Many of Arkansas's best public and private schools are located in Pulaski County, as the accomplishments of its students show.
Thirteen Little Rock School District students, three Pulaski County Special School District students, and 21 students from seven private schools were recently named Semifinalists in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program. Central High School produced the highest number, with 12 winners.
Higher education degrees in liberal arts, technology, medicine and business are also available in Pulaski County.
The University of Arkansas system has four campuses in Little Rock for undergraduate and graduate education. Pulaski Technical College now has seven in the area. There are two historically black private colleges and a number of career colleges. With some homework, students can find the right one.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock: Now in its 43rd year as a four-year public university, UALR has more than 13,000-plus full- and part-time students.
Long a magnet for "non-traditional" students, this liberal arts school offers the only comprehensive information science and systems engineering degree in Arkansas and one of only 15 master's degrees programs nationwide in orientation and mobility, teaching the vision-impaired how to get around independently. With the opening of the new Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT) Building, UALR students and professors will have a new, world-class facility to help them excel in both. UALR is also expanding its on-campus housing for students.
UALR's Bowen School of Law: The school, which has an enrollment of 440 students, has a 15 to 1 ratio of students to professors, one of the lowest of any law school. In addition to traditional law classes, students must take two "lawyering classes" in their second year.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences: The state's medical school trains nurses, physicians, paramedics, pharmacists and other health professionals in its five colleges and graduate programs. On campus are the Jones Eye Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Psychiatric Research Institute, Reynolds Institute on Aging, Stephens Spine Institute and the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.
The Clinton School of Public Service: The UA offers the only master's degree in public service in the nation at the Clinton School, on the grounds of the Clinton Library. Its impressive speaker series of nationally and internationally prominent lecturers brings the public to campus on an almost daily basis. The school has grown from 16 inaugural students in 2005 to 76 Master of Public Service degree candidates in the 2011-12 academic year.
Pulaski Technical College: The state's largest and fastest-growing two-year institution counts more than 10,000 students on its roster. The school offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs at its main campus in North Little Rock and at satellite locations in Pulaski and Saline counties. The school also provides specialized training for area business and industry.
Philander Smith College: Philander was founded in 1877 to educate former slaves. Its hugely popular "Bless the Mic" lecture series has brought to Little Rock leading national social and political figures. It is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is the only school in Arkansas that is a member of the United Negro College Fund.
Arkansas Baptist College: Arkansas Baptist, which is affiliated with the Arkansas Baptist Consolidated Convention, offers both bachelor's and associate's degrees. It launched the Literacy Writing Initiative in 2007 and added a football program in 2007 that drew several hundred new students. In 2012 it plans to open the Scott Ford Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development.
Private technical/career colleges include ITT Technical Institute, Remington College and the Eastern College of Health Vocations.