Community College Month Featured Student: Shanna Huffine

Posted Date - 4/29/24

“Everyone has their own ‘right time’ to attend college at UACCB”

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.

Shanna Huffine is a self-described nontraditional student, having graduated from Southside in 2012. During her junior and senior years, she took pre-med courses thinking she’d go into the medical field.

“I went to Lyon first, but that didn’t work out, then I came here (to UACCB) and that didn’t work out, so I took a few years off from school,” she said.

Huffine later re-enrolled but the timing still didn’t feel right, so she went back to work. Then in 2020, she came back to try again and this time, she said she was ready.

Her plans this time were to earn a business degree, but when Huffine toured the Workforce Training Center at UACCB, “I fell in love with it,” she said. “My grandpa is a mechanic and I’ve always like working on machinery and knowing how things work.”

Huffine earned an Industrial Technology associate degree, and last fall she enrolled yet again, this time to obtain a pre-engineering degree with plans to eventually transfer to a four-year college and obtain a degree in electrical engineering.

“Joining TRIO was really the first step that kept me in school because then I found people and things to do, events on campus and clubs to join. I was very socially awkward and inept – most of my socialization was playing video games. My journey has brought me to where I’m president of the SGA (Student Government Association) and president of E-sports Club. Everybody knows me; everybody talks to me. I joined Debate Club and that really helped my speaking skills. I have irons in almost every fire on campus at this point,” she said.

Huffine said she would encourage other students to not kept to themselves, but rather be willing to talk to their faculty and fellow students. “People are more willing to make connections than you might think they are.”

Huffine said she found Dr. Zach Perrine, vice chancellor for student affairs, and Dr. Zach Harber, dean of workforce education, were always willing to lend an ear.

One thing she would encourage other students to do is take one step at a time. “I definitely had to learn how to manage the steps I’m taking. Just do the next thing and don’t look too far ahead, but have a vague idea of what you want to do,” she said.

Story by Andrea Bruner

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