Ouachita Baptist University conferred degrees on 360 graduates during its 135th Spring Commencement held Saturday, May 14, on the front lawn of Cone-Bottoms Hall. Graduates received Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science degrees, as well as post-baccalaureate certificates for Dietetic Internship.
The first students to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Ouachita Baptist University were honored Saturday, May 14, during a pinning ceremony in McBeth Recital Hall immediately following the university’s Commencement exercises.
Ouachita Baptist University will hold its 135th Spring Commencement Saturday, May 14, at 9:30 a.m. on the front lawn of Cone-Bottoms Hall. The ceremony honors more than 350 graduates who have earned Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science degrees, as well as those who have earned post-baccalaureate certificates for Dietetic Internship. The nursing graduates, a cohort of 19, are the university’s first-ever B.S.N. degree recipients.
Ouachita Baptist University has approved new undergraduate degree pathways for fall 2022 to better support students seeking to pursue careers that invest in others. Ouachita faculty members approved the curriculum changes in a March 8 meeting; changes included adding a pre-counseling program of study, a Christian foundations co-major and new clinical and human services emphases within the community and family services major.
Dr. Justin K. Hardin has been named Ouachita Baptist University’s vice president for academic affairs, effective in summer 2022. He brings a strong background in teaching, scholarship and administration to his new role as the university’s chief academic officer.
Ouachita has set several enrollment records for the Fall 2021 semester, including the school’s highest total enrollment in 55 years as well as the largest freshman class, best freshman-to-sophomore retention rate and highest four-year graduation rate on record.
Ouachita Baptist University will launch a new Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction in January 2022. The 12-month program, designed to help teachers enhance skills and increase earning potential, prepares educators to become curriculum specialists and instructional coordinators as well as grow their skills in the classroom.
After months of remote learning in the spring of 2020, Ouachita students were able to return to their physically-distanced classrooms and desks on campus in mid-August. One of the individuals who made on-campus learning possible is Dr. Matt Douglass, assistant to the vice president for academic affairs and institutional research analyst.
Even amid the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ouachita's fall 2020 enrollment has grown to 1,704, a 4% increase from fall 2019 and the highest headcount the university has seen since 2000. Newly released data also reflect a strong academic profile for incoming Ouachita freshmen as well as standout retention and graduation rates.