The two-year college is a unique American contribution to higher education, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville has played an important part in this movement by providing access to education for the people of north central Arkansas since 1991, when it was reorganized as Gateway Technical College. Among the 14 vocational-technical schools converted into technical colleges and university branch campuses by an act of the Arkansas legislature, UACCB endeavors to provide quality Technical Certificate and Associate of Applied Science degree programs in occupational technical areas, a college parallel transfer curriculum including Associate of Arts, and Associate of Science degrees, customized training for business and industry, continuing education programs for life-long learning and personal enrichment, and adult education. In October 1997, Gateway Technical College merged with the University of Arkansas System and with the passage of a county sales tax became the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville in March 1998. UACCB is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Since UACCB’s conversion to an institution of higher education, the faculty, staff, and board of visitors have worked diligently to fulfill its mission of expanded service. New courses and programs of study have been added throughout the Industrial Technologies, Health Occupations, Business, and General Education curricula. Renovation and expansion of the campus has also been an important part of the UACCB mission. In the summer of 1999 the appearance of the campus changed drastically. An 11,000 square foot Arts and Sciences Building, main entrance signs, an arched walkway attached to the Main Classroom Building, landscaping, additional parking lots and campus infrastructure were completed.
Independence Hall, a 37,375 square foot Conference/Student Center was completed in spring 2001. In 2002, the College invested in the utilities infrastructure on the newly acquired 25 acres east of the original campus property, connected the properties with a traffic bridge and constructed a new 14,000 square foot consolidated Plant Maintenance Facility. That summer the former Business and Community Outreach building was renovated and now houses the Adult Education Center. The renovation of the building brought it in line with the campus motif and provided an added 1,000 square feet to the structure.
In the summer of 2003, the College renovated a 1,000 square foot storage building into an academic classroom and offices, which now houses the Fine Arts and Education programs. In the spring of 2004, the Stuart Patterson Memorial Gazebo was built on the west bank of Pfeiffer Creek and construction began on a 17,400 square foot Library/Academic Building. As part of this building project, a new parking lot, completion of the main entryway on the east side of the campus, and a pedestrian bridge were added. In January 2005, the Library/Academic Building was named the Roy Row, Sr. and Imogene Row Johns Library and Academic Building. Ms. Imogene Row Johns contributed the largest private gift ever to UACCB in honor of her late husband.
The 40,669 square foot Nursing and Allied Health building, located on the east side of campus, opened during the Fall 2011 semester. It is UACCB’s first two-story building and includes eight classrooms, a 200 seat lecture hall, four clinical labs and faculty offices.
In January 2015, the first cosmetology students began classes in the Cosmetology Building. The facility includes both classroom and clinical space.
In March 2018, UACCB received secondary area career center status from the Career Education and Workforce Development board. The College completed construction on a state-of-the-art Workforce Training Center in 2020 that includes areas for career and technical education, a makerspace and a business and industry meeting room.
UACCB has a bright future and will strive to provide even greater educational opportunities for the citizens it serves.