University of Central Arkansas, Conway

1. Please tell us about the University and its inception story.

The Arkansas State Legislature created the Arkansas State Normal School (now the University of Central Arkansas) in 1907. The purpose of the Arkansas State Normal School was to properly train students to become professional teachers and rid Arkansas of haphazard schoolteachers. Classes began in 1908 with nine academic departments, one building on 80 acres, 107 students and seven faculty members. Two faculty members taught in two departments and President J.J. Doyne taught pedagogy and Latin.

Today, the University of Central Arkansas has more than 11,000 students and offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. Situated conveniently in the geographic center of the state of Arkansas, UCA traditionally enrolls students from each of Arkansas’ 75 counties.

2. Shed some light on the life of a student at the University.

UCA offers a variety of opportunities and resources that can help students stay engaged and thrive throughout their educational journeys. Opportunities for on-campus recreation include numerous intramural sports, as well as programming and equipment located in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) center. UCA is also a bikeable campus and has been named a bicycle-friendly university by the League of American Bicyclists.

Students are also provided the tools needed to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit through services provided in the Student Health Center, which houses Student Wellness and Development, the Student Health Clinic, the Counseling Center and the Women’s Health Clinic.

3. Our readers would love to know about the annual events and extra-curricular activities that are held at the campus to motivate students.

The Student Activities Board provides programming that unites the campus community through live music, comedy, movies and festivals. In April 2018, for example, the organization brought actor and singer Nick Jonas to the Farris Center stage, and in April 2019, Miguel came to campus. The academic colleges and other units on campus have speaker series that bring local, national and international speakers to campus such as Holocaust survivor Peter Gorog and best-selling author Michael Eric Dyson. The university routinely hosts spoken word artists, writers, theatrical productions and many other events that help create a vibrant campus.

4. Please tell us about the campus safety and services.

The UCA Police Department has 28 full-time officers, all with arrest authority. The university police department has a mutual aid agreement with the Conway Police Department and the Faulkner County Sheriff’s office. The Conway Regional Medical Center is located adjacent to the university.

The department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has a 9-1-1 communication center. UCAPD offers several different services to the UCA and Conway community, including safety escorts across campus, motorist assists, and numerous education and safety classes.

UCA has taken several steps to address sexual assault/rape prevention or more broadly, sexual misconduct. UCA has a Title IX Coordinator that oversees training and ensures prompt and equitable resolution of complaints and a Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Awareness Committee that focuses on “enhancing student awareness and understanding of the factors that contribute to sexual assault.”

5. What kind of financial aid and scholarships do you provide to the students?

The Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to assisting UCA’s diverse student population in accessing both need and merit based aid programs to achieve their educational goals. Federal aid programs are primarily need based and UCA does have limited need-based assistance for students with unexpected financial needs. Institutional and state funding options are primarily based on academic achievement.

UCA offers a number of performance-based scholarships available to entering and continuing students (athletics, cheer, dance, band, music, etc.). In addition, the UCA Foundation has scholarship opportunities for students based on specific donor criteria such as field of study, hometown, volunteerism, special interests, etc. Information regarding

6. What are the diversified career opportunities students get after passing out from the university?

With more than 150 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates, the University of Central Arkansas offers education that compliments growing career fields.

According to the NACE Job Outlook 2017 survey, the current top national recruitment demands are for the business, engineering, computer science and other STEM fields. UCA offers degree plans in computer science, information systems, management information systems, mathematics, computer engineering, chemistry, biology, engineering physics and other fields.

The United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook reported that the top occupations projected to have a growth rate of 30% or higher and the highest amount of new jobs are home health aides, personal financial advisors and physical therapists. Degree options for these fields can be found in UCA’s College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, as well as the College of Business.

7. Student Testimonial

“I encourage all high school students to come and experience the time of their lives. Not only could they be involved with Greek life, student organizations and other programs, but faculty and staff care for you and will help you reach your goal, graduation. “

-Joycelin Perez

“UCA is a great campus full of diversity, so I would definitely suggest it for my diverse loving people. UCAPD do the utmost job at making sure the campus is a safe one.”