Community College Month Featured Student: Clara Keener

Posted Date - 4/30/24

“UACCB: a debt free alternative and figure out what to do for student Clara Keener”

April is Community College Month, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville is dedicated to preparing students for success in a variety of fields. UACCB is an affordable, valuable destination for those looking to continue their education close to home, and this month is set aside to highlight the opportunities for all.

Before graduating from high school in 2022, Clara Keener had hoped to attend college on a soccer scholarship, but when she saw how much money she would still have to come up with to cover expenses, her plans changed.

With three siblings, Keener said she did not want to put her family into debt, so she looked at a more affordable alternative, especially since she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study. That’s when she decided to come to UACCB.

“I wanted a firmer idea of what I wanted to do, because I’ve changed my degree a few times,” she said.

She went to work at a local bank and decided to seek a business degree with a focus in human resources.

“This school really gave me the opportunity to figure out what I wanted to do, while not putting myself or my parents into debt while trying to figure that out,” Keener said.

“I didn’t have the highest GPA or the highest ACT score, so coming here and being able to bring my grades up higher than I even had in high school really helped me out and provided me with scholarships, and now I’m going to A-State in the fall.”

A misconception she had before coming to UACCB is that she wouldn’t have the opportunity to be involved in campus clubs or other activities.

“But now I’m in the Digital Yearbook, and I write articles for our online newsletter. I take pictures at events and get to attend all these events we put on. There’s a lot of honor societies and clubs that will help you get scholarships,” she said.

She said the faculty are able to give students a lot of one-on-one help and guidance, even with those in her online classes.

While at college, she was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, and she’s learned strategies to focus and tackle assignments.

For Keener, what could have been a stressful college experience instead has been made enjoyable, and she credits the academic support services for preparing for success down the road.

“All the teachers are very accommodating with it,” she said. “In high school I would wait till the last minute to get my work done and hope for the best, but now that understanding that you can work on it throughout the week, it helps me get my homework done more efficiently and better.”

Story by Andrea Bruner

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