NPC Invests In Student Success, Sees Results In Graduates

National Park College (NPC) Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting Wednesday, May 23 where they approved the 2018-2019 annual budget. Items for report included updates on the campus master plan and health science programs.

Vice President for Finance and Administration, Steve Trusty presented the proposed budget for 2018-2019. Trusty said the College remains fiscally conservative and has expanded academic programs and student extracurricular opportunities each year within its means. He commended his team and campus budget managers for adhering to conservative budgeting practices and closely monitoring accounts throughout the year. As a result, he anticipates excess fund balance for the year, which will help fund a portion of deferred maintenance to campus facilities and allow the College to contribute to recurring reserves for unexpected expenses.

NPC’s tuition rate is increasing for the first time in four years and has remained flat since the 2014-15 academic year. The College reduced tuition in 2015-16.

Beginning in the fall 2018 semester, tuition will increase by two dollars per credit hour for in-district and out-of-district rates to $90. It will increase three dollars for out-of-state residents and four dollars for international students. Mandatory fees will increase by eight dollars per credit hour to $35 for the Garland County resident rate, nine dollars for out-of-county rates, and ten dollars for out-of-state and international rates. An hourly fee of $30 will be added to all nursing courses. Concurrent credit rates will increase by four dollars per credit hour to $16.

Tuition and Fees
(per credit hour)
Mandatory Fee
(per credit hour)
Maximum Cost Per Semester
(tuition and fees)
Garland County Residents $90 $35 $1875
Out-of-County Residents $100 $37 $2055
Out-of-State Residents $137 $41 $2670
International Residents $202 $41 $3645


The proposed changes to tuition and fees will allow for investments in faculty and additional degree programs in computer science. It will support programs for nontraditional adult learners, expand online degree opportunities, improve technology infrastructure, and continue the internship program.

NPC will continue to expand transfer opportunities through the National Park University Center, providing greater access to advanced degrees.

The proposed nursing fee will allow the College to expand the nursing program, add nursing faculty and enhance the technology used for nursing instruction.

The changes will allow NPC to invest in tangible capital improvements such as deferred maintenance to campus facilities and investments to campus security, including the addition of a full-time director of campus safety. Deferred maintenance to campus facilities includes replacement of aging HVAC units, gym updates and renovations, library roof replacement and renovations, and campus lighting and landscaping to address safety hazards.

Trusty noted these investments will be made while remaining well under half of the cost of the average Arkansas university and without a request for a millage increase. The changes are compliant with the Governor’s request to keep tuition increases within the consumer price index.

In addition to the above investments, the 2018-19 proposed budget includes a reorganization of the scholarship program to better recruit and retain Garland County’s top students and those with the potential to succeed in college.

The proposal includes continuing investments in student life initiatives to promote student success, including robust intramural and athletics programs, improved freshman orientation, student activities, and student communication tools.

Trustee Jim Hale provided an update on progress toward phase one of the campus master plan. Hale said expansion of the roadway behind the gym is complete and traffic has been redirected. Equipment operators are continuing to excavate the west parking lot and are very close to completing tree removal for the entry from Mountain Pine Road.

Dr. Wade Derden provided an update on nursing and health science programs. He said fall enrollment for nursing programs is expected to reach nearly 200 students, 145 in the registered nursing program and 50 in the practical nursing program. Derden shared progress on the new simulation lab, which was partially funded by CHI St. Vincent. Faculty are currently training on the equipment and expect to host a grand opening soon.

Tony Houston, president of CHI St. Vincent was in attendance as a special guest. He thanked the college for partnering with CHI and for working together to improve the quality of life for the community. He shared that CHI is filling its nursing residency for onboarding new hires and noted the majority of them are NPC graduates. “We are thrilled to have the Nighthawk Nation at CHI St. Vincent.”

Hogan concluded the meeting with the president’s report. He thanked the Board for approving the budget proposal and expressed appreciation to Trusty and his team stating, “You deserve recognition for putting together another structurally balanced, fiscally conservative budget that makes investments in student success.” He noted that every investment in the budget is determined by its contribution to student success and said, “We’re seeing some of those results. You have seen the increase in student completions. That is reflected in how well students are performing in class, and it’s reflected in the types of students we are now able to attract to come to the college…” NPC recently announced a 25 percent increase in graduates for the year.