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Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges. AATYC Mission. The Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges (AATYC) is a private, non-profit higher education membership organization serving the educational needs of two-year college students and the business/industry needs of the State.

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aatyc mission
AATYC Mission

The Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges (AATYC) is a private, non-profit higher education membership organization serving the educational needs of two-year college students and the business/industry needs of the State.

AATYC represents all twenty-two (22) public two-year colleges in Arkansas. The Association facilitates the sharing of ideas, resources, and opportunities among its members, and advocates on behalf of members’ students.

history of two year colleges in arkansas
History of Two-Year Colleges in Arkansas

Technical Colleges

System Colleges

Community Colleges

All are comprehensive community colleges.

two year colleges serve four main purposes
Two-year colleges serve four main purposes:
  • Preparation for transfer to a four-year university
  • Technical skills education
  • Developmental or remedial education
  • Workforce training for business/industry
delivering economic benefits
Delivering Economic Benefits

• An associate degree increases earnings by an average of $7,200 annually.

• Licensees and certificate holders earn 27% more than those with a BA alone.

• State and local governments reap a 16% return on every dollar they invest in community colleges due to the increased earnings of community college graduates.

delivering safe and healthy communities
Delivering Safe andHealthy Communities

• 52% of new nurses and the majority of other new health-care workers are educated at community colleges.

• Close to 80% of firefighters, law enforcement officers, and EMTs are credentialed at community colleges.

delivering a competitive advantage
Delivering aCompetitive Advantage

• Teacher prep: researchers estimate that 20% to 40% of the nation’s teachers began their education at community colleges.

• 44% of students who receive baccalaureates or master’s degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields attended a community college at some point in their careers.

“These two-year public institutions are present in most every U.S. community, enrolling 45 percent of the nation’s college student population, and even higher shares of students of color and those from lower-income backgrounds. The education and training they provide help to fill important labor market needs, including some in the economy’s fastest-growing occupations.”


“In many respects, community colleges are the epicenter of the U.S. post-high school education and training system… they can be nimble allies of employers and other workforce partners in providing customized training that is specific to the needs of a particular employer or industry.”


enrollment in arkansas
Enrollment in Arkansas

Total Students = 62,522 (preliminary for Fall 2010)

For 2009:

  • 1-Year Growth = 9.8%; 5-Year Growth = 26.5%
  • In 2009, five Arkansas two-year colleges were named among the “Fastest-Growing Public Two-Year Colleges” in the country by Community College Week.
  • Public two-year colleges serve 40% of Arkansas undergraduate students and high school students enrolled in college level coursework.
  • An additional 50,000 Arkansans are upgrading skills at public two-year colleges via noncredit courses directly related to business/industry needs.
arkansas two year college students
Arkansas Two-Year College Students
  • Age
  • Less than 18 = 3.1%
  • 18-24 = 48.3%
  • 25-44 = 38.8%
  • 45 and over = 9.5%
  • Attendance Status
  • Full-time = 57%
  • Part-time = 43%


  • White = 66.5%
  • Black = 21.6%
  • Hispanic = 3.7%
  • Other Minority = 2.1%
  • Unknown = 5.9%


  • Male = 36%
  • Female = 64%
student success initiatives
Student Success Initiatives


  • Career Pathways Initiative
  • Achieving the Dream
  • Foundations of Excellence
  • First Year Experience
  • AATYC Center for Student Success
career pathways initiative
Career Pathways Initiative
  • Established in 2005 with federal Transitional Aid to Needy Families (TANF) funds
  • Administered by ADHE in association with DWS and is now offered by all 22 Arkansas two-year colleges
  • Goals of the program are to help people get off government assistance, get education and training and get jobs
career pathways initiative1
Career Pathways Initiative
  • Average age is 31
  • 91% are female
  • 57% are single parents
  • 86% receive Food Stamps or Medicaid
career pathways initiative2
Career Pathways Initiative
  • Since 2005, more than 17,000 Arkansans have enrolled in CPI, and nearly 11,000 certificates and degrees have been awarded to CPI participants.
  • The success rate of two-year college students in Arkansas is 61% after one year.
  • Using the same formula, CPI students have a success rate of 77% after one year.  
achieving the dream
Achieving the Dream
  • National effort to help more community college students succeed, with a special focus on students of color and low-income students.
  • 82 participating institutions in 15 states, including four in Arkansas: National Park Community College; Ouachita Technical College; Phillips Community College of the UA; and Pulaski Technical College.
achieving the dream1
Achieving the Dream

The initiative seeks to help more students reach their individual goals, which may include earning a community college certificate or degree, attaining a bachelor's degree and/or obtaining a better job.

Goals for students include:

  • successfully complete the courses they take;
  • advance from remedial to credit-bearing courses;
  • enroll in and successfully complete gatekeeper courses;
  • enroll from one semester to the next;
  • earn degrees and/or certificates. 
aatyc workforce training consortium
AATYC WorkForceTraining Consortium

Identifies and creates business/industry training capabilities and best practices at each college, and collectively responds to local, regional, and statewide workforce training requests.

All Arkansas public two-year colleges participate in this consortium.

Sector emphases include aerospace, allied health, entrepreneurship, and green technology.

aatyc aerospace training consortium
AATYC Aerospace Training Consortium
  • Airframe and power-plant (A & P) training
  • Aircraft refurbishment such as cabinetry, upholstery, and exterior finishes/painting
  • Space/defense industries
  • Manufacturing technologies that are convertible to aerospace/aviation applications
  • Includes 13 colleges
allied health
Allied Health
  • The Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC) was created to address the chronic shortage of Registered Nurses in the state’s rural areas. Member colleges share faculty and resources.
  • Includes 8 colleges
aatyc entrepreneurship training consortium
AATYC Entrepreneurship Training Consortium
  • Combines the efforts of two-year colleges to foster economic development through entrepreneurship education
  • Includes 10 “common curriculum” colleges
green technology
Green Technology
  • Center of Excellence for Renewable Energy Technology Education (Phillips Community College of the UA)
  • Building Science Centers of Excellence (NorthWest Arkansas Community College and Pulaski Technical College)
  • AATYC Heart of Arkansas Regional Training (HART) Consortium- central AR colleges
green technology1
Green Technology

Arkansas Energy Sector Partnership

  • In March 2010, AWIB (with funding ARRA) established the Arkansas Energy Sector Partnership to plan and implement a statewide workforce training strategy.
  • As a partner, AATYC will coordinate the development and deployment of two-year college energy training programs.
  • 2,200 individuals will be trained for the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.
areon grant
  • UAMS in partnership with AATYC
  • Funded through ARRA, the grant expands the current Arkansas Research & Education Optical Network (AREON) to the 22 public two-year colleges in the state.
  • Spending from the grant will include $41.2 million for equipment and construction of fiber optic network routes to serve community colleges.
areon grant1
  • The network will improve the colleges’ ability to deliver distance learning.
  • Two-year colleges will also have new opportunities to collaborate to expand course and program offerings by sharing curriculum and other resources that benefit students.
  • Broadband internet access will improve the ability of two-year colleges to meet the training needs of businesses/industries as well as attract new businesses/industries.
regional partnerships
Regional Partnerships
  • Arkansas Delta Training and Education Consortium
  • Central Arkansas Two-Year College Consortium
  • North Arkansas Two-Year College Consortium
  • Southwest Arkansas Community College Consortium
aatyc and student success1
AATYC and Student Success
  • Higher ed imperative used to be about access; now it’s about student success.
  • Two-year colleges recognize the challenge, and have been proactively undertaking initiatives: Career Pathways, Achieving the Dream, Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE), Foundations of Excellence.
data driven decision making
Data Driven Decision Making
  • Part-time and Full-time students.
  • Achieving the Dream.
  • WA and MD momentum point studies.
aatyc center for student success
AATYC Center for Student Success
  • Intended to build upon and better coordinate this collection work: disseminate and scale what is working, and further experiment with new strategies.
  • 3 Year Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation Grant. Additional investment by Southern Bancorp.
center s primary objectives
Center’s Primary Objectives

Promote activities and raise funding to:

  • Build upon and take to scale best practices for student success currently underway.
  • Pilot new practices, particularly in critical areas such as developmental education.
  • Develop and promote supportive policy change.
gathering information on best practices
Gathering Information on Best Practices
  • Established faculty/administrator Advisory Committee to help identify what works and guide Center.
  • Visited colleges in state and out (visited three of OH’s Developmental Education Initiative colleges and met with state policy team).
  • Worked with UCA Mashburn Center to help identify best practices (report forthcoming).
information gathering cont
Information Gathering cont….
  • Attended strategic conferences
    • Gates Foundation I-BEST convening
    • Achieving the Dream/DEI policy meeting
    • National Center for Postsecondary Research conference at Columbia University titled Developmental Education: What Policies and Practices Work for Students.
  • Reviewed Community College Research Center work and other research.
what have we learned
What Have We Learned?
  • Foremost: No Silver Bullet!
  • Certain practices are showing promise: student orientation, college success courses, mandatory advising, learning communities, student mentoring.
  • Developmental education is a particularly critical barrier to student success, and more experimentation with innovative approaches is needed.
developmental education is a moral imperative kay mcclenney ut austin
“Developmental Education is a Moral Imperative” – Kay McClenney UT Austin
  • It will always be critical to access for certain students:
    • Certain students, particularly underserved students, will always need it, even with improved K-12 learning.
    • Non-traditional students will always need it; almost 50% of all students in remedial courses are 25 or older.
  • However, it’s equally critical that it be done better.
what do we know about doing it better
What Do We Know About Doing it Better?
  • Rigorous research on successful practices is limited.
  • Promising reforms fall into 4 categories: prevention, acceleration, contextualization, supplemental supports.

Source: Zachry, Elizabeth, and Emily Schneider. 2010. Building Foundations for Student Readiness: A Review of Rigorous Research and Promising Trends in Developmental Education. New York: MDRC.

  • Interventions that help students avoid remediation:
    • Early assessment and intervention (e.g. Arkadelphia College Prep Academy).
    • Summer bridge programs (e.g. Career Coaches Summer ACT Prep program).
    • Assessment pre-test seminars and practice tests (e.g. Pretesting, Retesting Education Prep Program at El Paso Community College).
    • Dual enrollment.
    • ABE partnerships.
  • Interventions that speed up students completion of remedial courses:
    • Modularization or shorter sequencing of traditional courses (TN, VA, KY).
    • Fast track (intensive, compressed instruction).
    • Mainstreaming: Let students near college-ready, start college with some extra support (Community College of Baltimore County).
  • Interventions that integrate basic skills curriculum with vocational or college-content coursework:
    • Contextualizing basic skills instruction within short-term vocational coursework (I-BEST).
    • Learning communities (students take dev ed and college course as cohort).
supplemental supports
Supplemental Supports
  • Interventions that enhance the supports for remedial students:
    • Tutoring and supplemental instruction.
    • Advising.
    • Student Success Courses.
bottom line more experimentation and rigorous evaluation needed
Bottom Line: More Experimentation and Rigorous Evaluation Needed
  • Developmental Education Redesign Demonstration Project.
  • Test most promising models and other innovative practices in AR, with third party rigorous evaluation.
    • Also look at alternative assessment, classroom instructional, and professional development practices.
    • Radical curricular redesign (Statway Initiative).
dev ed redesign demo project
Dev Ed Redesign Demo Project
  • Workgroup established with dev ed faculty representatives from all colleges.
  • Craft proposal(s) for federal and private foundation funding (Gates Foundation, federal CC initiative).
  • Identify models and practices that work and can be taken to scale, and identify needed supportive institutional and state policy change.
dev ed just piece of larger student success puzzle
Dev Ed Just Piece of Larger Student Success Puzzle
  • Center is striving for identification and dissemination of larger collection or menu of student success practices that work and that colleges can select from and implement to suit their particular needs.