The institution was founded in 1909 by the Arkansas Legislature as a regional agricultural training school. The training school became the ‘First District Agricultural and Mechanical College’ in 1925 and in 1933, was converted to Arkansas State College. Later, in 1967, Arkansas State University received the status as a university. Today, it serves as a prominent educational institution in the area.
The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, as well as 18 specialized accrediting organizations. It also has membership with several national organizations.
ASU offers a wide range of specialist, master, bachelor and associate degree programs through its colleges, which include Agriculture, Business, Communications, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Nursing and Health Professions, Sciences and Mathematics, Military Science, Graduate School, University College, and Honors College. Off-campus credit programs and courses, independent study credit courses, workshop on campus, non-credit courses, personal enrichment courses, and public services are available at the Center for Regional Programs.
Besides Jonesboro, ASU has campus locations in Beebe, Mountain Home, Newport, Marked Tree, Heber Springs, and Searcy. Associate degree programs are available at Beebe, Mountain Home, and Newport campuses. Arkansas State University Technical Center (ASUTC) of Marked Tree campus provides 14 certificate programs and four Associate in Applied Science degrees. Heber Springs operates as a sister campus of ASU-Beebe and Searcy and is a technical campus for Beebe. Also, the university operates an instructional site at nearby Paragould, in Greene County.
The prominent facilities of the university include Fowler Center, ASU Museum, Convocation Center, Dean B. Ellis Library, Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, and Delta Studies Center. Fowler Center is a grand facility known throughout the South as a hub for civic, arts and community functions. Bradbury Gallery, a 5,000 square foot art gallery, and a drama theater are housed in the Fowler. The Convocation Center hosts events ranging from small lectures to large concerts and sporting events.