Dr. Jackie Elliott started as President of North Arkansas College on July 1, 2011. Before coming to Northark, she served for five years as the Vice President of Student Affairs at Northwest Missouri State University. Before moving to Missouri, Jackie served in various administrative positions at Barton Community College in Great Bend Kansas, Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska, and Highland Community College in Highland Kansas.
Earning a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, her dissertation topic was “The Effect of Involvement in Co-Curricular Activities on Community College Student Success and Development.”
A native of Hiawatha, Kansas, Jackie has worked in higher education for over 22 years. As a first generation college student herself, Jackie has a strong passion for designing and implementing programs designed to ensure student success. Over the years, she has had the privilege of initiating several programs designed to address student needs such as new child care center, three online degree programs, service learning trips to Calcutta and the Dominican Republic, scholarship program for Hispanics students, and partnerships with CASE IH and Disney.
Jackie also serves as a Peer Corps Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and an Examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Over the years, Jackie has been selected to serve on numerous community and statewide boards including Big Brothers Big Sisters, St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Heartland Foundation, Missouri Council for Student Affairs, First Christian Church, Governor’s Task Force on Crisis Management, and Habitat for Humanity.
Elliott has spent her entire professional career working in higher education with the majority of that time spent serving public community colleges and says, “While I have been fortunate enough to be able to serve public and private four year universities, I have held a strong commitment to the mission and vision of the community college because I believe it represents the purest form of opportunity. At its inception, the community college was founded on the idea that higher and broader education should be placed within reach of those whose destiny assigns them to live and where all have access to educational opportunities. Community colleges represent the American-built prospect for a greater variety of individuals to develop and cultivate their talents and skills more than any other educational institution. The community college is truly the “people’s” opportunity for education and advancement and provides a critical forum for addressing community needs.”
Elliott serves on Harrison’s YMCA Founders Committee and recently agreed to serve on the board as the Arkansas representative for the Council for North Central Two-Year Colleges. She sits on the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges President’s and Chancellor’s Lottery Scholarship Committee, the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee, and the executive committee for the Central Organization for the Revitalization and Enhancement of Harrison (CORE). Jackie is a member of the Harrison Rotary Club and attends First Christian Church.
Since her arrival at Northark, the college became the first Arkansas institution to join the Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN). In August of 2012, Northark was named one of the best colleges in the nation to work for by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Wrapping up her first year as Northark’s President, Dr. Jackie Elliott recently led the charge collaborating with students, faculty, staff, and community members to develop Northark’s 2013-2015 strategic plan. Prior to establishing the strategic goals and objectives for the College, Jackie and the strategic planning council surveyed the College’s faculty and staff to develop the first Vision statement for the institution as well as Northark’s values—Commitment, Learning, Integrity, Accountability, Respect.
Jackie and her husband, Neil, have four sons. Josh is 20 and is a Northark student. Bryan is 17 and is in 11th grade. Noah is 13 and is in 8th grade, and Ben is 11 years old and is in 5th grade. During her spare time, Jackie enjoys watching her sons play basketball and attending sporting events with her family.