<< Back to Service Learning

<< Back to Honors Program

The NWACC Honors Program recognizes that community service promotes responsible and engaged citizenship and is thus a vital component to a wholistic education. Honors Program members are encouraged to lead and participate in Service Learning and EMPACTS projects at NWACC.



Service Learning

The NWACC Service Learning Program facilitates the implementation of various student driven projects each semester. Honors students have played a pivotal role in current and past projects, some of which are intended to coincide with the Honors Program sponsored spring themed semester.


 Honors Students Lead 2012-2013 ProjectsStudents learning about the Superfund site in Quapaw, Oklahoma

Service Learning students expanded the original Cherokee Advocacy Project in the spring 2012 semester to include other local tribes, including the Quapaw, whose reservation is in extreme northeastern Oklahoma.  The Native America Project focused on the Superfund site at Tar Creek and created a documentary. New honors geology professor Diane Phillips, who has been taking EMPACTS students to the site for years along with Prof. Paul Lowry, and Dr. Chris Huggard worked with students in science and history courses. The Native America Project is on-going and active in 2012-2013.  Pictured right, students view maps of original Quapaw lands compared with the present-day reservation. Pictured left, students take a guided tour of Tar Creek, and pose for a photo, right.

NOTE:  New or evolving Service-Learning and EMPACTS projects are added each semester.  So check out their websites for the latest information.



In the spring 2012 semester Dr. Huggard's World Civ II Honors class also led the Hunger Project. Students researched the Irish potato famine and compared it with current global hunger issues.  Students led a roundtable discussion (shown in picture at right) as part of the Ireland 2012 themed semester. Students also gave presentations on the topic linking it to current day issues with hunger in Northwest Arkansas. 

Cherokee, Haiti Projects 2010 and 2011

Students volunteer at Territorial Days in Tahlequah, OK.

Led by Honors member and project creator, D'Etta Mason, the Cherokee Women and Children Advocacy Project team raised awareness of the Cherokee people and collected donations that went toward the Cherokee Immersion School and Heritage Center in Oklahoma. Today the project has expanded and involved into a joint Service Learning and EMPACTS project called the Native America Project.


Pictured above, a team member teaches elementary students how to play a traditional Native American game, and right, history and psychology students tour the Cherokee Ancient Village.


History and sociology Honors classes took the lead in the Haiti Project that began back in 2010. Held in conjunction with the Honors' sponsored Caribbean Themed Semester (2010) and in the aftermath of the tragic earthquake that struck Haiti, honors students conducted weeks of research on Haitian culture, history, health, and education. They presented their findings during the International Festival in Bentonville and on the NWACC campus.  Below, Honors student Sharon Fox gives her portion of the presentation to a large crowd on campus.  








The Haiti Project is on-going with opportunities to travel to Haiti.  Contact Dr. Huggard or Dr. Yanick St. Jean for more information.

         For a complete list of projects, please visit the Service Learning website.


 EMPACTS Projects (Educationally-Managed Projects Advancing Curriculum, Technology, and Service)

EMPACTS projects are very similar to Service Learning, but emphasize the technology component. Today, Honors, Service Learning, and EMPACTS work closely to implement projects that benefit the community and region. Honors EMPACTS courses usually are offered in the sciences. 

Students search for fossils, above right, and Honors student Mitchell Reynolds poses with a scale model of the NANO Nail, left.  Students in Dr. Dixie Androes' Honors Astronomy class created the Northwest Arkansas Natural Obelisk, or NANO, project. Mitchell and Dr. Androes presented the project to campus committees and administrators in hopes that the college will build the obelisk on campus. The project was enthusiastically embraced by college officials and is currently with the Land Use committee to decide funding and placement options.


View additional information about EMPACTS projects here.



 Volunteer Opportunities

In addition to Service Learning and EMPACTS, honors students are encouraged to give back to their community through volunteer work. Many students who have started off volunteering while enrolled at NWACC decide to continue their service after graduation because they find the experience so enriching. The following are organizations recommended by the Program.

Literacy Council of Benton County

The Council serves adults up to a ninth-grade reading level and needs volunteer tutors to provide free one-on-one tutoring at the student's own pace and convenience or in small group ESL classes. Click here for info about volunteering.  Suitable for all students in all disciplines.

Arkansas Crisis Center

The Crisis Center provides crisis intervention for people suffering from a traumatic event, depression, thoughts of suicide, or financial strain. The Center also assists those struggling with gender issues, bullying, or abuse. The Center is in specific need of volunteers who are bilingual to serve the growing Latino population.  Click here for more information.  Most suitable for students interested in psychology, social services, communication, and gender issues. If you know of someone who needs help, have them call 1-888-CRISIS2 (274-7472).

NWA Women's Shelter

The Women's Shelter serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault through empowerment. The Shelter provides a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter and support services, court advocacy, children’s advocacy and programming, community education, and outreach services. For more information about volunteering, please view their website here. If you know of someone who may be experiencing domestic or sexual abuse, please encourage them to seek out help from their local law enforcement authorities and to contact the Center at 1-800-775-9011.

For questions/comments on this content, please contact honors@nwacc.edu.