Black River Technical College
BRTC serves approximately 3,000 students annually through its degree programs, technical courses, and community educational offerings.
BRTC was established in 1972 as Black River Vocational Technical School on land donated by the City of Pocahontas. BRTC's original purpose was to provide vocational education for the northeast Arkansas region. The college adopted its current name in 1991, and became an independent institution of higher education in 1993, at which time it offered associates degrees and college courses toward "core" requirements for four-year schools.
BRTC is governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees, appointed by the Governor. Each trustee serves a seven-year term which ends on June 30 of the final year.
The BRTC Main Campus is on Arkansas State Highway 304 in Pocahontas, covering 246,030 square feet (22,857 m2) in 20 buildings over 90 acres (360,000 m2). BRTC also has three offsite locations:
- The Aviation Maintenance Technician facility, located at the Pocahontas Municipal Airport
- The Fire Science facility, an associate training center for the Arkansas Fire Academy, located at the College City Industrial Park north of Walnut Ridge
- The Greene County Industrial Training Center, located at North Industrial Park in nearby Paragould
BRTC offers the Associate of Arts degree, which can be credited toward the first two years of a four-year degree program. The degree consists of 52 hours in required courses and 12 hours of electives (which must be college transfer classes) in one of 14 different focus areas which will constitute the major.
BRTC also offers the Associate of Arts Teaching degree in three focus areas (the Early Education area is pending approval as of the 2005-2006 school year), the Associate of Applied Science degree in 13 disciplines, technical certificates in 15 disciplines, and Certificates of Proficiency in five disciplines.
BRTC also offers adult education courses in seven areas including the ability for students to work towards and obtain a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), and continuing education courses for the Pocahontas and Randolph County community for both personal and work-related development.
BRTC offers a unique "Weekend College" plan whereby a student may complete the Associate of Arts degree in three years by attending courses on weekends only. BRTC requires that at least six students sign up for a course, and development courses are not counted towards the three-year timeframe.
BRTC offers some courses through various forms of distance education; the Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing courses in nursing theory are done completely by interactive video as part of the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium, of which BRTC's program is a member.
The BRTC Fire Science program is offered in conjunction with the Arkansas Fire Academy.
The Greene County Industrial Training Center (also referred to as BRTC-Paragould) is in the process (as of September 2005) of obtaining approval to offer the four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Education (Human Resource Development concentration) issued by the University of Arkansas through distance learning.
BRTC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and its programs have been approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the Arkansas State Board of Vocational Education.
The following programs have received additional accreditation or approval as shown below:
|Academic Program||Accrediting/Approving Agency|
|Aviation Maintenance Technology||Federal Aviation Administration|
|Dietary Manager||Dietary Managers Association|
|Dietetics||American Dietetic Association|
|Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic||Arkansas State Board of Health, Division of Emergency Services|
|Practical Nursing||Arkansas State Board of Nursing|
|Nursing Assistant||Arkansas Department of Human Services, Office of Long Term Care|
|Registered Nursing||Arkansas State Board of Nursing|
|Respiratory Care||Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care|
|Respiratory Care||Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health|