The Arkansas Department of Higher Education board has approved for Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Human Services and a Supply Chain Management option for its AAS in Business Technology.
ATU-Ozark sought approval for the Human Services AAS after regional employers indicated a need for specialized training to serve their diverse industry needs, as well as the diverse social needs of the communities they serve, according to the university statement.
“This program is a culmination of the Ozark Campus’ work with its industry partners serving the needs of the River Valley region. Industry partners were instrumental in the development of the curriculum, as well as agreeing to serve as intern sites for the students,” said Chief Academic Officer Bruce Sikes.
This spring, a survey of human-services-assistant employers showed that some of the state industry’s greatest needs exist in the underserved communities surrounding the campus: Franklin, Logan, Crawford, Sebastian, Johnson and Pope counties.
“There is definitely a need for this type of program in our area,” Dr. Lance Fisher, executive director of Next Step Day Room in Fort Smith, said in the statement. “Our agency recently hired an [licensed master social worker] and two additional case managers. We received very few resumes from individuals with a background or experience in the human services area.”
Employers surveyed include senior citizen centers, correctional facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation programs, childcare development centers, departments of human services and non-profit agencies specializing in these services.
The Human Services program, which will accept up to 25 students, will consist of 60 hours of coursework and two eight-week field experiences at various social service agencies.
The approved Supply Chain Management option is a culmination of discussions with procurement, logistics and operations managers in a number of industries. Graduates will be trained to face the tasks and challenges required to effectively manage a business supply chain.
It is now the second option for ATU-Ozark’s AAS in Business Technology. The program also offers a banking option.
In all, ATU-Ozark offers 25 programs of study tailored to me a variety of industry specific careers.