Henderson State University today announced it has leased the Landmark Building in downtown Hot Springs where it will offer upper level courses towards degrees in business and education. The building at 201 Market St. will house several traditional classrooms, seminar rooms, a computer lab, and office space for the director and faculty.
“We have been working towards this for many years, but were unable to make it happen until we got the state appropriation in support of this initiative,” said Dr. Maralyn Sommer, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Henderson.
The development extends the partnership with National Park Community College, and brings Henderson’s presence to downtown Hot Springs.
“The ability to lease a building and hire a director has turned our efforts from just a ‘hope and dream’ to a reality,” Sommer said. “This is a very exciting time for both Henderson and the Hot Springs community.
Through its School of Business and Teachers College, Henderson offers classes to 92 students in Hot Springs at National Park Community College. Sommer said the majority of these courses will move to the new facility when it is ready, possibly by this fall.
“It’s been a long journey, but it’s just the beginning,” said Dr. Glen Jones, Henderson president, during today’s press conference in Hot Springs. “We believe in the future of Hot Springs and are committed to helping educate the people in this area. We wanted to make sure we could accommodate that.”
Dr. Sally Carder, president of NPCC, said, “This is a great day for National Park Community College and Henderson State University. Through this partnership, we will continue to offer and increase the number of classes in Hot Springs.”
Both Jones and Carder thanked state Sen. Bill Sample and state Rep. John Vines for their efforts to help secure the building.
In October 2013, Henderson hired Christi Batts as director of Hot Springs Academic Initiatives to help the university establish and maintain a physical presence in the Hot Springs area. “The program is a perfect partnership between Henderson State and National Park Community College,” Batts said. “Dr. Sally Carder and NPCC’s Board of Directors have been wonderful during this process.”
Batts said students can complete their first two years of study at NPCC then transfer to Henderson’s program in Hot Springs. “Students complete their bachelor’s degree with us and then may start on their master’s degree,” she said.
“I want to thank Sen. Sample and Rep. Vines. They are the responsible for spearheading the effort to obtain funding from the State Legislature for our Henderson State-Hot Springs program,” Batts said. “By bringing higher education to our Garland County citizens in downtown Hot Springs, HSU is on the forefront of revitalization efforts.”
Batts said the Hot Springs program is happening “because of the goals of President Glen Jones and the Henderson State Board of Trustees. They are the ones who put all of the puzzle pieces together and had the tenacity to get this program off the ground.”