May 22, 2017
National Park College (NPC) announced a last dollar promise scholarship for students who participate in National Park Technology Center (NPTC) programs. The announcement was made Thursday during a press conference at Lake Hamilton High School in Pearcy, Arkansas.
The National Park Promise will be awarded to eligible students beginning in the fall 2017 semester. It will allow any student who successfully completes an NPTC program to attend college courses at NPC at no cost to them. The college previously awarded a 50 percent tuition scholarship to NPTC students. The new last dollar scholarship will cover the cost of any tuition and fees remaining after other scholarships and aid are applied.
Superintendents from area school districts attended, including Steve Anderson from Lake Hamilton School District, Bobby Applegate from Mountain Pine School District, and Stephanie Nehus, incoming superintendent for Hot Springs School District.
Anderson welcomed the group and said, “This program that National Park is going to unveil this morning is great opportunity for not only the kids at Lake Hamilton, but for kids throughout Garland County.” He spoke about the impact NPTC has on students in the community stating, “We send kids out there to learn real life skills.” He added, “When they finish, as completers they are in a really good position to take that to the next level, out into the real world as they continue their training in the workplace or to advanced training and education.”
Pictured left, Dr. John Hogan, NPC president announcing the National Park Promise scholarship.
Dr. John Hogan, NPC president said, “The thing that sets the county apart and presents opportunities like this is the commitment to students.” He addressed students in the room saying, “This is a significant investment in our community. It is an investment in you.”
Hogan reiterated that Arkansas is 49th nationally in terms of degree attainment, which has consequences to the state’s economic development. He said the Governor has asked educators to “make some changes, be creative and drive and inspire more students to go to college and complete degrees.” Less than a third of adults in Garland County hold a degree. He went on to quote statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau that state those with a college degree will earn on average $1 million dollars more over their lifetime. He expressed that education receives a unique level of support from business and community leaders, legislators, and educators in this area and added, “This commitment of a scholarship is born out of that collaboration.”
NPTC Director, Mike Wiles described the impact the scholarship will have on students. He said, “I have been in education in Garland County for over 20 years. I have watched students benefit from that 50 percent scholarship, so believe me when I say I am really excited about 100 percent.” He added, “The National Park Promise removes the financial barrier for my students.”
The National Park Technology Center is a secondary area career and technology center that serves nearly 600 students from eight public schools in the Garland County area including Lake Hamilton High School, Lakeside High School, Hot Springs High School, Jessieville High School, Fountain Lake High School, Cutter Morning Star High School, Caddo Hills High School, and Mountain Pine High School.
NPTC programs are available to junior and senior high school students. Program offerings are two years in length. Each program offers concurrent credit or some type of industry certification, and many offer both. Second year students have the opportunity to participate in job shadowing and apprenticeship activities. Instruction in the areas offered by the center prepare students for entry-level employment and provide the foundation for further education in either health sciences, wood technology, advertising and graphic design, automotive, engineering, mobile apps development, machine tool, or criminal justice.