Paragould. Charles O. Ross was the institution’s first director. The merger of the institutions combined Mississippi County Community College’s academic reputation and technical programs with Cotton Boll Technical Institute’s own well-established programs.
ANC now occupies over 130 acres of land. The addition of a wellness center on the main campus has brought intramural sports to the college, as well as provide members of the community with a place to exercise.
ANC offers associate degrees in the arts, teaching, nursing, business, science, and applied science. The college’s technical programs cover a variety of occupations including drafting, welding, practical nursing, air conditioner repair, aviation maintenance, and emergency medical technical training. The college offers many courses online and through distance-learning programs. The college offers a variety of adult education and non-credit courses through a continuing-education program, which serves approximately 2,500 students each semester. Through its associations with the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), Arkansas State University (ASU), and Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, the college provides an opportunity for local community members to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
As of 2013, Arkansas Northeastern College’s enrollment consists of 1,425 students, with many being part time. The college employs 180 full-time workers, as well as numerous part-time workers.
For additional information:Arkansas Northeastern College. http://www.anc.edu (accessed July 15, 2014).
Bevill, Sandra Hrabovsky. “Mississippi County Community College: The First Fifteen Years, 1975–1989.” PhD diss., University of Mississippi, 1990.
Jillian HartleyArkansas Northeastern College
Last Updated 7/23/2014
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