Hot New Degrees & Programs in Arkansas

By Arkansas Next staff on Monday, October 15, 2018

While you’re planning your next step after high school, be sure to keep these hot new degrees and programs in mind.

Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food

Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food in Bentonville lets students pursue a two-year associate’s degree, focusing on areas of study such as breadmaking, farming, catering and beer brewing.

Ever wanted to learn how to make the perfect macaron or how to source the best local food from nearby farms? Well, here’s your chance.

Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food, part of the NorthWest Arkansas Community College, is a new culinary school in Bentonville with some pretty cool classes.

The massive state-of-the-art facility holds a demonstration kitchen, pastry kitchen, kitchen labs, beverage classroom, 2,500-square-foot greenhouse and an outdoor garden. The sky’s the limit at this new facility that offers courses in everything from butchery and baking to fermentation and cocktail-making.

Brightwater plans on partnering up with other local educational entities like The Thaden School and Crystal Bridges’ new modern arts facility called Momentary, which will focus on the visual arts, performance arts and the culinary arts.

Bentonville's Ignite Program

This new program that began in fall 2015 is setting students up for possible careers with local businesses in the community. The program, which is taught at Bentonville High School, helps students gain real-life experience in industries that have increasing workforce needs.

The program is organized into “strands,” which are industries of focus. The strands include technology, construction management, video production, global business, health sciences, digital design and photography, education innovation and culinary arts.

Students who have gone through the Ignite program have even been offered full-time jobs after graduating from high school.

UAFS Unmanned Aerial Systems Program

The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS) recently got the go-ahead to offer an unmanned aerial systems program in its fall 2018 semester. The program, which is an associate degree in unmanned aerial systems, will teach students how to pilot and repair drones and how to use the data gathered from the drones.

The exciting field of unmanned aerial systems has the potential to create many jobs in the near future. In a study by the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI), the unmanned aircrafts systems industry is expected to create more than 600 jobs and nearly $500 million in economic impact in Arkansas in the next 10 years.

UCA’s Partnership for Clinical Excellence

To address the shortage of registered nurses in the state, the University of Central Arkansas and Conway Regional Health System announced a partnership that will offer scholarships to students in the UCA School of Nursing. The Partnership for Clinical Excellence will award a $2,500 scholarship to an average of eight students. Funds will be granted per semester for four semesters for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Remington College Little Rock’s New Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Diploma Program

Remington College Little Rock is now enrolling students in its new Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) Diploma Program. The program teaches students how to create buildings, mechanical devices, electrical systems and more with AutoCAD software in just 12 months. After graduation, CADD technicians will have the skills needed to create technical drawings for everything from computer hard drives to architecture.

University of Arkansas' UAteach Program

After Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s 2015 computer science initiative required every high school in Arkansas to offer a computer science course, the demand for computer science teachers in the state has increased. To meet that need, the University of Arkansas now offers the UAteach program.

The program is a minor in secondary education that allows STEM majors the option of teaching biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics or computer science. After the students pass their licensure exams, they will be licensed to teach computer science in grades 4-12.

BIG Things Happening in the Arts World

► The University of Arkansas at Little Rock recently finished its new art building, the Windgate Center for Art & Design. The impressive new addition includes more than 64,000 square feet of classrooms, studios and art galleries. The school offers the only metalsmithing, jewelry and furniture design programs, in addition to many other arts and design-related majors.

► UA Little Rock also offers the state’s only Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance. The UA Little Rock Dance program offers classes in ballet, modern dance, jazz and tap. Students are allowed to double major in any subjects offered at UA Little Rock. Students are also given study abroad opportunities to broaden their skills while learning more about dance in other cultures.

► Earlier this year, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Walton Family Foundation broke ground on their new multiuse arts space in Bentonville called Momentary. Momentary will be a space for innovative art exhibitions, music, theater, film and artist-in-residence programs. There will be studio space, galleries, a black box theater, an amphitheater, a studio kitchen, cafe, bar and indoor and outdoor public spaces. It’s predicted to open in early 2020 and is sure to be another unique addition to the arts scene in Arkansas.

Wheeler Kearns Architects
The former Kraft Foods plant in Bentonville will become a mixed-use hub for artists called Momentary.