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The University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College (UA-Pulaski Tech) in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) is a comprehensive two-year college offering technical programs, a university-transfer program, and specialized programs for business and industry. The college’s mission is to provide access to high-quality education that promotes student learning, to enable individuals to develop to their fullest potential, and to support the economic development of the state.
The college’s history dates back to October 1945, when it was established as the Little Rock Vocational School under the supervision of the Little Rock Public Schools. Until January 1976, the school met in a building at the corner of 14th Street and Scott Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County). In October 1969, administration of the school was transferred to the Arkansas Board of Vocational Education, and the school was renamed Pulaski Vocational Technical School. Early in the 1970s, the Veterans Administration donated 135 acres to the City of North Little Rock, and forty of those acres, located on what is now called West Scenic Drive, were set aside for the college. North Little Rock voters rejected a 2.5-mill property tax to fund the school in April 1974, but the Arkansas General Assembly later appropriated $972,000 to build and equip the school. When the Arkansas General Assembly created the Arkansas Technical and Community College System in 1991, the college was one of thirteen schools that became technical colleges under the coordination of the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and the term “Vocational” was dropped from the school’s name. Dr. Dan F. Bakke has served as president of Pulaski Technical College from July 1, 2000, until June 2012, when Dr. Margaret A. Ellibee took over.
The nine buildings on the main campus include classrooms, administrative offices, and a newly redesigned library. Both the library and the campus center were completed in 2006. UA-Pulaski Tech also maintains seven off-campus sites for instruction. These include the Aviation Technology Center at the North Little Rock Airport, the Business and Industry Center on the campus of the Aerospace Education Center in Little Rock, the Adult Education Center in Benton (Saline County), the County Career Center in Bauxite (Saline County), the Education Center in Maumelle (Pulaski County), and a classroom building on Kanis Road in west Little Rock.
The newest location, opened in August 2008, is located in far southern Little Rock next to Interstate 30. It features the Transportation Technology Center, the Arkansas Culinary School, general and developmental education classes, a library, and a myriad of services for students. The location also features a café operated by the Pulaski Tech Arkansas Culinary School, community meeting rooms, and other amenities. In 2013, the college opened the Culinary and Hospitality Management Institute at its southern Little Rock location.
UA-Pulaski Tech offers the following degrees: associate of arts, associate of arts in teaching, associate of science, and associate of applied science. Twenty-eight different majors are encompassed by these degrees, including digital media production, added in 2012. The college also offers over thirty certificates of technical, occupational, or proficiency in programs ranging from aviation maintenance to crime scene investigation.
UA-Pulaski Tech is the largest two-year college in Arkansas and the fourth-largest institution of higher education in the state. Eighty percent of the students hold full- or part-time jobs while taking classes. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.
In 2014, ground was broken for the college’s Center for Humanities and Arts, which celebrated its grand opening on February 2, 2016.
On May 11, 2016, the board of the college unanimously approved a motion to merge with the University of Arkansas System. This decision followed a decline in enrollment from a high of nearly 12,000 in the fall of 2011 to 7,650 in the fall of 2015. Later that month, the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees approved the merger, which became effective on February 1, 2017.
For additional information:
“Pulaski Tech Marks Place with Library.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. September 4, 2006, p. 5B.
“Pulaski Tech to Celebrate 15th Anniversary.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. October 8, 2006, p. 7B.
University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College. http://www.pulaskitech.edu (accessed February 13, 2017).
Wilson, Bobby. “College Opens Campus Center.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. September 4, 2006, p. 5B.
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Last Updated 2/13/2017
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