Special Populations



Arkansas College and Career Coaches

The College and Career Coach Component is designed to motivate and support Arkansas students and adults achieve their goals as it relates to college and career planning through intensive hands-on, programs and services. College and Career Coaches work with students in the 7th – 12th grade. In the middle and high schools, Career Coaches work in partnership with the Career Orientation Instructors and School Counselors to assist with the development and revision college and career plans for their students. The Arkansas Career Coach program provides assistance and information for resources in the areas of: academic tutoring, career counseling, college preparation and admission, financial aid guidance, mentoring, and other supports necessary for post-secondary education/training access, retention, and success.

ACT Academies 

The purpose of the ACT Academy is Reduce Remediation and Increase ACT Scores. The program is designed to assist students who score below a 19 in English, Reading and Math. Participants are provided workshops and ACT remediation/preparation instruction to generate the skills and motivation necessary to succeed in ACT testing, secondary education, and beyond. The ACT Academy is instructed by certified teachers or College developmental faculty, who has been by Sylvan Learning method. Instruction based on the Sylvan Learning model covers the subject areas of English, Reading, Math, and/or Science. Student’s current level of skills in the subject areas are assessed through evaluation of results from prior standardized test s (ACT or ACT Aspire). College and Career Coaches are responsible for assisting instructors in their ACT courses. In addition, workshops conducted by College and Career Coaches consist of events and activities addressing College and Career Planning.

Career Cluster Camps

Career Cluster Camps are one-day career exploration opportunities for middle and high school students. Students learn about the wide variety of careers that are available to them through hands-on activities and discussion. Students hear from a variety of professionals who share information about preparation and working in their chosen career fields. 

Arkansas College Application Campaign (ACAC) 

As part of a nationwide initiative launched by the American Council on Education (ACE), Arkansas College Application Campaign (ACAC) seeks to increase the number of students pursuing postsecondary and career opportunities. With an emphasis on first-generation college students, low-income students, students from rural communities, and minority students, seniors at participating high schools receive assistance as they complete college and financial aid applications. Students may apply to any in-state or out-of-state institutions of their choice. Other components of ACAC include pre-launch events prior to the start of ACAC month, and celebratory events that commemorate student accomplishments. 

  • ACAC Month
    • During Arkansas College Application Month, schools dedicate the month of October for the implementation of events that encourage and support graduating high school seniors as they apply for college and financial aid.  Special focus is placed on assisting students who would be the first in their families to attend college and students who may not have otherwise considered applying to college.  Arkansas College Application Campaign Month is hosted through registered host site schools throughout the state.

To register to be a 2021 Host Site for Arkansas College Application Campaign, click here

  • #WhyApply Day celebrates the college application season by sharing supportive and motivating messages on social media about the importance of applying to college. On Friday, September 17, we're asking you to leverage your personal and school’s social media accounts to answer the question: “Why apply to college?” using the hashtag #WhyApply
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Frenzy
    • One of the primary goals of Arkansas College Application Campaign Month is that by the end of October, every graduating senior will have applied to college and filed the FAFSA.  Support is provided for high school students to not only submit a FAFSA application but also apply for other scholarships and grants that provide free money to students.

For more information on additional financial aid opportunities, click here

  • College Signing Day
    • For high school students, making a commitment to pursue post-secondary education is a huge step on their educational trajectory. College Signing Day, annually marked on May 1st, celebrates high school seniors who have made a decision to pursue a post-secondary education upon graduating high school.

Grant Opportunities

Information coming soon.

Scholarship Opportunities

Jobs for Arkansas Graduates (JAG)

Jobs for Arkansas Graduates (JAG) provides support to at-risk youth to encourage them to achieve high school graduation. Along with academic support, JAG also provides work-based learning experiences that will lead them to further education and training and rewarding careers. Arkansas’s JAG program is the state affiliate of the national organization Jobs for America’s Graduates.

JAG Funding Opportunities

  • TANF - TANF provides funding and technical support for Jobs for Arkansas Graduates (JAG) Programs here in Arkansas, by providing a financial grant from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. The JAG Program will address the following Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) purposes: 1) provide assistance to needy families; 2) end dependency on public assistance by promoting job preparation; and 3) reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies that often result in poor social and economic outcomes such as poor educational achievement, increased poverty, and dependency on public assistance. The eligible population includes those between ages 14-22 who are at risk of failing or dropping out of school or the workforce due to a minimum of designated barriers outlined in the JAG model.
  • AT&T - AT&T and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) have established a partnership that leverages resources to help sustain the JAG Model program. Eligible applications must demonstrate that an AT&T Sustaining Grant will prevent the closure of a JAG program. If your JAG Affiliate organization is interested in applying, please provide answers to the below questions to ensure accountability to the grant and support reporting requirements on the measurable impact of AT&T’s investment, including how this grant would support the continuation of a JAG program in need of emergency support.
  • Entergy - Entergy and Jobs for America’s Graduates have an established partnership that leverages financial and in-kind resources to support the personal and professional development of JAG students in Entergy communities. This partnership directly aligns with JAG’s enhanced Employer Engagement strategy or, the JAG Advantage. The JAG Advantage implements a three-tiered approach to facilitating interactions with corporate leaders and staff to introduce, educate and actively engage JAG students in career exploration and work-based learning activities. These partnerships allow interested students to pursue future employment opportunities. When students secure employment, we celebrate their success in partnership with our employers.
  • Walton Foundation - The Walton Family Foundation (WFF) and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) have established a new partnership to work with JAG and its Affiliates to respond to the overwhelming community needs resulting from the crises and anticipated emergencies in early 2021 through JAG and its Affiliates. As a part of this work, WFF is funding JAG National and select Affiliates to support JAG programming, personal, and participants in Arkansas (Delta Region and Northwest Arkansas), the Mississippi Delta Region, Indianapolis, and New Orleans. With a deep understanding of the vulnerable populations in each of these areas, JAG Affiliates are well-positioned to address the economic, educational, emotional and social challenges youth and youth adults face in these communities, which have been exacerbated over the last several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the national reckoning on social injustice.