Northwest Arkansas Community College

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NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC)
NWACC New updated Logo.jpg
Type Community college
Established August 15, 1989
Students 7,715 (Fall 2017)
Location Bentonville, Arkansas, United States
36°21′30″N 94°10′21″W / 36.35824°N 94.17249°W / 36.35824; -94.17249Coordinates: 36°21′30″N 94°10′21″W / 36.35824°N 94.17249°W / 36.35824; -94.17249
Campus Suburban
Mascot Eagles

NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) is a public two-year college located in Benton and Washington counties, in the U.S state of Arkansas. The main campus is located in Bentonville Arkansas. Total enrollment for the fall semester of 2018 was 8,308.[1]


NWACC was founded by voters in the Bentonville and Rogers Public School Districts on August 15, 1989, when they passed by a 65-percent margin a 3-mill property tax to support the new institution. NWACC opened its doors to 1,200 students in August 1990 and has in excess of 8,300 college credit students (Fall 2018), making it one of the largest and fastest growing two-year colleges in Arkansas. An additional 7,000 students are served by non-credit courses throughout the service area.[2][3][1]

In the early days, NWACC was known as the "College without walls" because it solved the problem of not having enough "bricks and mortar" funding to build classrooms by conducting classes in a variety of buildings throughout the community.

Faculty often had to transport learning materials, equipment, and even laboratory specimen in their personal vehicles from one location to another to meet with students.

Academics and rankings[edit]

Northwest Arkansas Community College offers many areas of study leading to associate degrees.[4] NWACC also provides online classes. In 2006, NWACC was accepted as a participant in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). In October 2012 NWACC received a letter of reaffirmation of accreditation from HLC for duration of seven years. The HLC is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits degree-granting, post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region.[5]

Campuses and locations[edit]

Main campus[edit]

The main campus of Northwest Arkansas Community College is located directly off of highway I-49. The main campus includes ShewMaker Center for Global Business Development,[6] Center for Health Professions,[7] and a nature preserve.

Brightwater Culinary School[edit]

After beginning as the culinary program within NWACC, Brightwater was officially launched in early 2017 as separate operational entity, while still being a part of NWACC. The college is known for its emphasis on local food culture and the development of the "High South Cuisine" concept, which focuses on local, farm to table approach. [8]

Brightwater officially opened in the 8th Street Market district of Bentonville within a former Tyson Foods chicken processing plant, allowing the enrollment to grow from a few dozen students to a maximum of 350. [9]

The Brightwater facility and the 8th Street Market won the American Institute of Architects Central Excellence in Design award for 2017.[10]

Other locations[edit]

There are currently four other branches of Northwest Arkansas Community College, including:

  • Washington County Center in Springdale
  • Farmington Center in Farmington
  • The Jones Center for Families in Springdale
  • Regional Technology Center in Fayetteville

Additionally, NWACC includes online courses.[11]

Future plans[edit]

NWACC has announced plans to open a new permanent campus in the Springdale area with plans for ground breaking in late summer 2018 and to open the first phase in late 2019 or early 2020. Estimates suggest the new campus with serve 1,500 to 2,000 students when fully completed, and will allow the college to stop leasing other classroom space in Washington County. [12]

Student Center at NWACC

Clubs and organizations[edit]

There are 23 registered student organizations on campus including honor societies, business, special interest,religious, international and cultural organizations, and many more. The Student Ambassador and Government Association (SAGA) is the student body leadership organization. SAGA members represent NWACC and NWACC students. Members host several student events each year, are student advocates, and also work with NWACC staff, faculty, administration to help make the student experience better.

Notable people[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Northwest Arkansas Community College - official site
  • Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food - official site
  • Notes[edit]

    1. ^ a b "Community college sees enrollment increase". Retrieved 2018-09-09.
    2. ^ "History". Nwacc. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
    3. ^ "2017 NWACC Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved May 30, 2018.
    4. ^ "Degrees". Nwacc. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
    5. ^ "Accreditation". Nwacc. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
    6. ^ "ShewMaker". Nwacc. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
    7. ^ "Health Professionals". Nwacc. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
    8. ^ "'High south cuisine' food culture emerging in Northwest Arkansas - Talk Business & Politics". Talk Business & Politics. 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2018-05-30.
    9. ^ "Brightwater: Community vision to spur economic development around food - Talk Business & Politics". Talk Business & Politics. 2016-07-11. Retrieved 2018-05-30.
    10. ^ "AIA Central States 2017 Design Awards". Retrieved 2018-05-30.
    11. ^ "Locations". Nwacc. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
    12. ^ "NWACC plans to break ground on Springdale campus late summer - Talk Business & Politics". Talk Business & Politics. 2018-03-26. Retrieved 2018-05-30.