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NorthWest Arkansas Community College

NorthWest Arkansas Community College is a two-year, public institution located in Bentonville, Ark., with multiple sites located throughout Benton and Washington counties. The college was founded in 1989 after local voters approved a tax to support it, and started classes in 1990 with 1,200 students. Since that time, NWACC has grown to exceed 8,500 students, according to College Navigator. The college is dedicated to helping students further their education and careers, offering both transfer degrees and workforce entry degrees. NWACC also offers adult education programs that help students learn English, earn a GED, or help them gain computer literacy. Other key programs at NWACC include the honors program for academically gifted students and the study abroad program, which has taken students overseas to Germany, Russia, Italy, and Guatemala. In addition to offering accessible and affordable traditional programs, NWACC also offers distance learning opportunities.

Programs Offered

While NWACC offers adult education, personal enrichment classes, and high school programs, it is perhaps best known for offering associate degrees and certificates. The Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees are typically set up as transfer degrees, while the Associate of Applied Science degrees and certificates are geared toward preparing students directly for the workforce.

Transfer degrees are available in a wide range of areas, including teaching, agriculture, food, and life sciences, business, and computer information systems. Applied degrees and certificates are available in business management, child advocacy, computing, criminal justice, culinary arts/hospitality, electronics technology, education, and more. Online courses at NWACC are typically delivered through the Blackboard course management system. NWACC offers numerous courses online, but only currently offers two fully online programs: an Associate of Arts in General Education and a program in environmental regulatory sciences. Distance education at NWACC may incorporate hybrid or video classes.


NWACC has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, since 1995. In addition, the college’s physical therapist assisting program has specialized accreditation from the American Physical Therapy Association, according to College Navigator.


NWACC has an open admissions policy. First-time college students must submit a completed application, pay a processing fee, submit an official high school transcript or GED, submit official placement scores from COMPASS or ACT, and submit immunization records, according to the college website. Transfer students must submit official transcripts from all regionally-accredited colleges and universities attended, and only courses where the transfer student has earned a grade of “C” or better will transfer. Applicants are urged to apply for financial aid immediately. Even though NWACC has an open admissions policy, admission to the college does not guarantee the student will be admitted to any program, as entry to some programs may require prerequisites and/or developmental courses before a student can be admitted. See here for admission requirements for international students or resident aliens.


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