Educational Organizations and Programs

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Entries - Entry Category: Educational Organizations and Programs - Starting with A

Arkansas Academy of Science

The Arkansas Academy of Science (AAS) aims for the promotion of knowledge in the fields of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics and the diffusion of that knowledge. The AAS is the Arkansas component of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The first meeting of the Arkansas Academy of Science occurred in 1917. The AAS was created by a group of Arkansas scientists who wanted to develop a vehicle for the promotion of science as well as dissemination of research by Arkansas scientists. This was achieved by organizing annual meetings and publishing a journal. The annual meetings include sessions in which fledgling scientists present their findings in areas of biological and physical science as well as engineering, mathematics, and …

Arkansas Aerospace Education Center (AEC)

aka: Aerospace Education Center
Located near Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (Adams Field), the Arkansas Aerospace Education Center (AEC) provided the state with aerospace education through the Workforce Development Center of University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College. The center, which was owned by the Arkansas Aviation Historical Society, also housed the state’s only IMAX theater and a library that held the Jay Miller Aviation Collection of aerospace materials. When fundraising began, the center was intended to include a magnet school, a library of aerospace materials, a museum, and an IMAX movie theater. Before the center’s completion, however, the Little Rock School District decided not to build an aerospace magnet school at the center. Another feature, to be called the Arkansas High Technology Training Center, also …

Arkansas Art Educators

Arkansas Art Educators (AAE) is a statewide organization of art teachers. The organization’s focus is to advocate for art education through supporting legislation and providing quality professional development for all art instructors in the state. AAE began as the art section of the Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA), which later became the Arkansas Education Association (AEA). The art group met as early as November 1922 for the ASTA fall conference. Classroom teachers from across the state gathered to discuss how to incorporate picture study and art history into the classroom curriculum. The group continued to meet yearly to hold elections and to discuss ways to further art education in the Arkansas school system. Members supported art education by writing articles …

Arkansas Boys State

aka: Boys State
With strong participation numbers and an impressive alumni list, Arkansas Boys State is arguably one of the most successful chapters of the American Legion–sponsored Boys State program. The national program began in 1935, with Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card of the Illinois American Legion—which was the first sponsoring organization—credited with the original idea. The Arkansas program was established in 1940. Its alumni body boasts some impressive names, including President Bill Clinton, whose efforts at the 1963 session earned him the selection as the Arkansas representative to Boys Nation—a national gathering of Boys State representatives from across the country—where he met President John F. Kennedy, a meeting captured in a now iconic photograph. Other Arkansas participants who have gone on to …

Arkansas Division of Higher Education

The Arkansas Division of Higher Education is responsible for the regulation of the state’s public two-year and four-year institutions of higher education. The first attempt to regulate higher education in the state came through the establishment of the Arkansas Committee on Higher Education in 1949, which consisted primarily of state legislators and the leaders of institutions of higher education. The commission’s report to the Arkansas General Assembly in 1951 recommended the creation of a control board to coordinate efforts regulating higher education. Prior to this, state institutions were fairly autonomous, and the legislature exercised oversight primarily through appropriations, which led to institutions competing with each other for state money. In addition, the commission reported that “in some cases local pride …

Arkansas Education Association

The Arkansas Education Association (AEA) is a group of teachers, administrators, and support staff who promote public education and the teaching profession. The association closely monitors the state legislature, the state Department of Education, and school boards, and it lobbies for policies decided on in its Representative Assembly. The association was organized on July 2, 1869, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) as the State Teachers Association. Thomas Smith, the first state superintendent of public instruction, founded the group and was its first president. Twenty-two people signed on as charter members. Smith wrote that the group’s purpose was “promoting the cause of popular education in the state and uniting the teachers and superintendents in closer and more intimate fraternal relations in …

Arkansas Girls State

aka: Girls State
Arkansas Girls State is a summer program of education that has been sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Arkansas since 1942. As of 2014, it has provided training for more than 55,000 Arkansas girls in the fundamental aspects of citizenship and practical government. The purpose of Arkansas Girls State is to educate young women of high school age in the duties, privileges, and responsibilities of American citizenship and to provide an opportunity for them to participate in the actual functioning of their government. The National American Legion Auxiliary, which had established a Boys State program in 1935, first sponsored Girls State in 1937–38, and as of 2014, fifty-one departments have such a program. More than 25,000 high school students …

Arkansas Governor’s School (AGS)

Arkansas Governor’s School (AGS) is a six-week summer residential program for gifted and talented students who are upcoming seniors in Arkansas public and private high schools. AGS is funded by the Arkansas state legislature as a portion of the biennial appropriation for gifted and talented programs in the budget of the state Department of Education. The state funds provide tuition, room, board, and instructional materials for each student at the school. A site selection team from the Department of Education reviews applications from Arkansas colleges and universities and awards a three-year contract to lease the site. Hendrix College was the host institution since the inception of AGS in 1980 until 2018, when the state Board of Education voted to transfer …

Arkansas Library Association

The Arkansas Library Association (ArLA) is a statewide organization created to further the professional development of all library staff members; to foster communication and cooperation among librarians, trustees, and friends of libraries; to increase the visibility of libraries among the general public and funding agencies; and to serve as an advocate for librarians and libraries. Organized on January 26, 1911, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the association was created as part of an effort to encourage the legislature to support increasing funding for public libraries. Led by the Little Rock Public Library and the Fort Smith Public Library, the new organization had additional members from Arkadelphia (Clark County), Conway (Faulkner County), Helena (Phillips County), and Waldron (Scott County). Early efforts …

Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN)

The Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) is a program located on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway (Faulkner County). Each November, hundreds of high school students and teachers from the state of Arkansas and neighboring states attend the AMUN conference as representatives (delegates) of member-states of the United Nations (UN). The delegates participate in simulations of the UN General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, International Court of Justice, and other UN bodies. The AMUN was formally established by Professor Simms McClintock and several students at UCA, then known as Arkansas State Teachers College (ASTC), in the fall of 1966. McClintock, who had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, earned a …

Arkansas Political Science Association

The Arkansas Political Science Association (ArkPSA) is a professional, membership-based organization of college and university professors and students in the subjects of political science, public administration, public policy, and related academic disciplines in the state of Arkansas. The membership of the ArkPSA has also included practitioners and other professionals with an interest in international, national, state, and local government and politics. The ArkPSA holds an annual two-day meeting during which scholars present the results of their research on topics related to government and politics. The annual meetings, which also include roundtable discussions on topics of interest to the membership, have been held at various college and university campuses and other locations around the state. The ArkPSA was formally established during …

Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches

Arkansas Sheriffs’ Boys Ranch, Inc., was founded in 1976 as an exclusively charitable and educational organization for “the prevention of cruelty to boys, by providing a home, ranch, and training school for underprivileged boys.” The organization was created to provide a non-governmental residential childcare program for boys from all Arkansas counties. Today, Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, Inc., provides residential and non-residential services to both boys and girls. The organization was incorporated on January 6, 1976, after two years of planning. In the early 1970s, a group of sheriffs asked the seventy-five-member Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association (ASA) to help develop a children’s home that would rely on the generosity of Arkansans. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, some of these sheriffs …

Arkansas State Teachers Association

The Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA) is a professional organization for education professionals that adheres to a non-union and non-partisan operation policy. Professional membership in ASTA is open to any employee of an educational entity—certified, non-certified, and classified. ASTA is unrelated to an earlier organization which went by the same name and later became the Arkansas Education Association (AEA). The roots of ASTA intertwine with its national organization, the Association of American Educators (AAE). AAE was established in 1994. In 2001, groundwork began for an AAE affiliate in Arkansas. ASTA was established in 2004. ASTA and AAE are licensed by the IRS as 501(c)(6) professional trade organizations. Like organizations it partners with in other states, ASTA works collaboratively with local …

Arkansas Teachers Association (ATA)

The Arkansas Teachers Association (ATA) was an organization that strove for racial equality in education for young African Americans. From 1898 to 1969, it was instrumental in equalizing salaries for black teachers across the state, integrating schools during the desegregation era, and fighting teacher displacement. In 1898, a group of fewer than a dozen teachers in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) created the State Teachers Association of Arkansas, which later became the Arkansas Teachers Association. The teachers—including the association’s first president, Joseph Carter Corbin—wanted to increase the value of black children’s education, ensure better health for the black community, improve school buildings and equipment, and provide better preparation for teachers. No written records are available on the association until the 1928 …

Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities

Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities (AICU) represents the state’s eleven accredited private institutions of higher education. The organization operates from offices in North Little Rock (Pulaski County), specializing in governmental and public relations for private higher education. As of 2019, the members of AICU are Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock (Pulaski County), Arkansas Colleges of Health Education in Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Central Baptist College in Conway (Faulkner County), Crowley’s Ridge College in Paragould (Greene County), Harding University in Searcy (White County), Hendrix College in Conway, John Brown University (JBU) in Siloam Springs (Benton County), Lyon College in Batesville (Independence County), Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in Arkadelphia (Clark County), Philander Smith College in Little Rock, the University of the …