Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Internship Students Gain Experience in the Workplace Through Job Shadows and Guest Speakers

Internship Students Gain Experience in the Workplace Through Job Shadows and Guest Speakers

     The Arkansas Northeastern College Technical Center is making a focused effort to emphasize the importance of workplace readiness among high school students. In response to industry feedback about desired skills in new employees, the Tech Center has undertaken a workplace simulation initiative this school year.

     To help expose students to conditions similar to those found in the workplace, students are being graded on the following aspects of Professionalism in their classrooms: Time-Management, Respect, Achievement, Preparedness, and Personal Accountability. They are also being asked to submit Leave Request Forms for excused absences, and are receiving Quarterly Performance Evaluations that identify their strengths and weaknesses, and a plan for improvement where needed.  

     In Tech Center Instructor Kim Hart’s Internship class, students are learning about the workplace directly from working professionals who have spent years in their chosen career field. In September, Daltan Jones, a Manila High Senior, job shadowed Arkansas Game and Fish Officer Howard (Bubba) Norvell. Mr. Norvell took Daltan Jones to the Game and Fish Office in Jonesboro, AR, where he met other officers that had gathered for their annual CPR re-certification. Daltan Jones said the experience gave him a better understanding of the job responsibilities of our wild life officers. 

     Mrs. Hart’s students have also heard from two guest speakers. In August, Mississippi County Farm Family of the Year recipient Greg Hart spoke with Internship students about evolution in farming, and how advances in technology have changed the farming process. In September, Mrs. Debbie Stubblefield spoke with Internship students about careers in the medical profession. Mrs. Stubblefield has over thirty years experience in nursing and was able to inform students on the pros and cons of the career and share some of her real-life experiences with the students.

     Other initiatives that are in progress at the Tech Center include offering all students the opportunity to earn Career Readiness Certificate and Job Shadow opportunities in their field of study.

For more information on the ANC Technical Center, please contact Assistant Director Michelle Bennett at or 870-780-1200. 

Manila senior Daltan Jones with Arkansas Game & Fish Commission Officer Howard "Bubba" Norvell.

Greg Hart, Mississippi County Farm Family of the Year recipient (left) and Debbie Stubblefield, ANC Technical Center Medical Professions Instructor (right) speaking with Mrs. Hart's Internship class.

P.O. Box 36
Burdette, AR 72321
Michelle Bennett, Assistant Director

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

College President Says System Bureaucracy is Less Efficient for Taxpayers

College President Says System Bureaucracy is Less Efficient for Taxpayers

Dr. James Shemwell, President of the Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville, testified Wednesday, September 14, 2016, before the legislative Higher Education Realignment Task Force, making a case against the consolidation of Arkansas’ independent community colleges on the grounds that the independent colleges have proven more cost-efficient than system community colleges and produce higher-earning, higher-employed graduates.

Others testifying against the proposed university realignment were: Dr. John Hogan, president, National Park College; Dr. Evelyn Jorgenson, president, Northwest Arkansas Community College; Dr. Eric Turner, president, Black River Technical College; Dr. Barbara Jones, president, South Arkansas Community College; and Dr. Richard Dawe, president, Ozarka College.

Shemwell cited two national measures of efficiency published by the National Center for Education Statistics that were recently chosen by the Institutional Funding Task Force of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education as primary efficiency measures for the new outcomes-based funding model. The first measure, the Core Expense Ratio, is a ratio of student-
related expenditures (instruction, academic support, student services, and public service) divided by administrative costs. The higher the ratio, the more efficient a college is in devoting its resources toward students. The second measure, the Faculty-to-Administrator Salary Expense Ratio, is a ratio of instructional salaries divided by administrative salaries. The higher the ratio, the higher the amount of resources devoted to teaching as opposed to administration.

Both national measures from the 2013-14 year revealed that Arkansas’ independent colleges, on average, produce greater spending efficiency than do Arkansas’ system colleges. The Arkansas Northeastern College leads all Arkansas community colleges in spending efficiency per both national measures.

Shemwell detailed how system features that previous witnesses put forward as efficiency advantages, such as cost-sharing of system lawyers, accountants, and legislative liaisons, actually result in increased taxpayer costs because, in an independent college configuration, they are either unnecessary, represent duplication of cost, or are more expensive than available alternatives. “That is the nature of bureaucracy. The bigger that the bureaucratic structure becomes, the more administrative overhead that is necessary to support it,” said Shemwell.

Shemwell also challenged the efficiency of savings that previous witnesses have touted regarding the University of Arkansas system’s cooperative purchase of the Blackboard learning management system. “We use an alternative system that costs a fraction of what Blackboard does and is every bit as effective in terms of facilitating student learning. Buying something on sale that is still much more expensive than comparable alternatives is not efficient and does not save money for taxpayers.”

Shemwell presented information showing that graduates of Arkansas’ independent colleges experience better employment outcomes than do graduates of system colleges.

Act 852 of 2015 passed by the Arkansas General Assembly established the creation of the Economic Security Report, designed to provide prospective students, families, and the public at-
large with vital statistics related to employment and earnings after college graduation. The Arkansas Research Center and the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services publish this report using actual Arkansas wage data of graduates of all Arkansas colleges and universities.

The 2016 Economic Security Report indicates that graduates of Arkansas’ independent colleges, on average, experience higher employment rates and higher average full-time wages by nearly $4,000 in their first year after graduation.

The Report also provides data showing that ANC leads all colleges and universities in Arkansas in terms of the average full-time wages for associate degree graduates with an average full-time wage of $43,854 during students’ first year of employment.

Shemwell pointed out that the average full-time wages for associate degree graduates of both ANC and the College of the Ouachitas are higher than the bachelor degree full-time wage averages of all public universities in Arkansas except for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

During the first year of employment, the average full-time wages of ANC’s associate degree graduates exceed the average full-time wages of bachelor degree graduates from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville by almost $4,000 and graduates of the Arkansas State University in Jonesboro by over $9,000.




Friday, August 19, 2016

Nearly $1 Million Awarded to ANC and Delta Community College Partners in New Grant

Nearly $1 Million Awarded to ANC and 
Delta Community College Partners in New Grant

The Arkansas Northeastern College and fellow members of the Arkansas Delta Training and Education Consortium (ADTEC) will share in a $988,570 grant that will prepare workers for advanced manufacturing and transportation careers as part of the Arkansas General Assembly’s Workforce Initiative Act of 2015.

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education, the grant program’s administering agency, recently made notification of the award to the ADTEC Consortium made up of Arkansas Northeastern College, Arkansas State University – Newport, East Arkansas Community College in Forrest City, Arkansas State University MidSouth in West Memphis, and Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas in Helena.

      “This is another wonderful opportunity secured through the ADTEC Consortium to assist this region in training our workers for the manufacturing and transportation fields,” said ANC President Dr. James Shemwell.

The primary goal of this program is to create long-term relationships between employers and regional workforce alliances to address the challenge of skills gaps among workers in the region. By ensuring that post-secondary educational institutions are producing the credentials employers need, Arkansas can be more effective in recruiting new industry to the state.

“The ADTEC colleges met extensively with employer partners throughout the region surveying best practices and including workforce alliance partners in specific discussions,” explained Dr. Callie Dunavin, Director of ADTEC and Associate Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives at ASU Mid-South.  “ADTEC was one of the 3 highest funded grantees in the new state workforce funding totaling over $15 million.”

Dave Brady, Executive Director of Workforce Development Board of Eastern Arkansas, who participated in planning processes for the project, commented, “In keeping with national trends, employers are vocal that employees’ lack of basic/soft skills costs companies time, money, and productivity and is the primary skills gap.  The ADAPT program is an excellent example of collaborating with industry and education to bridge these skills gaps that prevent employees from being successful in higher-demand occupations in advanced manufacturing and transportation, distribution and logistics -  jobs that are at the top of the lists on our regional employers hiring forecasts. “

The grant award supports Arkansas Delta Accelerating Pathways Together (ADAPT) program which focuses on delivering training that provides rapid entry into the regional workforce in targeted sectors identified as high demand by labor market data, workforce development boards, and employer feedback. The program will focus on pathways in advanced manufacturing and transportation, distribution and logistics with a regional approach to Certified Driver Training. These sectors were selected because of the high level of importance in the region, and the interdependence of the two sectors.

“The Workforce Initiative Act grant will allow ANC to intensify our education and training offerings in the area of advanced manufacturing to meet local demand for a high-skilled workforce,” Shemwell added. “Additionally, by partnering with other colleges in ADTEC, we will be able to offer commercial driver’s license training without having to make a massive investment in over-the-road equipment, thereby providing a commonsense solution to the current heavy demand for CDL drivers.”

Work-based learning opportunities will be integrated where employer support is available. Additionally, ADTEC plans to develop a regional, employer-recognized certification which will be awarded to students who complete all requirements of the ADAPT workforce readiness model.

According to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, “the Workforce Initiative Act Regional Workforce Grant Program seeks to properly evaluate and address the workforce education needs of our state. Preparing and encouraging Arkansans to pursue high-demand jobs, including but not limited to, those stemming from industry recognized credentials, career and technical certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor's degrees is essential to building a skilled and employment-ready workforce.”

Friday, August 12, 2016

Local Developer Graduates from Community Development Institute

Local Developer Graduates from Community Development Institute


CONWAY, Ark. -  Dr. Blanche Hunt, Associate Vice President of Community RelationsArkansas Northeastern College was among the 35 individuals who were awarded graduation certificates during the 30th annual Community Development Institute - Central (CDI) at the University of Central Arkansason August 5, 2016Dr. Hunt completed all three years of the institute’s program of study and is now qualified to sit for the Professional Community and Economic Developer exam.


CDI trains community leaders and economic development professionals on how to strengthen their local economies and build communities. This is achieved by developing the ability of participants to identify community assets, set goals, encourage collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders, and bringcommunities, organizations and businesses together to respond to a broad range of economic and quality of life issues. 


The complete institute experience is a three year program, with one week of training per year. Participants move through the program curriculum in cohorts, and are exposed to a comprehensive, applied approach to the field of community and economic development.



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

ANC Associate Degree Nursing Program Students Exceed State and National Pass Rates for the Arkansas Board of Nursing Exam

Arkansas Northeastern College 2016 nursing graduates participate in a Pinning Ceremony held May 11, 2016, to commemorate their completion of the Associate Degree Nursing Program.

Arkansas Northeastern College’s most recent pass rate, by Associate Degree nursing student graduates taking the Arkansas Board of Nursing exam, was the third highest in the state at 93.5 percent.  The Associate Degree Nursing Program at ANC exceeded the state and national pass rate levels of 77.5% and 81.4% respectively. This marks another year of an increase for the ANC Nursing Program which has seen a rise in the pass rate since the College’s decision to implement changes in the program in 2014.

 “Back in 2014 we took a close assessment of our internal processes and noted several areas that we could improve to help our students,” said ANC Director of Associate Degree Nursing Program Tonya Pankey. “We have invested in and implemented practice test software to better acclimate our students with the types of questions and conditions similar to those that students will face with the licensure examination. Increased clinical simulation, specialty workshops, and individual remediation are a few of the strategies that faculty have implemented.  We currently only hire full-time nursing instructors with earned master’s degrees. These changes, combined with our stringent course work and clinicals, really prepare our students for the next step. It is very rewarding to see these practices pay off for our students.”

“We are exceedingly proud of the success our nursing graduates are showing with the state board exam. It validates the learning that is taking place in our nursing program and the hard work by all involved,” stated ANC President Dr. James Shemwell, who added, “Still, the far more important and most meaningful quality review that we receive, however, is the judgment of the area hospitals and healthcare providers who actually hire nurses. They uniformly tell us that no college or university in the region produces nursing graduates more knowledgeable or more professional than ANC’s nursing graduates.” 

ANC’s nursing program continues to be approved by the Arkansas Board of Nursing which allows ANC’s nursing graduates to sit for the state board examination for licensure.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Winery Tours & Mystery Theatre Weekend

Winery Tours & Mystery Theatre Weekend

If your looking for a fun fall excursion, make plans to join us in September for a winery trip that will be full of fun, tasty wine and beautiful scenery.

Local wineries around St.Louis are among the nation's oldest, and a few are actually among the most award-winning. They offer great views, hospitality and simple fun that make them a great destination.
First stop is Scott City .This winery is in a century old farmhouse nestled in the hills above the Mississippi River. We will tour the winery and have lunch there.

Next stop is Ste. Genevieve. Beautiful vistas of the river and the lush vineyard await you! Take a 30-minute guided tour of the winery, which include a five flight wine tasting and souvenir wine glass.

St. Louis awaits with a special dinner at the Bissell Mansion Restaurant and Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre. The rest of the evening is “on your own” to either head back to the hotel or enjoy the St . Louis nightlife.

On Saturday, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and depart for Hermannhof Wineries.

There are few places on earth where the marriage of soil and climate is blessed by great wine grapes. The vineyards of Hermannhof are among them. We will depart Hermannhof at around 3:00 pm and stop for dinner in Cape Girardeau on the way home.

This trip includes motorcoach transportation, one-night stay in St. Louis, Winery tours, and Mystery Dinner Theatre tickets.

A minimum of 30 people is required for this trip. So pass the word along to your friends! Payment in full is due by August 15.

Pricing for this trip : 
Single Occupancy: $372 per person 
Double Occupancy: $317 per person
Triple Occupancy: $262 per person

We will depart from ANC on Friday Sept. 23 at 9:00 am and return on Sept. 24 at around 9:00 pm.

For more information call Mary Ann at 870-762-3168 or

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

ANC Welcomes New Art Instructor

New ANC Art Instructor, Holt Brasher


Holt Brasher, a native of Louisiana but most recently a resident of Memphis, has moved to Blytheville and joined the Arkansas Northeastern College family as Instructor in Art.  Brasher holds his BFA in Studio Art from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and his MFA in Printmaking from the University of Memphis. With teaching experience during graduate school, Brasher gained an appreciation for his students and worked to help them develop a passion for art—something he hopes to bring to ANC.

“In my classroom I always ask students to do two things, and that is to work hard, but also to never be afraid to ask for my help. Over the many classes I’ve taught, I’ve been able to push students to reach their potential by challenging them, and forcing them out of their comfort zones,” said Brasher who will begin teaching at ANC this August and hopes to eventually offer the community a glimpse of student talent.

“I like my students to feel welcome and appreciated as artists themselves, and together we work through the difficulties and the process so by the end of the semester, students can create their own works, be able to speak about them in critique, and have applied to several shows where many will have their work selected for display. There is nothing more rewarding than an enthusiastic student who can speak, work, and display his or her art in galleries,” added Brasher.

Personally, Brasher likes to incorporate humor into his art as he views it as a big source of inspiration, but while satire and figurative art may be where he leans, he will encourage all different styles among his students. “I enjoy the challenge and diversity of my students’ beliefs, ideals, and stylistic choices, and when the class works together as a group, often everyone learns new things. I also feel that pushing students out of their comfort zones, and pushing their boundaries on what art can be, often yields some of the best work they’ll create and can send them down a path of discovery into what they truly want to make in the art world. I look forward to challenging the student body at ANC and seeing how they can challenge my own processes as a teacher and art maker as well.”

Additionally, Brasher is not held to just one medium, and he plans to expose his students to a variety of art. “I work across as many fields, printmaking, sculpture, painting, etc. incorporating each into assignments as I can.”  Brasher says that by exposing students to the different mediums, combined with encouraging their creativity, they can yield some of their best work.”

Brasher says he is already enjoying the Blytheville community, and he looks forward to rebuilding the art program at ANC. He will be in his office and available to meet with students after August 8.  He will be offering classes in drawing, water color, and art appreciation this fall. Registration for fall classes will continue through August 10th, with classes beginning on Monday, August 15th.