Henderson State University is THE public liberal arts university of Arkansas, located in the city of Arkadelphia. Operating since 1890, when it was called the Arkadelphia Methodist College, it is the second oldest state university in the entire state of Arkansas, offering a core liberal arts education to undergraduates and graduates since their first class of 110 students and faculty began over a century ago.
Henderson prides itself on its history of “providing excellent undergraduate curricula and graduate programs”, utilizing their liberal arts base to launch all academic programs in the school. Henderson believes arts and sciences essential to any education and ensures it is fully indoctrinated into all of its 37 Bachelor degree programs. Primarily an undergraduate school (it enrolls about 3500 undergrads as opposed to a handful of graduates that number roughly 300 or so), it is known for fine programs in education (as it was the Henderson State Teacher’s College from 1929 to 1967) and business, as well as for encouraging research in all educational areas from the first year.
In addition to baccalaureates the school also offers graduate degrees in 11 Master’s programs (in education, of course, the liberal arts, business, counseling and sports administration), as well as certifications in another four areas, and an Educational Specialists degree (a sort of in-between that’s more than a Master’s, but not quite a PhD).
Its history has seen many name changes over the years (six in all), but its dedication to its primary mission of “excelling in undergraduate studies”, ensuring that students who leave Henderson aren’t just capable in their area of expertise, but are learned, well-rounded members of society (again, through their stress on liberal arts across all categories). It’s location in Arkadelphia (one of the 50 Best Places To Raise Your Family) is at once idyllic and close to the major spots in Arkansas (near Little Rock and about 35 miles from Hot Springs). Though the campus was partially destroyed by fire in the early part of the 20th century, it now occupies a healthy 151 acres and has continuously invested in creating more on campus facilities (from one of the best planetariums in the state, to a technologically stacked nursing center, as well as fine theater and radio/television production studios).
Though online learning is available at Henderson, there is no degreeable program that can be completed entirely online. Henderson values its small class sizes and personal attention to students, so online courses are primarily hybrids, with equal time spent online and in class learning. Though some course are offered entirely online each semester, there is no program or area of study that doesn’t require in class work as an essential component to graduation. They utilize Blackboard and other programs to deliver both synchronous and asynchronous programs every semester, using its Learning Management System, and also offers traditional classes with “online enhancements”.
With its dedication to improving the Arkansas area (with 84% or so students being residents of the state) as well as a fine 17:1 student teacher ratio, Henderson’s value on a solid liberal arts platform allows for students of many different interests to leap into the work force with a sound education and the tools to succeed.