UA Fort Smith

Education in the United States in: Universities » Arkansas

UA Fort SmithUA Fort Smith
5210 Grand Avenue, P.O. Box 3649,
Fort Smith, AR 72913
Phone: (479) 788-7000

The Smart Choice

Welcome to the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, where real-life dreams meet real-life experience. Our students arrive with aspirations, and our instructors endeavor to turn those aspirations into reality. We specialize in equipping our graduates with the skills and training necessary to succeed immediately upon entering the workforce. Among regional universities, UA Fort Smith is the Smart Choice!


UA Fort Smith provides students with a wealth of opportunities for academic, cultural, and social activities in an atmosphere that focuses on preparing for real life. With over 50 organizations on campus, including fraternities and sororities, there are many annual traditions and an array of fun things to do.

The Season of Entertainment has featured national tours of Broadway musicals such as Chicago, Rent, and The Producers, as well as the world-renowned Russian Ballet and Boston Pops orchestra.

The UA Fort Smith Lions will compete in NCAA Division II baseball, women’s volleyball, and men and women’s basketball, tennis, cross-country, and golf.

Located adjacent to campus, Sebastian Commons apartments are fully furnished and feature private bedrooms, Internet access, full kitchens, and a limited-access gate.


UA Fort Smith provides unique and expanding opportunities to students and the community, offering hands-on, applied learning through innovative programs. Students at UA Fort Smith find a variety of educational opportunities including diverse bachelor’s and associate degrees, technical certificates, and certificates of proficiency. Each degree features actual work experiences in the field and a strong connection to the community.

The University offers a wide selection of alternate delivery methods to meet the growing needs of a diverse student population, including email, Web telecourses, evening and weekend courses, interactive video, and distance-education options.


UA Fort Smith’s beautiful and award-winning campus features over 20 major buildings and the Donald J. Reynolds Campus Plaza, Tower and Campus Green. The Stubblefield Center is a premier 3,200-seat venue for concerts, athletics, and feature events. The University’s campus is among the best maintained in the nation, as evidenced by its superior rating on the Facility Condition Index.

The Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center houses all student service offices, a campus store, food court/cafeteria, lounge areas, and Starbucks.


Through internships and other hands-on programs, students gain familiarity with area businesses and corporations, accumulating wisdom and making contacts that serve them throughout their careers. When you choose UA Fort Smith, you choose your future.

UA Fort Smith History

From its inception, the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith has existed to serve the needs of the area. UA Fort Smith has undergone four name changes, evolving from a small college primarily interested in serving local students, to a comprehensive community college, to a university providing broader course offerings and services to its eight-county region and beyond.

UA Fort Smith was first established as Fort Smith Junior College in 1928 and was an extension of the local public school system. Staffed by instructors from the high school faculty, the superintendent of schools served as president, and the high school principal was dean.

The University operated within the public school system until 1950, primarily offering college-parallel courses. At that time, the University was separated from the public schools and incorporated as a private, nonprofit educational institution with its own Board of Trustees.

In September 1952 the University was moved from the high school to the old County Farm site at Grand Avenue and Waldron Road. It initially operated on the northeast portion of what is now a 117-acre campus. Two brick buildings were converted into classrooms and offices, and the semester began with 108 students and ten instructors. The enrollment increased rapidly, course offerings and faculty were expanded, and eight buildings were constructed.

The University began to develop a comprehensive community college program, a new concept in education in the area and the state. Local industrialists became interested and, at their urging and with their economic aid and professional assistance, a vocational-technical division was established to provide local industries with trained personnel.

The example set by the University resulted in the beginning of a statewide system of community and technical colleges. Leaders from all parts of the state endorsed the concept of the community college and amended the Arkansas Constitution so that the General Assembly could authorize the creation of community junior college districts. The amendment was approved in 1964, and an enabling act was passed early in 1965, permitting the citizens in these areas to create such districts by popular referendum.

In a special election the following November, the electorate approved the creation of the Sebastian County Community Junior College District, along with a tax levy on the real and personal property within the county. The governor appointed a Board of Trustees for the institution, and in February 1966, the Board approved the name change from Fort Smith Junior College to Westark Junior College. This development brought about improvements, which had previously not been possible, when the only sources of income were tuition, fees, and gifts.

In February 1972 the Board of Trustees passed a resolution changing the name to Westark Community College in order to reflect the mission of the College. Westark Community College was fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1973. In February 1998 the Board of Trustees changed the name to Westark College to more accurately portray the mission, role, and scope of the College.

At midnight on January 1, 2002, Westark College became the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. The University now includes bachelor-level programs, traditional transfer and career programs, as well as the Center for Business and Professional Development and the University Center. UA Fort Smith has experienced substantial growth in enrollments, faculty, facilities, and curricula. UA Fort Smith has indeed become an integral part of the community, offering a wide range of educational, occupational, cultural, and recreational opportunities.


UA Fort Smith prepares students to succeed in an ever-changing global world while advancing economic development and quality of place.

Role and Scope

Founded in 1928, UA Fort Smith has grown in stature, role, and scope over the years into a singularly distinctive, hybrid institution. Organized and focused on teaching and learning, UA Fort Smith offers multifaceted academic and technical educational opportunities. The University provides these learning opportunities at times and places convenient to students and clients. Programs include single courses of instruction, certificates of proficiency, technical certificates, and associate and baccalaureate degrees designed to meet a demonstrated demand of the region. Additional upper-division and graduate programs of study leading to select baccalaureate and master’s degrees are offered on campus by other universities through the UA Fort Smith University Center.

In addition to certificate and degree programs, UA Fort Smith provides a wide range of customized, on-site education and training services – both pre- and post-employment – designed to meet the workforce education and retraining needs of business and service organizations.

UA Fort Smith provides a variety of public service activities for the people and organizations within its service area. Included are noncredit courses, seminars, workshops, lectures, travel, telecourses, and teleconferences organized by the University’s Center for Business and Professional Development. UA Fort Smith makes campus facilities and resources available to community organizations and enriches the quality of life of the community through sponsored cultural activities and events.


UA Fort Smith will be a premier regional university, connecting education with careers.


UA Fort Smith holds a set of core values based on the belief that we can and should be the best of learning organizations, by centering our focus and efforts on the learner and learning, and by practicing and modeling integrity and ethical behavior, responsibility for results, service to our fellow citizens and the communities we serve, and cooperation and collaboration with others in the betterment of the world in which we live.


Dr. Paul B. Beran, Chancellor

Dr. Ray Wallace, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

Dr. Arleene Breaux, Vice Chancellor for University Relations

Mr. R. Mark Horn, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

Dr. Lee Krehbiel, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Dr. Marta Loyd, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

Mr. Kyle Parker, Vice Chancellor for Planning and Technology

Dr. Brenda Mitchell, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs

Real People. Real Commitment.

Nothing makes us prouder than the people who make up UA Fort Smith. Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some are fresh out of high school. Others have spent years in the work force or caring for families—and often doing both. Many come from the small towns that are the backbone of Arkansas and Oklahoma, while others come from our nation’s biggest cities. They share a genuine desire to learn, to explore, and to make better lives for themselves.

Our faculty members come from some of the nation’s most prestigious graduate schools, as well as some of the most successful businesses and civic institutions. They come to UA Fort Smith because they know that here they can make a genuine difference in the lives of their students, and they're eager to share their deep understanding of the way the world really works.

Programmed for success.

Since its founding in 1928, UA Fort Smith has partnered with area civic and business leaders to create program resources that enhance the personal and professional opportunities of our students and citizens and drive the economic and cultural development of our community. That constant drive for innovation and relevance continues today through the following programs:

The Center for Business and Professional Development (CBPD) at UA Fort Smith provides training and education to area businesses and meets the continuing education needs of the community.
The University Center allows students to participate in degree programs offered by other selected universities from the convenience of the UA Fort Smith campus.
Our constantly updated Health Sciences programs are meeting the health care needs of our community while preparing our students for rewarding careers in registered and practical nursing, surgical technology, dental hygiene, and radiologic technology.
The Western Arkansas Technical Center provides college-level technical training to juniors and seniors from area high schools.
The United States Air Force offers the Air Force ROTC program on the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville campus for interested UA Fort Smith students. UA Fort Smith students enroll for the AERO courses through UA Fort Smith and take the courses on the Fayetteville campus.
The United States Army ROTC program allows students to take courses on the UA Fort Smith campus.
The College of Business offers three business-related resources to the business community:
The Family Enterprise Center (FEC) offers family businesses a learning community to meet the unique needs of the family in business.
The Center for Business Research and Economic Development (CBRED) provides regional economic information that is relevant to the growth and prosperity of the Fort Smith region.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) is a joint effort of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Fort Smith.
The College of Education has two programs that assist public schools in the region:
Located on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, the Western Arkansas Education Renewal Zone’s (ERZ) objective is to improve student achievement. Centralizing resources allows schools in Western Arkansas to access instructional, financial, cultural, and technological support.
The Institute for Math and Science Education (IMSE) assists pre-service and in-service preschool through twelfth grade math and science teachers in meeting the needs of their students through professional development workshops, model lessons, and hands-on training.


UA Fort Smith is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The University is approved by:

United States Department of Education
United States Department of Health and Human Services
Arkansas State Approving Agency for Veterans' Training
Nationally Accredited Programs:

The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accredits the following teacher education programs:
Early Childhood
Middle Childhood
Early Childhood is also accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
The Music program is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) accredits the programs in the College of Applied Science and Technology.
The Legal Assistance/Paralegal program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) accredits the concurrent enrollment program between area high schools and UA Fort Smith.
The Automotive program is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, Inc., (NATEF).
The College of Health Sciences has accreditations for the following programs:
The nursing programs, PN, ADN, and BSN, are approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN).
The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) accredits the ADN, BSN, and RN-BSN Online programs.
Surgical Technology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
Dental Hygiene is accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
Radiography is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).
Imaging Sciences-DSM is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS).

Our Campus

Urban Forest. Modern Marvel.

Surroundings matter. At UA Fort Smith, we feel it's our duty to create a living and learning environment that is both beautiful and well-appointed. After several years of building and planning, we think we’ve created a campus that would make any university proud to call home.

We achieved our goal by making the entire campus an arboretum, with more than 81 species of trees mapped out by GPS technology. As it grows to maturity, this "urban forest" will provide endless opportunities for field study, rest, and relaxation. In 2003, our campus was named the "Best Maintained Landscape in the Nation."

The Boreham Library, with tens of thousands of books, periodicals, and microfilms files, maintains subscriptions to several online databases and offers world-class research and learning tools to our students and Fort Smith neighbors. The Baldor Technology Center provides quality educational and technological programs to more than 1000 students per day.

The Stubblefield Center is a state-of-art, 3,200-seat venue performance space. The Center's frequent concerts, plays, dances, lectures and presentations anchor the cultural life of both the campus and the city. Standing proudly before the Stubblefield Center is Numa, the University's first and most prominent bronze sculpture.

The dramatic Reynolds Bell Tower with its plaza and fountains is our campus anchor. At seven stories, it is the tallest freestanding belfry in the South Central United States.

Facts and Figures

Students - Credit Enrollment, Fall 2010
Head Count 7,716
Full-Time Equivalent 5,891
WATC 472

University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees
John E. Anthony, Chair Carl L. Johnson, M.D., Vice Chair
Jane Rogers, Secretary Sam Hilburn, Assistant Secretary
Mike Akin Tim E. Hunt, D.D.S.
Ben Hyneman David Pryor
John Tyson Jim von Gremp

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Board of Visitors
Sam T. Sicard, Chair Eileen C. Kradel
Monte Wilson, Vice Chair Doug Babb
Peggy Weidman, Secretary J. Michael Shaw
James O. Cox Paul H. Harvel
Michael Barr

Chancellor Dr. Paul B. Beran
Provost/Senior Vice Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace
Vice Chancellor for University Relations Dr. Arleene P. Breaux
Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Dr. Marta M. Loyd
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration R. Mark Horn
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Lee Krehbiel
Vice Chancellor for Planning and Technology Kyle Parker

Operating Budgeted Revenues 2009-2010
State E&G Appropriations $23,290,471
Tuition and Fees 24,400,557
Local Tax 5,700,000
Auxiliary 7,460,543
Restricted 4,631,047
Other Budgeted Revenue 983,369
Total $66,465,987

Major Buildings 44
Square Feet 959,173
Total Acreage 168

Under the direction of the Board of Trustees, any and all fees may be increased or decreased, and new fees may be established when deemed necessary. Tuition and fees are not capped. They are charged by each hour taken. Tuition/fees include activity, athletic, technology, library and Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center fees.

Full-Time Tuition/Fees Per
(30 Hours per Year) Credit Hour Total
In-State* $159.40 $4,782
Out-of-State & International $358.40 $10,752

* In-state rate includes residents (at least six consecutive months) of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

Other fees paid once a semester:
Registration fee (nonrefundable) - $25
Fitness Center access fee - $10
Health Center fee - $33

Additional fees may apply based on specific programs. Please see the current course catalog for further details.

How to Contact

You can contact Human Resources at:

Human Resources
5210 Grand Avenue
Fullerton Administration Building, Room 239
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72913
Telephone: 479-788-7080
Fax: 479-788-7834
Job Inquiries E-mail: [email protected]

Contact Us

UA Fort Smith
5210 Grand Avenue
P.O. Box 3649
Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649

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