UAFS, NTI Agree to Partner for Associate Degrees

dempsey brown, paul beran and blake robertson

(Left to right) Dempsey Brown, chair of the automotive department at NTI; Dr. Paul B. Beran,
UAFS chancellor; and Dr. Blake Robertson, president of NTI

Automotive students receiving a technical certificate from Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale will now be able to pursue an associate degree from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith thanks to a partnership forged between the two schools.


UAFS and NTI have signed a Memorandum of Understanding allowing UAFS to offer an Associate of Applied Science in General Technology to students receiving a technical certificate in automotive service from NTI.


The associate degree program in general technology will build on the students’ prior learning with advanced automotive coursework and general education classes.


Dr. Ken Warden, dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology, said most of the coursework will be offered online, with aspects of the curriculum requiring students to travel to campus.


“This is an option for a student to build on their automotive coursework in a way that will decrease their time and expense of earning an associate or even a bachelor's degree,” Warden said. “Students taking advantage of this arrangement will be able to leverage all of their prior coursework at NTI into their continued studies at UAFS.”


The memorandum is the latest in a number of partnerships UAFS has made with community colleges and technical institutes across Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee to offer bachelor’s degree opportunities for students wanting to continue their education.


Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor, said the partnership will be instrumental in helping local residents achieve their career goals.


“We are excited to establish an agreement with Northwest Technical Institute that will allow students to elevate their technical credentials to pursue leadership positions in their respective areas of employment,” Beran said. “This partnership provides a seamless pathway for students in a way that saves them both time and money.”  


"I am so pleased that the graduates from Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale will have the ability to transfer to University of Arkansas - Fort Smith and work on an associates or a bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Blake Robertson, president of NTI. “This agreement demonstrates that when institutions come together, educational partnerships can be reached that have mutual benefit for all parties involved."  


For more information about the general technology associate degree program, contact Bobby Jones, department head of the general technology program, at 479-788-7798 or


About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit



Article by John Post, Director of Public Information
Photo Credits: 
Photo by Quan Ho, Student Photographer, Marketing and Communications Office
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
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