With such a tough job market, many are turning to extended education and specialized career training. A new partnership between Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale and Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville will give students more opportunities, both in the workforce and the classroom.
"In a depressed economy people need as many options as possible to change their lives," said NTI VP of Instruction, Keith Peterson. "The partnership between NTI and NWACC gives people an opportunity to quickly get to work by utilizing technical education, and continue on to even higher potential wages by taking advantage of an NWACC degree."
For the first time in Northwest Technical Institute's 37 year history, students will have a structured bridge from tech school to traditional college.
The two schools came together Tuesday for a historic signing of the articulation agreement. The signing took place at NTI.
"The students at Northwest Technical Institute that come through our diploma programs which are 11 to 18 months long, depending on which program you are in now have the opportunity to continue their education through the elective credit that they will receive towards an Associates of General Studies at Northwest Arkansas Community College," Peterson said.
Peterson says NTI does a great job preparing students for the workforce, but now the new partnership with NWACC will give students the opportunity to go to work while pursuing a higher education.
"We place over 80 percent of students in jobs that graduate,” he said. “But we also have students that want to go on and continue their education as well.
The partnership will allow NTI students to carry over up to 30 credits toward an NWACC associate's degree, credentials which could lead to better paying jobs.
"This is a great opportunity for us to partner with NTI and find ways to help them help their students add value to their credentials," said NTI VP of Advancement, Steven Gates.
Peterson says he hopes lottery scholarships are in the partnership's future.
Students can begin taking advantage of the partnership right away.