Wednesday, January 8, 2014

NWACC Students Accuse Instructors of Academic Bullying

"The world needs to know how NWACC treats it's students." - Student
BENTONVILLE, AR -- A nursing program is being accused of academic neglect.

"The world needs to know how NWACC (Northwest Arkansas Community College) treats it's students," says one student, who wishes to remain anonymous.

"GPA tampering."
"FERPA violations."
"Vicious bullying."
"Singling students out individually, turning the class against them."

Those are a few of the accusations coming from nine current or former NWACC students.

They showed up for our interview but asked we conceal their identities, and all of them are calling for change.

"We have 4.0, die-hard, wonderful, dedicated students who've worked their butts off to get into this program, and it has been nothing what they've been promised it to be," one of the students says.

Tuesday, an anonymous e-mail arrived in Emily Jorgenson's inbox -- NWACC's president -- saying certain instructors are sabotaging students efforts to learn.

"If they have a concern they've got to follow the appeal process or we don't have a way to investigate because we don't know who they are," says Steven Hinds, Executive Director of Public Relations at the college.

Hinds says there is a grievance process in place, but none have been filed.

The anonymous nine say differently.

"Our first semester we did go through the grievance process," one of the students says.

"...and we were assured that something would be done and nothing was done."

Another student gives her take:

"Basically, it's trickery. It makes the students have to do hundreds of more hours of work defending themselves, rather than focusing on the program."

Hinds disagrees:

"I can certainly dispute that we have an extremely reputable nursing program."

He says the 20-year program's pass rate is 97 percent, above the state national average.

--Also disputed.

"That's what they want you to think. That's fabricated," the students say.

Now either side seems to be awaiting action.

"I would like an investigation personally," one student says.

Hinds adds: "We don't have any way to investigate because we don't know who these people are that are even sending this anonymous email."


  1. Excellent reporting! Thank you for bringing attention to this situation. It is long over due. I have lived in this area for a very long time and know that this has been happening at NWACC for years. I've heard stories that date as far back as the early 1990s. NWACC PR people will always deny it. Also, it is most disheartening when NWACC claims that they are "number two in the nation for..." or "graduate 97%...". These claims are false and someone needs to look into where they get their statistics from because I can assure you that you will find otherwise if you do your homework.

  2. Yes, indeed, there definitely needs to be an investigation launched from the outside in, not from the inside out. I believe the U.S. Department of Education should be the ones to launch this investigation along with the Higher Learning Commission who accredits NWACC as an institution, not the individualized programs. If there is someone who can make this happen, please do. Our NWACC students need to be heard and they need their tremendous burdens resolved as quickly as possible.