Henderson State University

Education in the United States in: Universities » Arkansas

Henderson State UniversityHenderson State University
1100 Henderson Street,
Arkadelphia, AR 71999
Phone: (870) 230-5000

Mission & History

When you look back at the history of Henderson State one thing will become very clear, very quickly—we’ve always played by our own set of rules.

Founded in 1890 as Arkadelphia Methodist College, we are the only one of Arkansas’s nine public universities that is now named for an individual—Charles Christopher Henderson, a Trustee and prominent Arkadelphia businessman. We are one of only two originally established as a four-year, degree-conferring institution; and we’re the second oldest state university in Arkansas.

Henderson’s first class included 110 students, who were taught by 10 faculty members. From 1929 to 1967 the university was known as Henderson State Teachers College, which is one reason our education programs are among the most respected in the region to this day.

Throughout our history, throughout the six different names under which we have operated, and throughout the tenures of the 15 presidents who have guided Henderson, our mission and goal has remained steadfast… to provide the best possible university education throughout Arkansas and beyond.
Our Mission

Henderson State University is Arkansas’s public liberal arts university. True to the century-long tradition that has distinguished Henderson since its founding, the university remains dedicated to providing excellent undergraduate curricula and graduate programs. Henderson, a Southern regional institution with a diverse student body, advocates a program based on the liberal arts, regardless of specific educational interests. Through a common core of courses in arts and sciences, as well as through the more specialized curricula, the university fosters the maximum growth and development of each student. More specifically, Henderson endeavors to provide an education that will nurture in each student the capacity:

To think logically and critically;
To speak and write effectively;
To appreciate the complexity and diversity of world cultures;
To understand the physical universe;
To participate as a concerned, intelligent citizen;
To acquire mastery of a particular field of study;
To mature intellectually, emotionally, and physically; and
To discern appropriate uses of technology.

Henderson’s primary mission is to excel in undergraduate education, always striving to enrich the quality of learning and teaching. In pursuit of this goal, the university seeks a culturally rich and diverse student community, actively recruiting, challenging, supporting, and motivating students to achieve academic success. Quality in education is fostered not only by positively motivated student body, but also by a faculty and staff distinguished for their continuing commitment to excellence. University care and concern, positive student response, small class sizes, and a personal friendly atmosphere—these characteristics are the heart of Henderson.

The university encourages excellence and supports scholarly and creative endeavors on the part of both its faculty and students. These endeavors form the foundation upon which Henderson builds appropriate programs in response to the needs of various communities that it serves. In close concert with these communities, Henderson applies its expertise to develop those programs that will promote the preservation and improvement of the quality of life in Arkansas.

Academic Divisions

Proud. That, in a word, sums up how we at Henderson feel about our academic offerings. Students who come here find an environment where knowledge lives, where perspectives are broadened, and where life-changing skills are developed every day.

Our academic programs are offered through five distinct colleges and schools.
Ellis College of Arts & Sciences

Nothing is more important to us than going beyond preparing students for successful careers, and instead empowering them to live successful lives. The Ellis College of Arts & Sciences offers a wide range of majors—from art to chemistry, math to music, English to nursing—and helps students become sharp, well-rounded individuals.
School of Business

At Henderson, the study of business is very serious business. We’re one of the smallest universities in the country to earn the coveted accreditation of the AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. And the School’s aviation program is the only four-year, university-level aviation program in the state.
Teachers College, Henderson

Ask anyone in the region about top education programs, and more often than not, you’ll hear the name Henderson. We’re accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for a number of undergraduate and graduate programs in education, and through the decades we’ve produced some of the finest teachers in the region.
Honors College

Taking education to the extreme, our Honors College offers students a way to distinguish themselves throughout their academic career. With the one-word motto arête—which means highest excellence—the Honors College seeks to impact the lives of its students at a higher level and enable them to mature intellectually, emotionally, and physically. And we take great pride in the fact that our Honors students are some of the most active and engaged individuals in our campus community.
Graduate School

With master’s programs in education, business, counseling, sports administration, and the liberal arts—as well as an educational specialist degree program—the Graduate School at Henderson provides exceptional learning opportunities to motivated individuals. Henderson’s liberal arts foundation, complemented by these highly focused graduate-level programs, offers a distinctive approach and setting for students.

Reddie Success

When it comes to what a Henderson State education can do for you, “success” really isn’t able to capture it all by itself. Like everything else we do at Henderson, the accomplishments attained by our graduates once they leave are big. Really big. It goes way beyond “success,” and into the realm of “Reddie Success.”

A former two-term Arkansas governor. A Medal of Honor recipient. A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian. An Academy Award-winning screenwriter and actor. A former general and chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. A professional golfer. A crime novelist. All of them got their start at Henderson, and showed the world what’s possible through their achievements.

Take a look at just a handful of recent alums and their impressive accomplishments:
Tené Green

After choosing HSU over an out-of-state school, Tené Green arrived intent on a career as a criminal defense attorney. But by her third year of law school, criminal defense no longer seemed right. HSU, however, had prepared Green to adapt. Learn more about how this Reddie uses both her legal and her social skills at a major corporation.
Mark Edwards

Recruited for basketball, Mark Edwards (’93) credits some of his Reddie spirit to a tough Western Civilization class, in which he was challenged to take a tougher path to his degree. Learn more about how that Reddie spirit helped this broadcast journalism major move from radio to TV.
Katie Barbaree

After graduation, Katie Barbaree ’09 headed to the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Homesickness almost dashed her dreams, but her Reddie spirit came through for her. “New York has helped me cultivate everything that Henderson taught me.” Learn more about the big city adventures of this Gurdon native.
Arthur Watson

Now working toward a Ph.D. in Organizational and Community Leadership, Arthur Watson (BA ’00, MS ’03) had his first Reddie moment as a follower under an amazing peer leader during orientation. A friend with whom he is still friends to this day. Learn more about how the Reddie spirit helped Watson move from follower, to leader, to a leader of leaders.

Fast Facts

• 1890

• Arkadelphia (small-town) in southwest Arkansas
• 35 miles from Hot Springs
• 8 miles from DeGray Lake Resort State Park

• Traditional residence halls & apartment style options
• 45% of students live on campus

Enrollment (Fall 10-11)
• Undergraduate: 3312
• Graduate: 397

Geographic profile
• 87% from Arkansas
• 12% from 30 other states
• 1% International students

• 186 full-time
• 63% have a terminal degree in their fields
• 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio

Undergraduate studies
• 37 bachelor’s degrees offered
• 1 AAS degree

Graduate Studies
• 11 masters degree programs
• 1 Educational Specialist degree
• 4 certification programs

Accreditations and Memberships


The Higher Learning Commission

Institutional Self-Study

National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

National Association of Schools of Music

AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

American Dietetic Association

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education

Institutional Memberships

The Higher Learning Commission
Institutional Self-Study

Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

National Association of Schools of Music

American Council on Education

American Association of State Colleges and Universities

National Collegiate Athletic Association

National Business Education Association

College Placement Council

University Aviation Association

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

Transferring to Henderson

Each year at Henderson we open our arms and our hearts to students who transfer here from other colleges and universities throughout the region. Transfer students play a vital role in our campus community, and bring a valuable perspective with them.

As a student who’s thinking about transferring to Henderson, the first thing you need to know is that everything we do is, above all, about you. Your circumstances. Your situation. Your needs. We pride ourselves on delivering the most individualized support and guidance possible.

The next thing you should know is that—on top of all that personal guidance—our transfer process is as simple and streamlined as you’re going to find anywhere.
Admission Requirements

In order to transfer to Henderson from another school, you must be in good academic standing, have completed 12 transferrable credit hours, and must have a GPA of no less than 2.0 based on Henderson’s computation of courses.

If you don’t have 12 transferrable credit hours, you must meet the minimum test score requirements, have a GPA of no less than 2.0, and you must be eligible to return to the last college you attended.Here are the items you’ll need to complete and/or submit in order to get the ball rolling on your transfer to Henderson:
Henderson Application for Admission
Official transcripts from each college attended
Arkansas Certification of Immunization

Additionally, you may need:

Housing Application
Out-of-State Fee Waiver
Scholarship Application
Contact Us

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding transferring to Henderson.

Jennifer Wright, Transfer Counselor
1100 Henderson St.
Box 7560
Arkadelphia, AR 71999-0001(870) 230-5387
[email protected]

Tuition & Financial Aid

Think about it like this… when you invest money in something that increases in value, in the end, you make more than you ever had in the first place.

That’s the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to paying for college. Is it expensive? Absolutely. But, you need to remember that you’re not really paying for anything… you’re investing money in a learning experience that will yield the kind of career, income, and lifestyle that you’ll enjoy for decades upon decades.

And, don’t forget that at Henderson we’ve always taken a great deal of pride in the way we help students and their families offset the price of tuition through such financial aid offerings as scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs.
Tuition and Fees

Henderson calculates tuition on a per hour rate.
In-state tuition per hour is $178 for undergraduates.
Out-of-state tuition per hour is $356 for undergraduates.

For a full break down of Henderson’s costs and fees, check out our downloadable cost and fee sheet. And it may help to visit our cost calculator to get an idea of what a typical semester at Henderson costs.
Financial Aid

Each year more than 90 percent of Henderson undergraduates receive financial aid. This comes in the form of scholarships (free money that doesn’t have to be repaid), grants (again, free money), loans, and work-study programs. Aid is awarded based on a number of factors, including financial need, academic merit, and proficiency in athletics and the arts. Learn more…

There are literally dozens upon dozens of scholarships out there for you. A number of these are Henderson’s own institutional scholarships, such as the HSU Distinguished Freshman Scholarship, which pays $11,000 per year. There are also other private and public scholarships offered by external sources. Remember, scholarships don’t have to be paid back, and when you couple a number of scholarships together it goes a long way in offsetting the price of your education. Learn more...

Work-study opportunities are offered in departments and offices across the Henderson campus. The great thing about work-study is that, on top of earning money that you can apply towards your tuition, you also gain outstanding hands-on training and skills in a professional setting, and meet all kinds of new friends. Learn more…
Tuition Payment Plan

Our tuition payment plan is designed to help families absorb whatever costs are left over after they’ve been awarded any financial aid package. The plan will help you structure your payments in a way that is the best possible fit for you.

Special Programs

Going above and beyond is just kind of our thing, especially when it comes to giving our students that extra ‘something’ that’ll make the difference in their experience and their future.

So, when you come to Henderson you’ll find a huge range of special programs and offerings designed to enhance your specific experience and academic journey. These include:
First Year Experience

Our First Year Experience program is designed specifically to help you adjust to life at Henderson, learn crucial learning and life skills, take part in fun activities and events, connect with student groups and leadership opportunities, and make lifelong friends.
Honors College

Our esteemed Honors College provides students a way to distinguish themselves throughout their academic career by participating in advanced courses and offerings. These offerings enable students to take their learning experience to the extreme and mature intellectually, emotionally, and physically.
International Program

Each year students come to Henderson from countries around the world, and bring with them a very distinct set of needs. Our Center for International Programs offers them caring and compassionate support throughout the admissions process, as well as through their Henderson experience.

With a complete focus on maximizing student achievement, TRIO at Henderson involves such programs as Upward Bound, Talent Search, and Student Support Services, as well as programs aimed at adult learners, graduate students, and veterans.

Henderson has a proud legacy of military education and training. Our ROTC cadets understand what it takes to lead, to compete, to serve, and to learn at the highest level. And the recently placed second in the Ranger Challenge Competition, which included marksmanship, land navigation, a 10-mile road march, and a rope bridge event.

Undergraduate Research

Don’t get us wrong, books are great. Actually, they’re beyond great. They’re essential tools for learning, especially at this level. But what’s also essential is seeing how the information and theory contained in those books play out in the avenues of everyday life.

One of the hallmarks of the Henderson experience is exactly that… letting students roll up their sleeves and apply what they know in meaningful research settings. What sets us apart is that, as an undergraduate, you’ll work side-by-side with esteemed faculty in the kind of state-of-the-art facilities and on the kind of groundbreaking projects that, at most schools, are usually reserved for graduate students.
Arkansas Undergraduate Research Conference

Each year Henderson students join other exceptional students from across the state in the Arkansas Undergraduate Research Conference. This two-day conference, which is hosted each year right here on the Henderson campus, enables students to rub shoulders with some of the state’s most esteemed scholars across the spectrum of academic disciplines, as well as present their own research.Here’s just a handful of research presentations made by Henderson students at last year’s conference alone:
Preparation of Ionic Liquid Diesters and Diols
Perspective and Paranoia: Analysis of Will Eisner’s Spirit Story “Foul Play”
African American Identity and the Organization: The Consequences of Keeping it Hidden
Women, Education, and Advancement
Distinguishing Characteristics of Caddo Art
Psychological Effects of Media: Aggressive Behavior
Electric Dreams: How Video Games and Relaxation Exercises Influence Dream Content
Investigation of Carbon Nanotube Doped YBCO Superconductors

About the Graduate School

Knowledge is vast. It never stops. And no matter how far you’ve gone, there’s always another step that can be taken. When you join the community at Henderson’s Graduate School, you’ll become a valued member of a community that shares your passion for learning.

Founded in Excellence—with master’s level programs in education, business, counseling, sports administration, and the liberal arts, and a specialist level program in education, you’ll find a learning experience characterized by quality.

Committed to Teaching—our faculty are respected experts and scholars who bring a lifetime of knowledge and experience into the classroom.

Characterized by Success—throughout the region and across the country you’ll find our alumni accomplishing great things, whether they’re in a classroom, a health clinic, a school district, or a Fortune 500 company.

We encourage you to contact the Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Carl Stark or the Administrative Specialist, Yvette Bragg with any questions:

Womack Hall, 2nd Floor
[email protected]
(870) 230-5126 (phone)
(870) 230-5479 (fax)

Graduate Assistantship

Teaching, research, and service assistantships are available to qualified students. An assistantship permits a student to act as a departmental assistant with the principal function of enabling qualified students to continue their graduate work. The stipend for an assistantship is determined by the President of the university. Appointments may be terminated at any time for cause; for example, improper performance of duties or violation of accepted standards of behavior, or failure to maintain scholastic eligibility for graduate school.

An assistantship can be awarded only to those students who qualify for full admission to graduate study and who also qualify for admission to the school governing the degree program.

Graduate assistants may receive a tuition waiver for up to twelve (12) hours for each semester that they are employed. The GA is eligible to receive a waiver for summer school tuition to equal the twelve (12) hours for one semester or twenty -four (24) hours for two semesters of employment.
A graduate assistant who is employed for the Fall or Spring semester, and satisfactorily completes his or her terms of employment, receives a waiver for six (6) or nine (9) hours may then enroll in six (6) or three (3) hours — to equal a total of twelve (12) hours — during the Summer
A graduate assistant who is employed for both the Fall and Spring semesters, and satisfactorily completes his or her terms of employment, receives a waiver for six (6) or nine (9) hours in both semesters may enroll in twelve (12) or six (6) hours — to equal twenty-four (24) hours — during the Summer terms.

If a graduate assistant resigns or is dismissed from a position, no tuition waiver will be granted beyond the semester in which the student is employed.

Graduate Assistant tuition reimbursement applies ONLY to hours earned toward a student’s degree requirements. A student may request up to six hours of additional reimbursement, beyond the minimum degree requirements, with the approval of his or her advisor and the graduate dean.

At all times, the work of the graduate assistant must be under the supervision of the college/school to which he/she is assigned. Specific types of work of graduate assistants may include the following:
Directing and evaluating laboratory work
Preparing and evaluating tests
Preparing bibliographical and other instructional materials
Reading and evaluating themes and research papers
Substitute teaching under supervision
Actual teaching under supervision
Gathering research data
Monitoring examinations
Supervising university facilities and activities
Assisting business clients
Performing other duties as assigned

A graduate assistant will be responsible for a approximately twenty (20) hours of work per week and for completion of the GA orientation sessions conducted by the Graduate School. A GA is assigned to a cohort group which acts as a support network for the GA. Service learning hours are strongly recommended. Additional responsibilities may be required by the college/school or department.

A graduate assistant will successfully complete two graduate-level courses or their equivalence (a minimum of six hours) with a grade of C or better to maintain his or her graduate assistantship. Failure to do so will result in the loss of the assistantship. With extenuating circumstances, a student may appeal the loss of his or her assistantship to the Graduate Council.
Steps for making application

Job descriptions and application forms for all assistantships are available in the Graduate School office. Students desiring to apply should consult the qualifications listed in each description.

A graduate student seeking a graduate assistantship must:
Be fully admitted to the HSU Graduate School. Students under conditional admission may not receive assistantships.
Complete an Application for a Graduate Assistantship.
Submit the application for a graduate assistantship to the Graduate school who will copy to appropriate GA supervisor and/or department chair.

Following approval, the GA supervisor and/or department chair will submit the application to the respective school dean for approval and recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School will make final recommendation to the Vice President for

Academic Affairs who will forward recommendations to the President. The President of the university will approve or disapprove each application. Incomplete applications will be returned to the department chair.

University policy is to provide equal educational and employment opportunities services, and benefits to students and employees without regard to race, color, national origin, or sex, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 799A and 845 Public Health Service Act, and Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, where applicable.


All appropriate documents required to meet HSU’s I-9 employment authorization verification requirements must be presented to the Human Resources office within three (3) days of signing signing a contract. Furthermore, no student may begin work until a valid Social Security card has been presented to Human Resources.

Our Campus

Feel it? You will. That pulsating rhythm. That energy that makes Henderson State special. We truly are the “School with a Heart.” We’re also high-tech, as evidenced by the $50 million we invested in our facilities over the past decade.

Want to know what we’re really all about? Visit us. Grab a campus map ahead of your visit so you’ll know a little bit about our campus when you get here. You’ll be greeted by friendly faces and a campus setting that’s unmistakably Henderson. Don’t forget to bring a camera so you can take photos of the things that really stand out.
Academic Facilities

We have outstanding learning resources. Period. Our Reynolds Science Center boasts the state’s best planetarium. Our new nursing facility has computerized patient simulators. Our theatre and performing arts spaces are spacious and flat-out gorgeous. And our production studios for student radio and television are as modern and well equipped as you’re likely to find on any college campus.
Athletic Facilities

When it comes to working out, you have options—from our new Student Recreation Center to the renovated Wells Pool. Watch the Reddies in action at the Carpenter-Haygood Stadium, one of the finest small college stadiums in the country, or take in a basketball or volleyball game at Duke Wells Center. Within easy walking distance is Formby Athletic Center, and fields for sports like softball, soccer, and intramurals.
Social Hubs

Meet up with friends for a meal at Caddo Cafeteria, grab a coffee at Reddie Café, slam the winning shot in a game of racquetball at Garrison Activity and Conference Center, be part of a study group at Huie Library, or watch a friend in a musical performance at Russell Fine Arts Center.

We’re situated on 151 acres in the idyllic college community of Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Peaceful? Definitely. But don’t mistake “peaceful” for “boring.” Right outside our campus you’ll find endless opportunities for hiking, biking, camping, boating, fishing, and pretty much any other outdoor activity you can imagine. We’re located in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, and are close to abundant trails, clean rivers, and crystal-clear lakes. Plus, the vibrant destination of Hot Springs is less than a half-hour away.

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