- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - Enrollment at a Pine Bluff-area community college is suffering because a four-year university started offering concurrent enrollment at a nearby high school, according to the community college’s president.

Southeast Arkansas College president Stephen Hilterbran has complained to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board about the University of Arkansas at Monticello offering classes for college credit at White Hall High School, according to a story published Monday in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1nmfZSk ).

Hilterbran said the loss of credit hours has affected how much funding Southeast Arkansas College is able to get from the state.

“When a four-year university or other institution takes over education in the community, it hurts those local community colleges,” Hilterbran said. “It divides the community … This is about increasing enrollment at one institution at the expense of another institution simply because you can.”

But UA-Monticello Chancellor H. Jack Lassiter said the university will continue to provide concurrent enrollment as long as the White Hall School District is happy with its services. Lassiter noted that the school district invited him to offer classes beginning in the 2012-2013 school year. Because of that, he said he doesn’t believe the school is doing anything wrong.

“We’re not out campaigning and recruiting school districts,” he said. “We’re not going more than an hour outside of our campus.”

High schools in Arkansas have been covering concurrent enrollment since 1998, but the Higher Education Coordinating Board’s policy does not include service area designations.

Coordinating board member Sarah Argue told Hilterbran at a July meeting that this was intentional.

“While you are concerned about enrollment in terms of dollars, I am concerned about students getting the best classes in their school district,” Argue said.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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