A&M-Texarkana Announces the Addition of Two New Colleges and a New School to the University’s Academic Programming

Photo: Craig Nakashian, Inaugural Dean of the Honors College at TAMUT, speaks to media members and guests about the new college and how it can benefit students.

Texas A&M University-Texarkana held a press conference to announce the addition of the university’s new College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services, the Honors College, and the School of Professional Education and Community Engagement. The new academic structure will be in place for the upcoming fall 2024 semester.

The addition of the two new colleges brings the number of colleges within the university to four, including the existing College of Arts, Sciences, and Education and the College of Business, Engineering, and Technology.

Taking on the role as the inaugural dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services will be Dr. Heather McKnight, who was previously the director of the university’s nursing program. “I am honored to serve A&M-Texarkana and the community as the inaugural Dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services,” said McKnight. “East Texas is a region rich in history, culture, arts, and natural beauty, but we face significant challenges in healthcare access and outcomes. A&M-Texarkana will be introducing new healthcare degree programs to take a crucial step toward addressing these challenges. The degrees include respiratory therapy, medical imaging, healthcare administration, speech language pathology, and occupational therapy, among others. These programs will not only train the next generation of healthcare professionals right here in our community but will also help retain talent within our region.”

The Honors College will be led by Dr. Craig Nakashian, Professor of History and former Director of the Academic Honors Program. Nakashian was recently named dean of the new college. “Our Honors College builds on the already excellent academic foundation provided by A&M-Texarkana and gives the students in the college a variety of ways that they choose in order to shape how their education unfolds,” said Nakashian. “Our students can take unique, challenging, and interesting courses, while also having opportunities to engage with the campus, with the local community, and with the broader educational community.”
The Honors College automatically gives admission to students coming from high school with a 3.5 GPA or higher, or those transferring from another college or university with a 3.25 GPA or higher; the students in these two categories are also guaranteed an Honors scholarship on top of the academic scholarships they will automatically receive, if they choose to participate in the Honors College.

The new School of Professional Education and Community Engagement is designed to meet the needs of adult learners and will be led by Executive Director Dr. Lisa Myers. Dr. Myers previously served as the director of the university’s Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program.

“The new School of Professional Education and Community Engagement will be about two things: Elevating Careers and Empowering Communities,” Myers said. “We’ll do that by building learning journeys that start paying off within months, not years; creating customizable training and development opportunities for area employers that meet their organization’s needs while providing their employees with learning that counts toward certificate and/or degree completion and collaborating with economic development partners in equipping and empowering our community with credentials that support continuous growth and development in our region.”

“Our first work-ready degree is the new Bachelor of Science in Leadership that will recognize and credential what learners already know,” Myers added. “No more starting over. Instead, we will build on what learners bring with them and create efficient pathways of learning that don’t waste time or money.”

For additional information on the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services contact Dr. Heather McKnight at hmcknight@tamut.edu. Honors College inquiries should be made to Dr. Craig Nakashian at cnakashian@tamut.edu, and to learn more about the School of Professional Education and Community Engagement contact Dr. Lisa Myers at lmyers@tamut.edu.

About Texas A&M University-Texarkana:

As a member of The Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M University-Texarkana is a comprehensive regional university that provides students with academically challenging, engaging and rewarding educational experiences through quality teaching, scholarship, student support services, co-curricular programming, research and service.

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