Educational Facilities and Preparation for Employment

Within Pine Bluff and its environs there are four public school districts, several public charter schools, a special training center for the mentally and physically challenged, a state community college, on-the-job and pre-employment training programs and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Colleges & Universities

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB)

Fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, UAPB is a part of the University of Arkansas System. With a Fall 2021 enrollment of 2,670, the university offers 31 bachelor degree programs through its four schools and division: Agriculture Fisheries, and Human Sciences; Business and Management; Education; Arts and Sciences; and Division of University College. Extensive additional course offerings are available through the Division of Continuing Education. UAPB offers 12 master's degree programs as well as the world's only undergraduate Regulatory Science Degree program. UAPB also offers a doctoral program in aquaculture and fisheries, and it ranks fifth in research funding among academic institutions in Arkansas.

Southeast Arkansas College (SEARK)

SEARK College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a historically regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation ensures that the programs and personnel of the College all meet standards to provide quality educational offerings.  More information can be found at or by calling (312) 263-0456. Fall 2021 enrollment was 1,073. Its Workforce Development Center was established to develop a qualified entry-level workforce.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock/University of Arkansas at Monticello

Two additional units of the University of Arkansas System are within one hour's driving range of Pine Bluff. UALR, with an enrollment of approximately 15,000, offers the following degrees: AA, AAS, AS, BA, BBA, BBE, BME, BS, BSE, MA, MAP, MBA, MEd, MHSA, MPA, MS, MSW, EdS, JD, PhD and EdD. UAM, particularly noted for excellence in forestry management, offers BA, BS, BSE, BBA and BSF degrees.

Graduate Institue of Technology

Graduate Institute of Technology, located in Little Rock, provides graduate level studies in science and engineering, technical support to industry and engages in advanced scientific research to attract and support high-tech industry to central Arkansas. Two advanced degrees offered: MSE in Engineering and MS/PhD in Instrumental Sciences.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, located in Little Rock, provides quality educational opportunities for students in the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Health Related Professions and the Graduate School. Degrees offered are: AS in EMS, ASBIT, ASDH, ASRT, ASST, BSC, BSN, BSDH, BSMT, BSNMT, BSRT, MD, MNSc, PharmD and PhD. Pine Bluff's award-winning UAMS South Central, established in 1973, is an educational outreach effort of UAMS. In partnership with Jefferson Regional Medical Center, it provides training for allied health service professionals, especially in family practice. Over 365 family medicine physicians have completed their residency here.

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, located at 500 Idaho Street in Pine Bluff, provides quality educational opportunities and services in Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, 4-H Youth Development and Community Development.

Public Schools

Excellence in education is a stated goal for Arkansas and its local communities.

Colleges and universities in Arkansas require only the American College Test (ACT); therefore, it is taken more frequently than the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) required by many out-of-state schools.

Four separate public school districts serve the Pine Bluff area, with a 2019-2020 combined enrollment of 9,066 students:

School District # of Students
Dollarway 941
Pine Bluff 2,921
Watson Chapel 2,233
White Hall 2,971

In their aggregate, the districts provide service through:

Four Senior High Schools, each fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; two Junior High Schools; and 12 Elementary Schools, each having the highest rating granted by the state Department of Education.

The Arkansas Department of Education, in its 2019-2020 School Report Card, provides the following information on the local districts:

School District Expenditures per Pupil Graduation Rate ACT Composite
Dollarway $15,019 74.7 15.04
Pine Bluff $13,330 71.3 15.52
Watson Chapel $10,173 80.1 16.54
White Hall $9,353 92.5 19.50
State of Arkansas $10,117 88.8 19.42

Private Schools

There are several church-affiliated schools in the Pine Bluff area offering exceptional academic programs.

Charter Schools

Friendship Aspire Public Charter opened in Fall 2018 and now has two campuses. Pine Bluff Lighthouse Academy opened in 2011.

Home Schools

Some parents in the Pine Bluff area have opted for an even more nontraditional approach to their children's education. Home-schooled students have traditionally scored higher than public school students on state and college-entry tests.

Vocational & Employment Training

Jefferson Area Technical Vocational Center (JATCC). Approved by the State Workforce Education Board, the center provides programs of study and youth apprenticeship opportunities for 10th through 12th grade Jefferson County students in welding, mobile app development, computer engineering technology, criminal justice, EMT, etc.

Jefferson Regional Medical Center Schools. Radiologic Technology - Co-sponsored by SEARK College, this twenty-four month program offers an RT degree; Nursing - this twenty-eight month program, leading to an Associate of Apllied Science in Nursing degree, includes general education courses at SEARK and UAPB; and Respiratory Care - leading to an Associate of Science Degree and CRT credentials, in a cooperative effort with UAMS South Central.

Special School

Jefferson County Regional Adult Education Center. General education courses are offered for high-school age students and adults with less than a high school education in both day and evening classes. Graduates are awarded Arkansas High School Diplomas (formerly called general equivalency diplomas or GEDs).

Jenkins Memorial Children's Center. Jenkins serves as a diagnostic, educational and treatment center for the mentally and physically challenged. Students at Jenkins range from infant to adult.

Percentage of High School Graduates 25 years and over (2017)
Jefferson County 85.3%
State of Arkansas 85.6%
United States 87.3%
Percentage of College (Associate's and Bachelor's) Graduates (2017)
Jefferson County 16.8%
State of Arkansas 20.8%
United States 27.4%
Percentage with Graduate or Professional Degrees (2017)
Jefferson County 6%
State of Arkansas 7.9%
United States 11.8%


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