Degree Spotlight: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology


Degree Spotlight B A in Sociology

Dr. Adriana Lopez provides an overview of the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at UA Little Rock.

The UA Little Rock Bachelor of Arts in Sociology is a completely online program that focuses on the study of our behavior as social beings. The B.A. in Sociology program develops and deepens a student’s understanding of social factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, and social class.

“Sociology is this fascinating way of looking at society from different perspectives,” said Adriana Lopez, associate professor of sociology at UA Little Rock. “What sociology is going to teach our students is most of the concerns we worry about are shared by a lot of people.”

The 120-hour online program promotes the knowledge of key social factors and research design through courses such as minority groups, environmental sociology, and women in changing society.

Ramirez said the goal of the program is to teach students how to understand social structures, research methods, and the implementation of social policies.

Adriana Lopez/ eLearning Chris Bailey

“What we try to do in the sociology program is to get students to think about their place in society and how society shapes their options, likes, and attitudes,” Lopez said.

Because the B.A in Sociology degree covers a wide range of topics within the humanities, earning a sociology degree can be an advantage in numerous industries. Students who have earned a sociology degree are often well-positioned to pursue a career in human service administration, counseling, public office, or education.

Lopez explained sociology is a far-reaching and varying field that interacts with other disciplines like anthropology, political science, philosophy, and psychology, providing students a wide range of professional possibilities.

For more information on the B.A. in Sociology online program email:

University Writing Center

At Your Fingertips: The University Writing Center

UA Little Rock University Writing Center

The UA Little Rock University Writing Center (UWC) now offers online assistance to all UA Little Rock students. As a unit of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, the primary goal of the UWC is to help students develop strategies for meeting their writing challenges.

Success in an online program depends on a variety of skills, not least of which is the ability to write a solid academic paper. The UA Little Rock University Writing Center (UWC) recognizes this and now offer free online consulting designed to help students at any stage of the writing process.

As a unit of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, the primary goal of the UWC is to help students develop strategies for meeting their writing challenges. The UWC consultants generally look over projects and provide suggestions to help identify patterns of error in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

“Our philosophy is we don’t work on individual writing papers or individual assignments,” said Earnest Cox, director of the UWC. “We instead try to help students become more efficient, more effective writers.”


UA Little Rock Online students of any discipline can now receive assistance through the UWC’s Online Writing Lab (OWL).

Dr. Earnest Cox, director of the UWC. Chris Bailey eLearning 

“What students will do is fill out a google form that would include submitting the paper being reviewed,” Cox said. “Students can expect feedback within 3 days of submitting their paper.”

Cox said students also have the option of scheduling an online video conference with consultants to receive feedback on their writing. To schedule an appointment with a consultant, students must call 501-569-8343

In addition to submitting papers online, students can also access writing-related resources that assist with thesis development, citation styles, as well as resume building.

“We really just try to have a resource so that if you have any problems with your writing in class or if you’re working on something like a resume, we have some materials that can help you with that,” Cox said.

For more information about the UWC call 501-569-8343 or email at

Master of Education in Reading

Degree Spotlight: Master of Education in Reading

Master of Education in Reading

Dr. Kent Layton provides an overview of the Master of Education in Reading for more information call 501-569-3267

In today’s classroom setting, a teacher dealing with language barriers, developmental barriers, and mental health barriers involving students, may find themselves wondering how to address the fundamental skill of reading.

The UA Little Rock Master of Education in Reading is an accelerated 30-hour online degree program that offers beginning and veteran teachers the opportunity to obtain knowledge in the field of literacy.

Kent Layton, associate professor of reading, explained that “This degree is designed to take teachers to the next level with regard to their knowledge about reading and literacy.”

The M.Ed. in reading coursework focuses on preparing teachers as a reading specialist, effective literacy educator, or intervention specialist.

“Embedded within the graduate program, if students would like, they are able to also pick up their Dyslexia Graduate Certificate,” Layton said. “The M.Ed. in Reading can also lead to licensure as a k12 reading specialist if a student passes their practice reading specialist test.”

Students can choose from one of two-degree plans that lead to the M.Ed. in Reading; the reading specialist licensure and the reading generalist. According to Layton, students who take the reading generalist route “don’t have to take the courses necessary for the reading specialist.”

Layton further explained while licensing as a teacher is not a requirement for entry into the program, it is important to have access to schools and children.

“In our program, you do have to work with children. And at times you have to work in the schools in order to complete the assignments we have for our program,” Layton said.

The M.Ed. in Reading program meets CAEP, NCATE, and Arkansas Department of Education standards and is nationally recognized and accredited by the International Literacy Association (ILA).

For more information on the M.Ed. in Reading program go to


Mathematics Assistance Center (MAC)

At your Fingertips: Mathematics Assistance Center

Mathematics Assistance Center MAC

No Description

If you are a student preparing for a math test or need tutoring to improve an overall grade, the UA Little Rock Mathematics Assistance Center (MAC) may be able to help. Located in rooms 409 and 478 of the Engineering Technology Applied Sciences (ETAS) building, the MAC is a place for students to study, do homework, or receive help from one of the tutors on staff.

In the past, the MAC has primarily offered students face-to-face assistance. However, after a trial run during the fall 2019 semester, the MAC now offers online assistance to students as well.

“We just started that this semester,” said Denise LeGrand, MAC Coordinator. “If students go to Blackboard and search for the ‘math assistance’ organization, they can go in there and we [assist] through Collaborate.”

Student working in MAC/ UA Little Rock Online Christopher Bailey

While an appointment is not necessary for on-campus assistance, LeGrand suggests online students make an appointment to give tutors a “heads-up” on the problem they are needing help with.

Tutoring is available for all online college math courses, according to LeGrand. The appointment form and hours of availability can be found on the MAC website.

Students who may have a difficult time explaining a particular math problem online can simply take photos or screenshot the problem and upload it along with the appointment form, according to LeGrand.

Another resource offered by the MAC is a website that allows students to take practice exams, download study guides, or work on a specific skill.

“We have a website we use called Edready which lets students review college math courses and take practice tests, and that’s all free for students,” LeGrand said.

For more information on the UA Little Rock MAC go to  or call 501-371-7667.

Degree Spotlight: B.S. in Health Education And Promotion

Online health program prepares graduates for community advocacy

B.S. In Health Education and Promotion

Dr. Bennie Prince shares some information on the B.S. In Health Education and Promotion program.

The UA Little Rock Bachelor of Science in health education and promotion prepares students as health professionals in community health agencies, as well as business and industry wellness programs. The health education and promotion degree is available as a fully online program offered through the School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation (CHPR).

Dr. Bennie Prince, program coordinator, explained an 18-hour minor program of study is required as part of the 120-hour online degree.

“Currently, the School of Counseling, Human Performance and Rehabilitation offers two fully online undergraduate minors,” Prince said. “We offer health science and sport management.”

According to Prince, the health science minor is designed for students interested in health education and the sport management minor is designed for students who are interested in sports facility management, sports industry, and sports marketing.

Cultural Competence

Dr. Bennie Prince. Courtesy of UALR Online/ Chris Bailey

One course Prince highlights within the program is Cultural Competence in Health Education. The course is designed to increase a student’s understanding and knowledge about individuals and groups of people as it relates to policies, practices, and attitudes. Prince said the course focuses on culturally appropriate communication, health literacy, minority health disparities and effective strategies in planning, implementing, and evaluating culturally appropriate health education programs.

“The overall objective was to design a course that includes cross-cultural differences,” Prince said.

As American classrooms become increasingly diverse, cultural competence is a key factor in enabling educators to be effective with students from cultures other than their own, according to Prince.

“Cultural Competence is a course that many of the other departments have now started referring their students take,” Prince said. 

Career Opportunities

Students who complete the program will have the necessary tools for career success and advancement in a growing healthcare industry, according to Prince.

“Many of the positions in the healthcare industry require knowledge of wellness programs, smoking cessation, and stress management techniques,” Prince said.

Coupled with a minor in sports management or health and exercise science, Prince explained how students can obtain a practical, well-rounded education through her program.

“Students can use the health education side so they’re advocating for health,” Prince said. “Then they’ve got the background in health and exercise science for a career in sports facility management, sports industry, and sports marketing.” 

According to Prince, changes in healthcare insurance have been instrumental in the growth of health education.

“With all of the highlight being on improving your health and advocating health programs, it has put a focus on our B.S. in health education and promotion program,” Prince said.

While the health and promotion degree ensures students will be prepared as health professionals, the goal is for students to view themselves as more than just health care professionals.

“We’re community advocates,” Prince said. “And we want our students in our classes to know they share a common bond in supporting health advocacy in the community.

The online degree program is also designed to assist the entry-level health educator in taking the National Health Education Credentialing examination.

For more information please call 501-683-7201.

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

At Your Fingertips: Disability Resource Center

Disability Resource Center

UA Little Rock’s Disability Resource works to ensure accessibility to all students.

The UA Little Rock Disability Resource Center (DRC) collaborates with faculty and staff to ensure that physical, curricular, and web environments are accessible to as many students as possible.

“Say you have somebody who is blind or low visioned. If they can’t see the text, then it’s not accessible,” said Reed Claiborne, Director of the UA Little Rock DRC. “We try to focus on what the barriers are, versus what a student’s diagnoses are.”

Reed Claiborne DRC Director/ Photo Chris Bailey

Having been with the department for 12 years, Claiborne explains the focus of the department has shifted to reframing disability. Reframing in this context involves shifting the focus toward the design of the environment and the removal of barriers that prevent accessibility, according to Claiborne.

“By and large, the people that come to this office look like you and me; they just have hidden disabilities,” Claiborne said. “Whether a student is blind, low visioned, or temporarily having issues with vision, our job is to ensure the document is formatted properly for everyone with vision problems.”

Universal Design

In the DRC, the idea of reframing disability begins with the faculty.

“If an instructor has made sure materials are in an accessible format online, everyone will have access to the document regardless of their disability,” Claiborne said.

Many of the services offered in the DRC pertain to not only students but faculty members as well. The DRC will assist faculty members with captioning videos, braille materials, and converting books to audio or digital format.

All of the services and accommodations provided by the UA Little Rock DRC fall under the concept of “universal design.” Claiborne explains universal design as making sure preparation of curriculum, materials, and environments are accessible by not just a few, but all that need it. For example, automatic door openers benefit individuals using walkers and wheelchairs, as well as people carrying groceries or babies.

DRC Looking Ahead

As UA Little Rock’s enrollment of people with disabilities increases, the DRC is dedicated to furthering the resources currently being offered.

“Some of the things we’ve started to do is broaden the assistive technology that is out there,” Claiborne said. “We are testing an audio note-taking program that may help people who struggle with taking notes or reading notes from a notetaker.”

The audio notetaking program has been in use for 3 semesters and has been beneficial for a lot of students, according to Claiborne.

For more information regarding the DRC or accommodations needed, please contact

501-569-3143 or email

Master of Social Work ranked among best, most affordable programs

The University of Arkansas Little Rock’s online Master of Social Work (MSW) program has been recognized among the best and most affordable of 2019.

Courtesy of
Courtesy of ranked UA Little Rock No. 25 on its list of the Best Online Master’s in Social Work Degrees. The website, a product of SR Education Group, also ranked UA Little Rock No. 6 on its lists of Most Affordable Online Master’s in Social Work.

The website considers only CSWE Accredited programs in its rankings. “Best” programs are ranked by the reported salaries of the program’s alumni. For the “most affordable” designation, the website lists universities that offer an online master’s degree in social work and ranks them according to their tuition rates.

The mission of UA Little Rock’s School of Social Work graduate program is to prepare graduates for leadership roles in clinical practice and management and community practice within the welfare system. This nationally accredited program can be completed in two to three years, which includes the completion of both course work and field internships.

UA Little Rock online health program ranked among nation’s best

Courtesy of Online Schools Report

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s online public health program has been ranked among the best in the nation for 2019.

According to Online Schools Report, UA Little Rock ranked No. 8 on its list of the Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Health. To determine the best public health programs, Online Schools Report checks data such as median debt of graduates from the program, student satisfaction, how many degrees are offered within that program’s department, and the percentage of students that graduated from that department.

The Bachelor of Science in health education and promotion is designed to prepare students as health professionals in community health agencies, health maintenance organizations, as well as business and industry wellness programs. The 120-hour online degree program is also designed to assist the entry-level health educator in taking the National Health Education Credentialing examination.

Applied Communication

Degree Spotlight: Applied Communication

Degree Spotlight Applied Communication

Dr. Gerald Driskill provides an overview of the applied communications program.

The BA in applied communication is a versatile program that focuses on professional writing, organizational communication, and developing and analyzing messages. For Dr. Gerald Driskill, a professor in the Department of Applied Communication, it’s all about creating a better social world through learning positive communication.

“Fostering better social worlds through positive communication is a mission we carry across our programs,” Driskill said. “From every classroom to every syllabus, it’s all about creating better worlds.”

Dr. Gerald Driskill, Program Coordinator/ Photo Christopher Bailey


The concept of co-creation is central to the applied communication program. Driskill explained that co-creation is more than teaching content knowledge or preparing students for exams; co-creation is a collaboration of students and instructors.

“When we say co-creation, we’re asking students what forms of communication will make your organization better or your family better,” Driskill said.

Driskill makes it clear: co-creation is not solving problems or fixing problems; co-creation is about listening and understanding what the problems are, and then identifying ways to move forward with communication.


A key aspect of co-creation is mentoring and building a relationship with the student.

“One of the practices we take into our online program is we make sure students have individual contact the first week or two with their instructor. It is a requirement,” Driskill said.

Nigel Spears, Communication Skill Center assistant director and former student of Driskill, credits the applied communication department for much of his academic success.

“It wasn’t until I met this department that I began to understand that what I learned in the classroom can apply to my everyday life,” Spears said.

Driskill further noted, mentoring is not offered directly to students, but the mentoring that develops with a student comes with being an instructor in that department.

“It’s mentoring, but it runs deeper than that,” Driskill said. “It’s how we want our classes set up, how we want our relationships set up, so those wanting help can get it.”

Students that need extra help can reach out to the Communication Skill Center — an on-campus resource designed to help students overcome difficulties associated with public speaking. Online students who are having trouble may receive help through video chats via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. To receive help students must book an appointment first.

Courses Offered

The applied communication program has courses that are geared for today’s job market, such as ACOM 3316 Interviewing. This course develops the student’s ability to effectively prepare for and participate in a variety of interview situations. Another course, ACOM 3330 Professional Communication, focuses on building positive relationships in organizations.

Students can complete the applied communication degree online or on campus. Courses are available in 16-week and 7-week (accelerated) formats.

For more information call 501-569-3158

Communication Skill Center (CSC)

At Your Fingertips: Communication Skill Center

Communication Skill Center Communications Skills Center

Spotlighting the UALR Communication Skills Center

 If you struggle with communicating clearly and effectively, the Communication Skill Center (CSC) may be just what you need. The CSC is a free student resource aimed at helping students through the speech creation process.

“We understand that a lot of people struggle with public speaking and anxiety,” said Nigel Spears, CSC assistant director. “We just want to help people manage their anxiety and stress when it comes to communication.”

Spears goes on to say the CSC can also help students with outlining, PowerPoint, conducting research, and brainstorming topics.

CSC Assistant Director Nigel Spears/ Photo by Chris Bailey

Online Students

The CSC is not just a resource for on-campus students. Their services also extend to online students. “Everything the CSC offers face to face, we can also do online,” Spears said. Online services are provided through video chats via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Video chats are booked by appointment only. Students can request help or schedule a video chat by emailing the CSC at

Looking Toward the Future

According to Spears, the CSC is looking at various ways to improve the services provided to online students. “For a lot of online students, it is hard for them to grasp information when they can’t ask a question right away and get a response,” he said. “We are currently looking at ways to improve on that delay time.”

For more information on the Communication Skill Center, call 501-569-3158. You can also reach the center by email at

Staying organized is key to online success

Tips for online success

Dr. Timothy Edwards gives his tips for online student success.

There are a lot of benefits to an online education, but according to at least one professor, students need to have good organizational skills to be successful in an online environment. Dr. Timothy Edwards, interim director of the School of Mass Communication, shared some tips on how students can stay organized in their online courses. 

Edwards explains being organized is more than just keeping up with your assignments. 

“The most important thing is keeping up with the schedule,” Edwards said. This can be a major issue for online students if they’re not careful, according to Edwards. Edwards explained it is important that online students “keep up with the schedule in your syllabus.” 

While it is important to keep up with scheduling, Edwards said it is also important for students to know what is expected of them. 

“You must know the expectations of the professor,” Edwards said. “If the professor says check in every week at a certain time, you make sure you check in every week at a certain time.”

Edwards added that if you are an online student who’s struggling with adjusting to classes online or you are feeling alone in your struggles, a simple email could be the answer to your problem.

“If you are having issues, you must communicate with your professor regularly to stay ahead,” said Edwards. “That’s what your instructors are there for; use them.” 

UA Little Rock currently offers more than 400 courses online. For more information on fully online degree programs call 501-569-3003.