UA Hope-Texarkana Secondary Career & Technical Education Center Students Win Welding Award


Three University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Secondary Career & Technical Education students won second place at a team “Weldathon” competition yesterday at South Arkansas Community College. The three-person high school team representing UAHT included Clayton Brantley (Fouke High School), Mason Garrett (Fouke High School), and Joseph Brown (Arkansas High School). “I think it might have surprised them a little that they finished so well since this was their first competition, but they are talented and hardworking, so it did not surprise me,” Bob McFarland, UAHT Welding Instructor, said. “I teach my students to weld as if it were their job and their livelihoods depended on it. In this way, we are preparing our career center students to be valuable assets to companies right out of high school.”

Seven teams from secondary career and technical centers across Arkansas competed in the Weldathon. Each team in the competition was tasked to build an identical project designed by industry personnel. Teams were given a set of blueprints and materials to complete the project. One student was designated as the cutting torch person, the second student was assigned as the SMAW person, and the third student was chosen as the GMAW person. “I am extremely proud of our welding students and our instructor, Bob McFarland, for this accomplishment,” Mikki Curtis, UAHT Dean of Secondary Programs, said. “Our secondary career center programs offer students a great opportunity to learn valuable skills, like welding, to help them become job-ready right out of high school. UAHT has great instructors who have been professionals in their respective fields training our students for good jobs.”

The UAHT Secondary Career & Technical Education Center is an area secondary career center located on the UA Texarkana Campus, Arkansas High School Campus in Texarkana, and the UA Hope Campus. The Secondary Career Center provides area high school juniors and seniors with the unique opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school at no charge. The center’s curriculum serves as an extension of the high school curriculum offerings by providing students with hands-on experiences in a variety of career fields taught by UAHT Faculty. “I encourage all juniors and seniors to consider taking career center classes to get a head start on college and a career,” Curtis said.

Participating school districts include:
Arkansas High
Arkansas Virtual Academy
Genoa Central
Lafayette County
Spring Hill

Programs of study at the UAHT Secondary Career & Technical Education Center include:
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (UA Hope campus only)
Industrial Maintenance Technology
Information Technology: Coding
General Health (Prerequisite for CNA and EMT)
Certified Nursing Assistant
Emergency Medical Technician
Welding – Basic & Construction

To sign up for classes at the UAHT Secondary Career & Technical Education Center, visit your high school counselor or career coach. For more information, contact Mikki Curtis at 870-722-8133 or visit

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