NPC looks to the future with a 25-year master plan


After approving its new 25-year master plan at last week’s monthly board meeting, National Park College is now focusing on how to further improve the educational needs of students on campus, while also creating long-term partnership opportunities locally to better meet the needs of the community throughout the evolving deal.

According to the NPC website, around 55% of students receive financial aid and scholarships. Last year, CNP students received more than $ 8 million in grants and scholarships. While continuing to offer a variety of two-year degrees and certifications, the college hopes to expand its four-year bachelor’s degree opportunities on campus, as it recently did through Southern Arkansas University.

AFN Board Chairman Forrest Spicher expressed his appreciation to the Board and others at last week’s meeting.

“I appreciate the work and leadership of this campus in developing our pool of future students, providing quality learning opportunities and ensuring the financial stability of NPC in the years to come,” he said.

A common theme throughout the school’s six public forums held in the weeks leading up to the plan’s approval was that of the big picture. Although some sentiments such as the community’s desire to see new housing on campus and extensions to sports and commercial facilities, many revolved around the importance of improving the overall campus facilities, to help attract better students on campus.

AFN vice president of administration Kelly Embry said they wanted the same aspect of attraction for high school program offerings as well.

NPC President John Hogan explained the integrated nature of the master plan last week, noting that it is the result of years of strategic planning and tracking of high priority goals, all tied to the college’s budget investments. .

“We continue to listen to the needs and wants of our students and our community,” he said. “What we heard is that investments in facilities that support student success should be our priority, including investments in housing, nursing, sports, welding and other skilled trades. . We are grateful for the positive and encouraging feedback which has confirmed that we are on the right track. “

Going through the different parts of the plan, architect John McMorran, of Lewis Architects Engineers, said much of the focus will be on student life on campus.

“Then it’s all kind of a hub here for student life,” he said.

“It could really be a whole bunch of different possibilities with eating and showing off the tech side and just a few other things like that… whatever student life, as you start to have more students on campus living here on campus, some of these needs will grow in the years to come.

“And again, taking a step back and looking at it from that point of view, one of the things you’re going to see is you’re going to see trying to move the parking lot and vehicle traffic out of the way. central areas and there are just a lot of safety factors in there, but it will really help maintain that campus life and student life, ”McMorran said.

“And then with all of that, a potential location for a maintenance facility, sort of a new hub for campus maintenance. So like I said, it really looks like what you’ve seen before. has a few practical things that have been adjusted, ”he said.

Hogan said what the college initially saw as a missing piece was the thought process with a strategic plan and it had to be a representation of that, like what the future of the college would look like as opposed to, “What building is going where and how much will it cost in bricks and mortars? ‘

“Part of what happened was we were making the strategic plan and trying to respond to housing – we had a conversation that came out of the board communication to that effect. that we have to look at the big picture, ”he said. “We have to see where we are heading as a college. It collided with the strategic planning process and it kicked off the blueprint being a full set of circumstances, and I think we designed the process at this point. , where you listed a number of forums, we had it online all the time, we got a lot of feedback. “

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