Ozarka College President Unveils Ash Flat Campus Master Plan

Dr. Richard Dawe, president of Ozarka College,
presented a futuristic rendering of the Ozarka College – Ash Flat campus
master plan at Monday’s meeting of the Ash Flat City Council.

The master plan, developed by Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson Architects of
Fayetteville, includes space for new technical-education programs in
agriculture, information technology and automotive service technology, as
well as other fields of study.

The plan also features open computer labs, specialized classrooms, a
landscaped plaza, a courtyard, space for student and community events,
additional parking and landscaping, and walking trails that connect the
campus with the nearby city park and wet-weather stream.

Dr. Dawe said the college has worked with representatives from the local
community to develop the master plan, which will enable the college to serve
several hundred additional students in the future. In spring 2013, the Ash
Flat campus served 276 nursing and general education students.

The college has experienced quite a bit of growth since the Ash Flat campus
opened in 2005, Dr. Dawe said.

“While there is room to increase our university-transfer general education
classes in the existing facilities, we want to be proactive in responding to
current and future technical-education needs of the local business, industry
and agricultural community.”

Dr. Dawe said Ozarka College has expanded its schedule of evening, online
and hybrid courses this fall, which will provide a more flexible schedule
for working adults with family responsibilities.

Hybrid courses include a mixture of on-campus and online learning
opportunities that provide flexibility for students with busy lifestyles,
Dr. Dawe said.

“Students will be able to come to campus one night a week and take up to six
credit hours a semester, which will eventually lead to an associate degree.
It’s a win-win situation for the students and their families.”

Dr. Dawe said Ozarka College received approximately $256,378.02 in sales-tax
proceeds from the Ash Flat community in 2012-2013.

Expenditures at Ash Flat for the same period totaled $507,636.11, including
433,031.11 in faculty and staff salaries and benefits, $50,708.64 in
utilities, $22,468.80 in maintenance and operating expenses and $1,427.56 in
travel/conference fees.

“We absolutely could not be here if it wasn’t for the proactive and
forward-thinking support of the citizens of Ash Flat and our valuable
partnerships with the city, county, school district and local business
community,” Dr. Dawe said.

“We are very fortunate to have visionary leaders from this area who
recognized the need to provide access to high-quality and affordable higher
education opportunities for the citizens of this region.”

Ozarka College is a comprehensive technical/community college, with
locations in Fulton, Izard, Sharp and Stone counties. The college offers 28
associate degrees, technical certificates and certificates of proficiency,
as well as workforce training, continuing education and adult basic