The support of companies working in the natural gas industry allowed the Fayetteville Shale Scholarship Fund for the third year to aid students pursuing careers in the oil and natural gas industry.


Dr. B. Alan Sugg, the University of Arkansas System president, recently hosted members of the scholarship fund as they presented the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM) with a $100,000 contribution to support the school’s petroleum technology program.
Students were present to accept scholarships awarded through the organization’s donation. The scholarships will help students pay for tuition, fees and books.
“In order for an industry to grow, there must be exceptional talent behind it. The UACCM petroleum technology program has helped produce this talent in Arkansas,” said Keith Waddell, president of the Fayetteville Shale Scholarship Fund. “The companies working in the Fayetteville Shale have shown they believe in the industry and these students by supporting our organization.”
The UACCM petroleum technology program is one of a kind in Arkansas, and it is paving the way for students to become a part of the growing natural gas industry. Since the program began in 2006, enrollment has grown from 30 students to about 200. It is among a handful of two-year petroleum technology certification programs nationwide and includes studies in drilling, gathering and field operations and is now the largest applied technology program on the UACCM campus. 
“We are preparing students for promising futures in a number of developing fields associated with the Fayetteville Shale play. Beginning a new program in petroleum technology would not have been a viable financial option for UACCM without the support of the petroleum industry, and Southwestern Energy Company who stepped up with initial seed money to start the program,” said Nathan Crook, UACCM chancellor.
Established in 2006, the Fayetteville Shale Scholarship Fund is a volunteer organization with members representing companies working in the Fayetteville Shale play. The group’s mission is to encourage and enable individuals to pursue educational opportunities that will prepare them for jobs in Arkansas’s oil and gas industry.