Campus News

  • College of the Ouachitas Nursing plans to increase the number of students accepted into the PN program beginning May 2015.  Prospective PN students should register to take the nursing entrance exam in March.  "I think this decision will be a benefit to our community and our students," said Debbie Freyman, Health Sciences Dean.

  • Join TRiO Thursday, January 22, 2015 from 12:15 p.m.-1:00 p.m. in the Great Room for lunch. A lot of things will be taking place this semester and we want to make sure you are ready! Come spend a little time with us and let us help you complete the semester successfully!

    Earn a point on your TRiO Rewards Card and find out who is the January lucky winner of the bookstore gift certificate!

    Hope to see you there!

  • Today, College of the Ouachitas’ President, Dr. Stephen Schoonmaker, will join President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college. 

    The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.  
    College of the Ouachitas has a history of being on the forefront of innovation regarding student success. Modular math has been a curricular mainstay since 2003, long before most colleges considered using it.  Our College and Career Access Program, which provides the most academically at-risk students free remediation services on campus so they do not expend financial aid before entering college-level classes was the first of its kind in Arkansas.  The College’s designation in 2012 as an Achieving the Dream Leader College, and a Center for Working Families 2012 Sustaining Innovator award recipient illustrates the College’s commitment to student success. 

    Since the College’s selection as a Top Ten Community College in the Nation by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence in 2013, we have continued to identify and initiate innovative practice to increase student success.  The College has furthered its commitment to accelerated academic progress, integrated support services for students’ success, increased certificate and degree attainment, and facilitated workforce acclimatization.  Adoption of the “Engage—Educate—Empower” focus for student success is the latest evidence of campus-wide commitment to fulfilling the College’s degree attainment mission.

    The College plans to increase degree completion resulting in greater transfer and job placement or promotion rates through the implementation of national initiatives such as Guided Pathways, Mathways Project, and the Academy for College Excellence Arkansas effort.  Additionally, the College is scaling existing student success support services to all members of the campus community as we develop a comprehensive one-stop advising and student success coaching center to help students be aware, and take advantage, of the services available at the College.  These initiatives provide a holistic approach for our students to understand the value of degree attainment and to realize degree completion as an achievable goal. 

    President Schoonmaker stated from the White House summit, “I am honored to be representing College of the Ouachitas in DC today as we announce the College’s commitment to increase student access by more than 25%; and to raise our students’ success completion headcount rate by more than 150% by the year 2020.  These are ambitious goals; however, they are made based on a multi-year, data-informed, and campus-tailored process that has created an intentional and integrated set of student success initiatives to achieve greater access and completion.”
    Dr. Schoonmaker continued, “I believe these innovations are integral to the College’s fulfillment of the courageous and collaborative leadership required in our communities to transform and revitalize rural Arkansas, and rural America.  I look forward to today’s meeting with the President and First Lady, along with other higher education leaders, to map out plans to better prepare a skilled workforce to sustain and improve our local, regional, national, and global economies for decades to come.”

    Today’s participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

    The President will announce new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college.  Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.

    Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class.  Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.


  • Arkansas State Representative District 26 Candidate Debate will be held on COTO's campus at 7:00pm on Tuesday, October 14, 2014.
    This event will be held in College of the Ouachitas Great Room (A300) and is open to the public.

    David Kizzia (D)
    Laurie Rushing (R)

    Sponsored by:
    COTO Student Government Association

  • On October 9, 2014, 11am - 1pm, the TRIO/CPI programs will sponsor the Health Fair in the COTO Breezeway

  • On September 19th, 2014, 8am - 10am, the TRIO/CPI programs will sponsor the Financial Literacy Fair in the front foyer of the Administration building.


  • Achieving the Dream Announces the Selection of College of the Ouachitas for the National Community College Expansion of the Working Families Success Network Strategy

    College of the Ouachitas commits to implementing the WFSN strategy to support more low-income students and their families achieve their academic and financial goals


    MALVERN, ARKANSAS Achieving the Dream today announced a national community college expansion of the Working Families Success Network (WFSN) strategy. College of the Ouachitas is one of 16 community colleges in four states that will implement the strategy used at over 100 sites in the nation to help low- income individuals and families achieve financial stability to promote postsecondary completion for students whose economic  challenges can thwart their academic and career goals.


    The WFSN strategy involves intentionally integrating and sequencing three distinct but related services:


    1.   Education and employment advancementeducation, job readiness, training, and placement;

    2.   Income and work supportsaccess to student financial aid, public benefits, tax credits, and free tax assistance;


    3.   Financial services and asset buildingfinancial education and coaching linked to affordable products and services to help families build self-sufficiency, stabilize their finances, and become more economically competitive.


    “Once again College of the Ouachitas is engaged in a vanguard national effort targeted to transform students lives,” remarked Dr. Schoonmaker, the Colleges president. We are pleased to be one of the colleges in Arkansas working on this vitally important effort.” Schoonmaker added, We have a strong history of caring for our students’ success, and our work nationally with WFSN will make a difference in not only the lives of our students, but in shaping the very nature of how we conduct business at the College. This cultural embedding of integrated services on campus will be a paradigm shift for higher education; the research we glean from our efforts will be invaluable locally, regionally, and nationally in the student success movement.”


    The four state partner organizations and 16 colleges selected for the national community college expansion of the WFSN

    strategy are:


    Arkansas Consortium

    California Consortium

    Virginia Consortium

    Washington Consortium

    Arkansas Association of

    Two-Year Colleges

    California Community

    College Chancellors


    Virginia Community

    College System

    Washington State Board of

    Community and Technical


    College of the Ouachitas

    (Malvern, AR)

    Cabrillo College

    (Aptos, CA)

    Danville Community

    College (Danville, VA)

    Big Bend Community

    College (Moses Lake, WA)

    East Arkansas Community

    College (Forrest City, AR)

    Cañada College

    (Redwood City, CA)

    Eastern Shore Community

    College (Melfa, VA)

    Clark College (Vancouver,


    North Arkansas Community

    College (Harrison, AR)

    Porterville College

    (Porterville, CA)

    Northern Virginia

    Community College

    (Annandale, VA)

    Highline College

    (Des Moines, WA)

    Phillips Community College

    of the University of Arkansas

    (Helena-West Helena, AR)

    Skyline College

    (San Bruno, CA)

    Patrick Henry Community

    College (Martinsville, VA)

    Walla Walla Community


    (Walla Walla, WA)


    College of the Ouachitas was selected through a competitive application process that assessed commitment to racial equity and poverty reduction as well as the colleges demonstrated ability to support student success using data-informed decision-making.


    This effort is supported with funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Lumina Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.


    “Our goal is to support students who have already taken a big step toward their long-term financial success by addressing the short-term economic challenges that can get in their way,” said Rosa Maria Castañeda, a senior associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. This expansion builds on the momentum behind the Working Families Success Network strategy as well as the efforts of colleges across the country to find smarter ways to help low-income students cross the finish line.”


    Through this work, Achieving the Dream seeks to demonstrate that embedding the WFSN strategy in community college culture and systems can be cost effective and improve student outcomes and financial stability. The goal is for the intentional integration and sequencing of services which evidence suggests make a difference in whether a student thrives or languishes – to become the routine way colleges support low-income students and their families.


    "Through the expansion of the WFSN strategy in community colleges, we expect to learn more about the power of bundling or coupling services needed by low-income students with family responsibilities,” said Carol Lincoln, Senior Vice President of Achieving the Dream.  "Colleges that have pioneered this strategy have seen increases of 10-15 percent in term-to-term retention. Since financial challenges are the most frequently given reason students drop out, new

    solutions are needed for helping students persist and complete credentials. WFSN colleges will produce new lessons about the mix, intensity, and delivery of critical services that can help close achievement gaps and keep students on pathways to completion and careers."


    For more information about the national community college expansion of the WFSN strategy, please visit


    For more information about the Working Families Success Network, please visit





    College of the Ouachitas is a public, comprehensive, community-based, two-year institution of higher education that serves a rural, five-county service area (approximate population of 174,000, approximate median income of $33,400). The College provides high quality, accessible educational opportunities at the freshman and sophomore level in associate degree, technical certificate, and certificate of proficiency programs, a college-transfer program, continuing education, and industry-specific training to support individual and community needs in Arkansas. The Colleges primary goals are to enable individuals to develop to their fullest potential and to support the economic development of the state. As directed by its mission, the College “continually identifies and addresses the changing learning needs of the communities it serves.”  Annual enrollments include over 2,000 credit and 4,000 non-credit students. To learn more, visit



    Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Evidence-based, student- centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by: 1) guiding evidence-based institutional improvement, 2) leading policy change, 3) generating knowledge, and 4) engaging the public. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. With over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.


    The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private philanthropy that creates a brighter future for the nations children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow.



    Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility Bank of Americas commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.



    Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation, is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially 21st century students: low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners.  Luminas goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025.  Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change.



    MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLifes long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2013, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $600 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million over the next five years to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world.



    W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

    The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.


  • The last day to charge books to your Financial Aid is Monday, September 8th
    Financial Aid refunds will be disbursed Friday, September 19th.
    Refund checks will be available after 9 a.m. at the Business Office windows. Students must have their Student ID and Driver’s License when picking up checks..

    Thursday, September 4th, 8am-4pm

    Tickets will be $20 Thursday ONLY!! (Save $5 per ticket!)
    Call 501.332.0234 or 501.332.0270
    Visit the College Advancement Office, in the hallway behind the Information Desk in the Admin Building.

    Take advantage of this ONE DAY PRE-SALE, regular price tickets will be available beginning Monday, September 8th, at 10am.

    The event will be held on Saturday, October 4th, 6:30pm, at the Boys & Girls Club of Malvern & HSC.
    All proceeds support the College of the Ouachitas Foundation Scholarship Fund.

  • College of the Ouachitas will be closed on Monday, September 1, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.  The College will reopen on Tuesday, September 2.  COTO wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend.