Arkansas State University-Heber Springs, a center of ASU-Beebe, began in early 1997 when a group of Heber Springs citizens gathered to discuss the possibility of having a college campus in Cleburne County. In the Fall of 1997, ASU-Beebe agreed to offer courses in Heber Springs, using classrooms at Heber Springs High School. As time progressed, classes were held in the Courthouse Annex on Main Street using part-time faculty as well as "compressed" or interactive video courses.
The need for a permanent home became apparent as student demand continued unabated, and in 2000, the first ASU-Heber Springs facility was built in the Cleburne County Industrial Park on Highway 210 East. This facility is now known as the Latimer Center and is home to several ASU-Heber Springs programs.
The community continued to show support for the ASU-Heber Springs campus, and in 2000, the voters of Cleburne County voted to support the campus with sales tax revenue. As the campus grew, a search began in earnest to find a suitable site for the campus that would allow growth to continue.
In 2006, ASU-Beebe purchased 249 acres containing Sugarloaf Mountain on the east side of the city of Heber Springs. Construction on the Sugarloaf campus of ASU-Heber Springs began in 2006 and Phase I of the campus, consisting of an academic and a student services building was completed in 2007.
ASU-Heber Springs is thankful for the support of the people, businesses, and governments within Cleburne County. Special thanks to Dr. Dianne Tiner, who came to Heber Springs as Vice Chancellor in 2001 from ASU-Beebe. ASU-Heber Springs owes much to Dr. Tiner for her vision and for her leadership.
Additionally, Steve Storm was the first full-time faculty member at ASU-Heber Springs. Mr. Storm taught physics, physical science, and math courses. Students fondly remember Mr. Storm's patient manner in teaching and quick sense of humor. Mr. Storm retired from ASU-Heber Springs in May of 2008 and passed away in August of 2008.
Whether pursuing an associate degree or taking classes to enter the workforce, both options are available to students at ASU-Heber Springs.
The university offers a Certificate of Proficiency in Welding Technology, and an Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology degree. The practical nursing program continues to provide students an opportunity to earn a technical certificate in 18 months.
Also, ASU-Heber Springs offers an Associate of Science in Environmental Science program. The program is designed to provide a basic understanding of environmental principles, and may be used for transfer to a four-year institution, where students can earn a bachelor’s degree. The university also offers an Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Administration.
Students also have access to the Student Support Services at ASU-Heber Springs. A part of the Federal Trio Programs, Student Support Services provides eligible students with additional tutoring and other activities promoting student success.