Carlisle High School Counselor Andrea Fortner, spoke to the Carlisle Chamber of Commerce about the Arkansas Scholars program, during the group’s Monday luncheon

According to Fortner, the Arkansas Business and Education Alliance offers an incentive program to encourage academic achievement for high school students grades 9-12. The program is a partnership with the local Chamber of Commerce and school districts to motivate students on the importance to do well. To become an Arkansas Scholar, students must obtain four goals over the four year period, including making semester grades of a C or above in all academic courses, achieve a 95 percent or better attendance record, take the Smart Core curriculum to graduate from high school and prepare for post secondary education or technical training and complete high school in eight consecutive semesters. The Smart Core curriculum requirements are:

- English I,II, III, IV

- Three units of science from biology, chemistry, physics, physical science, lab based

- Four units of math including algebra I, geometry, algebra II and an advanced math course

- Three units of social studies including world history, U.S. history, civics/government

- Complete the balance of state mandated high school graduation requirements

Upon achieving these goals, Arkansas Scholars will receive a certificate of achievement and a seal will be placed in each student’s transcript. Because a growing number of employers are asking job applicants for high school transcripts, the Arkansas Scholars seal could improve the student’s chance of employment. Furthermore, five higher education institutions in Arkansas have offer scholarships for Arkansas Scholars graduates.

The program is designed to encourage students to make good grades, take challenging courses and attend school regularly which are attributes that transition over into job field.

“Working together, can only help our students,” Fortner said.

After some discussion, members unanimously voted to move forward with the implementation process of starting the program.

The next Carlisle Chamber of Commerce meeting will be at noon, Monday, June 12 in the Civic Center.