Arkansas State University-Beebe will host a 50th Anniversary celebration of the Searcy campus on Thursday, Oct. 6 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The celebration coincides with the Arkansas Community College Work$, which is a month-long statewide celebration of community colleges.
Formerly Foothills Vocational Technical School, the Searcy campus opened in 1966 with 17 employees, and was renamed Foothills Technical Institute in 1991.
Dedicated in April 1967 by Governor 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.
Following the merger with ASU-Beebe in 2003, additional educational opportunities opened 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 General Educational Development (GED) diploma, to traditional and non-traditional students earning technical certificates or associate degrees.
Today, the Searcy campus offers certificates of proficiency and technical certification in various fields, such as air conditioning, auto body repair, automotive technology, machine technology, diesel technology, EMT-Paramedics, multi-skills technology, medical records technology, practical nursing, and welding technology.
With the focus on technical and occupational programs, students can complete most of the programs in about one year and earn a technical certificate. These credits will also apply to the Associate of Applied Science in General Technology degree for those who want to continue their education after the technical certificate.
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.
ASU-Beebe at Searcy is located at 1800 East Moore Avenue. For more information, contact Special Events Coordinator Carissa Gillam at (501) 882-8957, or view the website at www.asub.edu.
Arkansas State University-Beebe is an operationally separate, two-year institution of the Arkansas State University System. With campuses located in Beebe, Heber Springs, Searcy, the Little Rock Air Force Base, and online, the university offers associate degrees, certificates, and non-credit training for business and industry. The Beebe campus also collaborates with Arkansas State, a four-year university in Jonesboro, to offer baccalaureate and graduate degrees on the Beebe campus. ASU-Beebe is nationally recognized by the Aspen Institute for student success rates.