East Arkansas Community College is a full-service community college that serves a large portion of Eastern Arkansas. EACC’s faculty and staff are committed to providing students of all ages and stages of life access to high quality and affordable education. EACC offers students a variety of academic, technical, vocational, allied health, business and industry training, and non-credit programs. EACC offers a core of general education classes that are fully transferable to other state-supported colleges and universities.
Students have the option of taking classes at the campus in Forrest City, the Wynne Center, and many other locations within the five-county service area. Evening classes, online classes, and distance learning options are offered each semester.
EACC has one of the lowest tuition rates in the state, and tuition discounts are available for students aged 50+. In addition, the College offers a full range of academic and technical scholarships, as well as financial aid and payment options
History of EACC
East Arkansas Community College’s history begins in 1967 with the creation of Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute, and continues today following the blending of the two institutions.
In the late 1960s, residents of St. Francis County sought to create both a technical school and a community college. Crowley's Ridge Vocational Technical School was created during the development of public postsecondary vocational technical schools in Arkansas. In 1966, the CRTI building on Newcastle Road was approved for construction by the State Board of Vocational Education, and the building site was donated by the Forrest City Chamber of Commerce. CRTI’s first official students were accepted in September 1967, and six programs were offered. In June of 1969, the Crowley Ridge Community College Corporation received its charter. In April of 1971, Mrs. Ed (Betty Jo) Hodges donated $25,000 to the organization. The generous grant allowed the group to purchase 40 acres of land located just north of the technical school.
In August of 1973, the Arkansas Board of Higher Education announced that St. Francis County had met all the requirements and criteria for the formation of a community college district and authorized the county to call for an election on the issue. On November 8, voters approved the proposal, which included a 4-mill tax to finance construction of the East Arkansas Community College. Gov. Dale Bumpers appointed nine members to the Board of Trustees, and the college representatives officially took office on Dec. 13, 1973. An administrative team and faculty were assembled, and on August 26, 1974, classes opened in a temporary, renovated facility in downtown Forrest City. Also in 1974, the newly appointed board authorized construction of 11 buildings at a cost of $1.5 million. Classes began at the new campus in August of 1975.
Crowley’s Ridge Vocational Technical School was approved by the State Board of Workforce Education to become a technical institute in 1992, and the name was officially changed to Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute.
Over the years, EACC’s campus continued to grow with significant improvements to buildings and additions of new facilities including new classroom buildings, a music building, a lecture hall, expansion of the physical education building, the addition of a Computer Education Center, the Learning Resource Center, and the Betty Jo Hodges Student Services Complex. The EACC Wynne Center opened in 2005 to serve students in the northern tier of the service area counties. In 2010, following a successful capital campaign, EACC opened the Fine Arts Center, one of Arkansas’ only ‘Class A’ performance facilities. EACC added the Transportation and Technology Center on Highway 1 in Forrest City in 2011, and in the spring of 2013, EACC completed construction of the Allied Health Building.
During the 91st General Session of the Arkansas State Legislature, Act 636 was passed allowing a merger between Crowley's Ridge Technical Institute and East Arkansas Community College pending approval of both governing boards and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Coordinating Board. In August of 2017, East Arkansas Community College and Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute officially merged to become a single institution.
With over 90 years of combined history, the uniquely blended comprehensive community college continues to provide high quality academic, vocational, occupational and technical education in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.