Certified Retail Analyst Instructor Plays Big Part in Student Success | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Certified Retail Analyst Instructor Plays Big Part in Student Success

Professor Lance Lewis

NWACC Professor Lance Lewis is known to surpass simply teaching course material. He offers personalized guidance to his Certified Retail Analyst (CRA) students, moving them from classroom learning and skill building to landing a job in the retail and supplier industry and excelling in their careers.

Lance’s professional connections in the region’s retail and supplier industry, along with his experience managing category advisory services at Helen of Troy, offers NWACC students an advantage to accessing the job market. Lance invites his network of professionals to join other specialists in participating in the college’s CRA events, where students can connect with industry experts, learn more about the field, and even accept job offers before and after they graduate.  

Lance took a moment to answer a few questions about his role at NWACC, the college’s CRA program, his ambitious students, and receiving the 2021 Outstanding Part Time Faculty award. Read below to learn more. 

What do you teach at NWACC?

I teach Retail Analytical Techniques in NWACC's CRA program. This is the final class in the certification programs that helps students bring together all the knowledge they have gathered in the previous five classes and pre-requisites. They present this to faculty, members of the Walmart and retail community, fellow students and hiring managers. We’ve had several students get job offers based on their participation in the program as well as their “Night at NWACC” event presentations.

What do you enjoy most about teaching CRA courses at NWACC?

I have truly enjoyed the experience - both the challenges and the rewards. I have been so impressed with the caliber of students within the CRA program. They come from such varying backgrounds. There are some still working towards completion of their college education and others who have their master’s degrees. But, I find that they take this program very seriously in order to get the most out of it. There is a lot of work done outside of class as well as their actual careers, and I find that I learn a great deal from them also. It’s truly rewarding.

What would you like the world to know about NWACC's CRA program?

In terms of the CRA program at NWACC, I would tell the world that this is such a worthwhile program. By taking two classes per semester, you can jump start a new career in a year and a half (including pre-requisites). The experience that instructors bring and the tools made available to students makes the program such a great value. The instructors truly take this to heart and work together to give students a smooth entry into the industry of consumer-packaged goods and Walmart.

How did it feel to be named NWACC’s 2021 Outstanding PT Faculty?

It was something that was completely out of the blue and absolutely appreciated. Teresa Warren was so gracious to nominate me, and I was absolutely tickled by that. I never expected to be more than a candidate, and that was a great recognition in and of itself. To hear from Teresa and Dr. Tompkins that I was the first instructor from our department to receive the award gave me a great sense of pride.

How did the late Director of Retail and Supplier Education Teresa Warren impact the CRA program and your role in the program?

Teresa was vital to the CRA program. She worked all hours of the day to fill classes, to keep instructors abreast of changes, and to make sure students got the most out of the program. Teresa and I only worked together from December 2019, but in that time, I really enjoyed working with her and learned a lot.

What advice would you give anyone considering attending NWACC? 

As with so many different things, the best advice is to just do it. I feel NWACC makes it all very approachable and easy to get into a variety of programs. I truly believe in getting value for your money, and I would say that NWACC gives students that in very real way.


Learn more and apply to NWACC's Certified Retail Analyst program

If you’d like to honor the memory of the late Director of Retail and Supplier Education Teresa Warren by donating to the Teresa Warren Memorial Scholarship, feel free to visit the NWACC Foundation website. When filling out the donation form, please put “Teresa Warren Memorial Scholarship” in the tribute and other information lines.