LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (January 21, 2015) – eVersity, the University of Arkansas System’s online university designed for Arkansans seeking a second chance at a college degree, today received a $500,000 contribution from The Tyson Foods Foundation, Inc. and the Tyson Family to help further the mission of this new initiative.
“When I first learned of Dr. Bobbitt’s plan for eVersity as a member of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, I was convinced that this will be a game changer and a huge contributor to the future of higher education in our state,” said John Tyson, Tyson Foods, Inc. chairman of the board, referencing UA System President Don Bobbitt, Ph.D., who initiated the project. “We must have a way to reach the more than 300,000 Arkansans who have a year or two of college and had to drop out for one reason or another, but want to pursue a degree so they can improve their quality of life.”
Graduates of eVersity will not only be technically qualified for their current job but will also be prepared for future career opportunities and changes that evolve over a lifetime.
“Many of these people work for Tyson Foods, or some other company in our state, and a college degree will enable them to move from an hourly production job into a supervisory position and eventually management,” Tyson said. “eVersity will be a blessing to these individuals and to the economy of Arkansas.”
eVersity and the University of Arkansas System are committed to providing relevant workforce curriculum to every course in each degree program, including the elaboration of skills and competencies needed to help each graduate be ready for their job. The teaching and evaluation strategies used to develop courses will assure students and future employers that the discipline-relevant competencies have been mastered.
“eVersity’s core values are to provide high-quality, affordable and relevant online degree programs to Arkansans in order for them to obtain the necessary tools to take their career to the next level,” said Michael Moore, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs for the University of Arkansas System. “It is through the generous support of companies and individuals, such as The Tyson Foods Foundation, Inc. and the Tyson Family, that will allow eVersity to develop curriculum that not only teaches adult students the technical skills relevant to a particular field of study but also the importance of communication, creative and critical thinking and the ability to work as a functioning member of a team, which are highly valued skills to all employers in our state.”
eVersity’s personalized approach is designed to help students achieve success. A college education makes a powerful difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities, and eVersity allows the opportunity for Arkansans to obtain a college degree that is accessible and attainable.
Initial degree programs include health care management, information technology, criminal justice, business and general studies with multiple degree options available within each field. Applications for eVersity’s degree programs will be available this summer with the first classes beginning in the fall.
The mission of the University of Arkansas System eVersity is to provide high-quality, accessible, affordable, online education relevant to the modern workplace. Faculty from across the University of Arkansas System will develop and deliver rigorous certificate and degree programs that utilize rich data analytics to enhance student success and achievement. The system online university is committed to continual improvement of the craft of teaching through practice and scholarship and to serving our public communities by providing timely, interesting and useful educational material. For more information about eVersity, visit eversity.uasys.edu.