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Part 1 of 3: Open Enrollment Provides Opportunities For Education Seekers

Linna Jones
Arts & Entertainment Editor 

   The University of Arkansas at Monticello provides open enrollment for students who wish to attend college.

Courtesy of UAM's Strategic Plan
Note - The University of Arkansas at Monticello merged July 1, 2003, with Forest Echoes Technical Institute and Great Rivers Technical Institute in McGehee.

   UAM’s open enrollment policy allows students who scored low on the national college and placement examination scores to attend where as other colleges have a set ACT score in which students have to have to enroll. The University also offers the only open admission enrollment and the lowest tuition in the state.
  Alayne Zimmerly, professor of education, said how college is important.

   “This is the opportunity, it is how you use the opportunity,” Zimmerly said. “UAM provides the opportunity for a higher education to insure a better way of life for every student, but the responsibility for taking advantage of this opportunity lies with the student.”
Enrollment trends show a greater enrollment of female to male students from 2001- 2007. The numbers increased from 730 males and 922 females in the spring of 2001 to 883 males and 1,138 females in the spring of 2007. Minority enrollment also increased from 98 black students, enrolled as freshmen, to 231 in 2007. Undergraduate enrollment of black students increased by 193 student from 398 in 2001 to 591 in 2007.  Enrollment overall reached a record high of 3,190, eleven more than last year's enrollment of 3,179 just this fall.

“I think that any time that enrollment is increasing, it lets more minds get an education,” Senior Danielle Jones said. "(Enroll qualifications) depends on the needs of the community. The community needs have a lot to do with it. Students shouldn’t be pushed aside. You need to be allowed a chance to attend college by ability and not by an ACT score.”  

One reason for the growth in enrollment stems from the addition of the mergers of Forest Echoes Technological Institute in Crossett and Great Rivers Technological Institute in McGehee  expanding UAM's mission to include vocation and technical education.

 Many students attend UAM for several reasons some may not want to leave home, others have to work or many cannot afford to go anywhere else.  UAM provides students with opportunities and adapts programs to meet their needs. Most students, who attend UAM, live in South Arkansas and the University prepares students to go back to work in the community.  

      Freshman Beth Dillard said why she attends UAM.

   “(I am) from Monticello and I wanted to be close to home without being home,” Dillard said. 

   According to the school catalog,  UAM receives accreditation from several commissions including the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association for colleges and schools, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; the National Associations of Schools of Music, the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission, the Society of American Foresters and the Council for Social Work Education. 

   UAM also receives accreditation of technical programs from three commissions including the Arkansas State Board of Nursing, the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education.

    The University offers technical certificates, associate, baccalaureate and master’s program.     

   Arkansas A&M became a part of the University of Arkansas system July 1, 1971 and the mission of the school expanded to meet the needs of the state region and nation. The University of Arkansas at Monticello expanded July 1, 2003 to include technical education with the merger of the Forest Echoes Technical Institute and the Great River Technical Institutes becoming, the UAM College of Technology-Crossett and UAM College of Technology-McGehee. 

Jones said how she describes UAM. 

“I just want to say this may not be the world’s biggest college, but it can be one of the best if the student utilizes all available resources,” Jones said.


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ŠThe Voice 2007
Revised 09/17/2007 08:12:03 PM —