The National Park College is Hot Springs’ is the fourth largest community college in Arkansas. It was formerly known as the National Park Community College, and before that, existed as two schools, namely the Garland County Community College and the Quapaw Technical Institute, which had been established in 1973 and 1969, respectively. Both schools merged in 2003.
In 1969, a branch of the Ouachita Vocational Technical School (now College of the Ouachitas) was established in Hot Springs. It was named the Quapaw Vocational Technical School. Act 310 was proposed and approved in 1973, proclaiming that Quapaw Vocational Technical School to be a separate entity from the Ouachita Vocational Technical Institute. Then as a result of Acts 773 and 1244 in 1991, the OVTI was renamed to the Quapaw Technical Institute.
Separately, the Garland County Community College was established as a two-year institution of higher learning in 1973 as a means to provide higher education to students living in Garland County and its surrounding areas.
The National Park Community College was formed on July 1, 2003 as a result of Act 678. It combined both the GCCC and QTI campuses, the two governing boards, and their academic and technical courses offered into one comprehensive institution to be able to provide a more efficient means of meeting the community’s and the region’s educational needs. It was named after the adjacent Hot Springs National Park.
It changed its name again in 2015 to National Park College after a rebranding initiative by school president John Hogan to improve the school’s reach and success of the college’s students.
The NPC Today
Today, the National Park College continues to provide its students with associate degrees and certificates, as well continuing education/community services and training, to help them lead more fruitful lives and be productive members of society. It averages approximately 3,000 credit students per semester enrolled in college courses that blend liberal arts with occupational education to prepare them in entering the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution.
Over 3,818 students enroll in the college every year in a wide range of non-credit and continuing education services provided by the Community and Corporate Training Division. These include customized workforce training for business and industry, on-site courses for the hospitality and tourism industry, on campus computer classes, online classes, and various professional development workshops.