An EMSI gap analysis report is being used to inform a new Master Plan for Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, Arkansas. NWACC has reviewed input from multiple sources, including the EMSI report, and the consensus appears to be that the college needs to create a permanent presence in a neighboring county as well as establish a university center.
The task force got its first official look at all the compiled data, as well as information from the 2006 gap analysis, which was conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. A gap analysis looks at a community and determines what needs are being met and what needs remain unfulfilled. This is accomplished using public data and demographics, NWACC consultant Patti Mocivnik explained.
Susan Holmes, co-facilitator for the task force, said the results make the priorities quite clear. Certain types of programs, such as programs for medical professions, are clearly needed, but so is a type of program called a university center. University centers are programs in which other colleges and universities can partner with NWACC to provide their four-year degrees using NWACC facilities.
EMSI’s gap analysis drew on an integrated database of over 70 public sources to organize key demographic, economic, and labor market information for the college. The report was prepared as part of a statewide initiative that included similar reports for all Arkansas community and technical colleges.