National Park College (NPC) is pursuing a change in scope to include a bachelor's degree to meet local workforce demand. The College is not requesting a change in its role as a locally supported community college. NPC does not seek to become a regional university. The College hopes to be allowed to remain a community college that provides baccalaureate programming to answer the economic needs and workforce demands of the City of Hot Springs, Garland County, and the surrounding region.

As part of an 18-month planning process to develop the 2020-23 NPC Strategic Plan, NPC reviewed the mission, vision, and values by conducting focused meetings with state legislators, local elected officials, public school leaders, parents, industry leaders, faculty, staff, and students. The feedback gathered demonstrated strong support for adding bachelor’s degrees, especially in nursing, healthcare, education, and business fields. Students have consistently asked the College to provide opportunities for achieving bachelor’s degrees in poll after poll over the last five years.

A priority of NPC’s current strategic plan is to “strengthen educational and workforce partnerships.” We want to provide relevant career opportunities for our students in support of our community partners. Hot Springs is a health care hub for much of the southern and southwestern portions of the state. Healthcare is the largest industry sector in Garland County and our region. Our hospital partners have expressed a need for BSN prepared nurses. Our job as a community college that has a publicly elected Board of Trustees and that receives public support from the community is to answer that call.


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