Friday, September 16, 2016

TOP STORY >> Searcy campus marks 50 years

ASU-Beebe will hold a 50th anniversary celebration of its Searcy campus from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6.

Formerly Foothills Vocational Technical School, the Searcy campus opened in 1966 with 17 employees, and was renamed Foothills Technical Institute in 1991. Foothills merged with ASU-Beebe in 2003.

The celebration coincides with a month-long statewide celebration of community colleges called Arkansas Community College Work$.

Dedicated in April 1967 by Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, the focus was to teach students a trade to immediately enter the workforce. Some of the first programs offered at Foothills Vocational Technical School were auto mechanics, farm and diesel equipment, machine shop, office occupations, practical nursing, welding and drafting.

Since joining with ASU-Beebe, additional educational opportunities have opened up for students.

With 60 employees, the campus serves a range of students from high school through the Regional Career Center, to students working on their GED, to traditional and non-traditional students earning technical certificates or associate degrees.

The Searcy campus offers certificates of proficiency and technical certification in air conditioning, auto-body repair, automotive technology, machine technology, diesel technology, EMT-paramedics, multi-skills technology, medical-records technology, practical nursing and welding.

Students can complete most of the programs in about one year and earn a technical certificate. The credits can also count towards degree programs.

The 50th anniversary is open to the public, and will welcome state and local dignitaries, past and current administration, and former students. Events will include tours of the facilities and demonstrations by students and faculty, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Technology East Building, Room 127.

At 3:30 p.m., a brief program will be presented, with gifts given to alumni in attendance. The program will be followed by a reception.

The Searcy campus is at 1800 E. Moore Ave.