The University of Arkansas Global Campus is relocating its Rogers campus to Bentonville after refocusing its programming at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tara Dryer, senior managing director for the Global Campus, said the Rogers location closed in fall 2020, and the new location at 702 S.E. Fifth St., Suite 20, in Bentonville is expected to open in mid-November. It will be within the 15,000-square-foot The Collaborative, which has partly opened.
Toby Teeter, director of The Collaborative, said Kinco Constructors is the general contractor for the project. Hufft is the designer.
The new Global Campus location will include conference spaces, classrooms, computer labs, and a webinar recording area as part of The Learning Lab, Dryer said. Teeter said the lab comprises about 8,500 square feet of The Collaborative.
Amid the pandemic, the Global Campus shifted its focus to workforce development, said Dryer, noting that the majority of students are learning online. Last fall, it was a recipient of a $13.58 million federal grant for the Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project, a state-wide workforce development effort that also included Shorter College and iDatafy LLC. The project benefits Arkansans impacted by the pandemic and covers their tuition and fees for short-term training programs.
The Global Campus office will include about 16 staff dedicated to professional and workforce development, said Dryer, adding that support staff at its Fayetteville location also help accomplish its goals. Though the Global Campus shifted its focus to workforce development amid the pandemic, professional development will be offered, too, she noted.
The UA previously announced its Global Campus operations in Bentonville would be included in The Collaborative, located near the Momentary and 8th Street Market. The Collaborative was described as an education and research presence and catalyst to propel the state’s innovation ecosystem in Bentonville. It’s part of the university’s planned Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research (I3R).
In 2020, the UA announced a $194.7 million grant from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation will establish I3R, and $14 million of this would be for the Bentonville campus.