Students attending Northwest Arkansas colleges and universities are being recognized for their completion of more than 5,800 college degrees and career training programs.
Those graduates and their decisions to live and work in Northwest Arkansas are important to the region’s future. With low unemployment and many Northwest Arkansas companies challenged to find the talent they need, keeping graduates in Northwest Arkansas matters greatly, said Mike Harvey, chief operating office of the Northwest Arkansas Council.
“Educators and businesses are working hard to ensure that graduates and those who complete training programs can find jobs they want right here at home,” Harvey said. “Regions like Northwest Arkansas have to continually fill the pipeline with talent and most of that talent is right here with our colleges and universities.”
The majority of 4,200 graduates will participate in spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville. The university has several school-specific ceremonies that occur Friday night, Saturday and on May 21.
Another 1,050 credentials will be earned by NorthWest Arkansas Community College students. The students, who will participate in commencement ceremonies on Saturday, earned degrees or certificates in 35 areas of study. About 40 percent of those NWACC students earned associate’s degrees in either arts or liberal arts and sciences.
John Brown University in Siloam Springs saw 354 students participate in graduate and degree completion ceremonies on May 7. Of the 214 undergraduate degrees, the highest number went to students who were studying engineering (23), family and human services (18) and business administration (15).
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest in Fayetteville saw 29 students graduate from its College of Pharmacy, and other students finish up at the College of Medicine (17) and College of Nursing (5). Others earned degrees in radiologic technology, and 10 completed three-year degrees in family medicine practice.
Meanwhile, a ceremony to recognize students who’ve completed training programs at Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale takes place on June 21. Among those participating in the ceremony will be 178 students who’ve completed training in 11 different programs, including practical nursing (44), ammonia refrigeration maintenance and industrial maintenance technology (29), information systems web programmer and network technology (22) and automotive service technology (17).