NWACC Partnerships Help Expand Programs | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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NWACC Partnerships Help Expand Programs

Through community partnerships and grant funding, NWACC is actively increasing certification and degree pathways, as well as its efforts to increase Hispanic student enrollment. Program expansion includes an additional nursing track, a new sous chef apprenticeship, an enhanced Certified Retail Analyst program, and new LIFE program offerings.

What’s New


Nursing Students

NWACC and Washington Regional Medical System (WRMS) recently signed an agreement to offer a new nursing program option that allows nursing students at NWACC’s Washington County location to obtain exclusive clinical training by WRMS clinical instructors in WRMS facilities on nights and weekends. The new program is called Track I -Washington County and began in August 2022.

“NWACC and Washington Regional have enjoyed a strong relationship for many years and this new nursing track option will help increase the demand for nurses in our region,” said NWACC Vice President of Career and Workforce Education Tim Cornelius.

“Washington Regional is thrilled to further our partnership with NWACC and help grow the pipeline of skilled nurses in Northwest Arkansas,” said Washington Regional Chief Nursing Officer Meredith Green.

Learn more about NWACC’s nursing program at www.nwacc.edu/nursing.



Culinary Student

Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food and a department of NWACC recently launched the American Culinary Federation’s Certified Sous Chef (CSC) Apprenticeship program, which offers more hands-on training by culinary professionals and less classroom instruction - as apprentices do not take the general education prerequisite courses required of Brightwater’s traditional associate degree programs.

Brightwater’s sous chef apprenticeship is a way to train people who are interested in a career in the food industry but aren’t interested in the traditional associate degree path,” said Brightwater Executive Director Marshall Shafkowitz.

The Certified Sous Chef (CSC) Apprenticeship consists of technical instruction at Brightwater and on-the-job paid training with a partner employer, taking two to three years for an apprentice to complete. As job training hours are completed, apprentices experience incremental pay increases, allowing them to earn while they learn.

“Those who complete our apprenticeship will have skills and competencies in 10 core areas in food production. They will feel confident in food service management positions in areas such as culinary, baking or beverage management and qualify for better job opportunities with higher wages,” said Brightwater Chef and Apprenticeship and Career Coordinator Brittany Eddelbuttel.

Learn more about Brightwater at www.Brightwater.org.  



NWACC Graduate

NWACC and Kellogg Company have recently partnered to enhance the college’s Certified Retail Analyst (CRA) program by providing access to Nielsen syndicated data. This move will offer students comprehensive and timely information on market shares, competitive sales volumes and insights into distribution, pricing, merchandising and promotion.

NWACC’s CRA program builds students’ proficiency in retail fundamentals including supply chain, retail tools, data mining and analysis, and enables them to gather and analyze data related to the performance of retail stores and provide expert recommendations to decision makers.

Since partnering with Walmart in 2000, the CRA program has offered students access to Retail Link, which allows them to study and interpret real life merchandise data and relate it back to a Walmart store or entire chain. With Nielsen syndicated data, students will be able to layer data from 11 different sources, not just a single retailer, and improve the accuracy of interpreting merchandise performance and predicting performance trends.

NWACC plans to incorporate teaching of the Nielsen syndicated data into CRA courses to give students a broader learning of data analysis, interpretation and application, as well as category management.

Learn more about NWACC’s CRA program at www.nwacc.edu/CRA.



LIFE Program Participants

NWACC recently received a $432,883 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to grow LIFE, a near-peer mentorship program that increases Hispanic enrollment by empowering Latino youth to dream big, pursue a higher education and become leaders on the college campus and in the community. NWACC plans to use grant funds to increase Hispanic student enrollment to become a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and expand current LIFE program offerings.

By increasing the college’s Hispanic student enrollment from 22.3 percent to 25 percent, NWACC will qualify for HSI designation. As an HSI, the college will have access to federal and private funding that can help expand academic offerings that positively impact Hispanic student success, retention and graduation, as well as open up scholarship opportunities to students who attend an HSI.

The college will also utilize grant funds to grow the LIFE program’s offerings, including a Padres program that helps Hispanic parents understand the college preparation and enrollment process so that they can better support their students and a second LIFE Summer Program that invites graduating seniors to NWACC for a day to experience one-on-one support as they prepare for college.

Learn more about LIFE at www.nwacc.edu/LIFE.



Learn More

Visit www.nwacc.edu or call 479-986-4000 to learn more about NWACC's programs and job training options.