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University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH)

The University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH) is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college that provides the first two years of a traditional college education transferable to four-year colleges and universities, as well as multiple technical and industrial programs. Programs include bachelor’s and master’s degrees through distance education and numerous community service and continuing education opportunities. In fall 2012, a branch campus of UACCH opened in Texarkana (Miller County).

UACCH was founded as Red River Vocational-Technical School in 1965. In 1991, as part of a statewide movement to transform Arkansas’s technical schools into community colleges, the vocational-technical school was placed under the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) and renamed Red River Technical College. In 1995, the Arkansas General Assembly approved legislation that provided for the merger of two-year colleges and universities. On March 5, 1996, the citizens of Hempstead County approved a one-quarter-cent sales tax to support the expansion of the college. On July 1, 1996, Red River Technical College was renamed the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope and became an affiliate of the University of Arkansas System.

The North Central Association (NCA) granted Red River Technical College candidacy accreditation status in 1994, whereby the college offered its first associate degrees. The NCA granted continued candidacy in 1995, and an evaluation team from the NCA visited the campus in October 1996 to determine the eligibility process of a nonaffiliated organization. In February 1997, the NCA granted an initial four-year accreditation to UACCH. UACCH completed its first comprehensive self study with an NCA evaluation team in February 2001.

UACCH’s service area is authorized by the Arkansas Board of Higher Education and includes Hempstead, Miller, Nevada, Lafayette, and southern Howard and Pike counties. The designated service area provides the college with many opportunities and challenges. As of 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated a service area population of 107,747. Of that number, approximately sixty-nine percent were between the ages of eighteen and sixty-five and were high school graduates, but only about eleven percent held a bachelor’s degree or higher. The U.S. Census also estimates that five of the six service area counties experienced population declines averaging almost six percent between 2000 and 2010. As of 2010, almost twenty-two percent of the service area’s population lived below the poverty line. This highlights an increased need for a better equipped, better trained, more technologically savvy, and better educated area work force.

The college offers several degree programs including practical nursing, Associate of Arts degrees in six areas, Associate of Applied Science degrees in twelve areas, technical certificates in thirteen areas, and certificates of proficiency in eleven areas. As of 2014, there were 1,385 students enrolled at the Hope and UACCH–Texarkana campuses combined.

For additional information:
McLemore, Ken. “Tucker Names Area Man to Non-existent Hope College Board.” Hope Star, July 5, 1996, pp. 1A, 10A.

Rhodes, Larry. “Education Gets a Boost, Tax Approved.” Hope Star, March 6, 1996, p. 1A.

University of Arkansas Community College at Hope. http://www.uacch.edu/ (accessed July 15, 2014).

Jennifer Methvin
University of Arkansas Community College at Hope

Staff of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture

Last Updated 12/10/2014

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