Siloam Springs, Ark (October 30, 1997) - John Brown University's Advance Degree Completion classes will be offered at NorthWest Arkansas Community College starting in early February, 1998, officials from the schools announced.

The plan was finalized earlier this month at a meeting attended by NWACC vice president for academic affairs Karen Hodges, NWACC vice president for student affairs Jane Guyton, JBU Provost Mel Fratzke and JBU Adult Education Chair Richard Ellis.

The Advance Program classes at NWACC will be held in the new Central Education Facility on the main campus. Students who begin the program this February will finish in September of 1999. If they meet all of the graduation requirements they will receive a bachelor of science degree in organizational management from JBU.

"We are very pleased with this agreement between our institutions," said Ellis, who directs the Advance Program for JBU. "The Advance Program has had many NWACC graduates enroll over the past years and many of our students have gone to the community college to take general education courses to meet their graduation requirements. This just makes it more convenient for the students by bringing the two institutions closer together geographically."

"NWACC has had several employees go through the program," said Dr. Bob C. Burns, president of NWACC. "It is an accommodating, innovative concept. We are pleased to participate."

The Advance Program is an accelerated degree completion program which allows students with two years of college credit to finish their bachelor's degree by taking classes one night per week. Students progress through their studies as a group, taking courses in an established sequence. Classes are open to adults 23 years of age or older who have at least two years of relevant work experience.

"It's a natural step for folks once they have earned an associate of arts degree at NWACC," Ellis said.

JBU also offers the Advance Program at NTI, the Jones Center for Families, on its Siloam Springs campus, and at locations in Fort Smith, Little Rock, and Jacksonville.

Cooperative efforts between the higher education institutions in northwest Arkansas are a growing phenomenon, due largely to the Northwest Arkansas Alliance for Higher Education. The presidents of JBU, NWACC, Northwest Technical Institute, and the chancellor at the University of Arkansas created the alliance in order "to encourage, facilitate, and promote cooperation among the member institutions so as to best meet the educational needs of students and citizens in a productive and efficient manner," according to the mission of the alliance. Such an affiliation of a public research university, a community college, a technical institution and a comprehensive private university is unique in the state of Arkansas.

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