NEWPORT (Ark.) 10/31/2016 – A large crowd was on hand Monday morning as Arkansas State University-Newport held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new IGNITE Academy.
IGNITE students, ASUN faculty and staff, local and state dignitaries and elected officials joined administrators from the ASU System, ASU-Newport, the four participating high schools and the Arkansas Department of Career Education to ceremonially cut the ribbon at the open house for ASU-Newport’s new pilot program. The IGNITE (Investing in Gen Next Industrial and Technical Education) Academy provides opportunities for high school students at four area school districts to earn workforce-ready credentials upon graduation.
ASU-Newport Chancellor Dr. Sandra Massey opened the ceremony by thanking those in attendance, as well as the many in the crowd who were instrumental in the launch of the IGNITE Academy. Those attending also heard remarks from ASU System President Dr. Charles Welch and Jon Chadwell, Executive Director of the Newport Economic Development Commission. IGNITE Academy students Chancery Sutterfield, Dalton Bennett, Sierra Clark and Aaron Turner closed the ceremony with comments regarding their experiences as part of the program.
The program allows students from Newport High School, Tuckerman High School, Cedar Ridge High School and Bradford High School to receive training in Computer Network Technology, Welding, Diesel Technology or Phlebotomy/Certified Nursing Assistant. These fields of study were determined through ASUN’s collaboration with the four school districts, program advisory committees and through discussions with regional leaders in business and industry. Upon graduation from high school, students completing the program will have earned transferrable credits and certificates of proficiency or technical certificates in the four fields of study. Approximately 60 students from the four school districts combined are part of the IGNITE Academy inaugural class.