Lyon College was named the “most desired college” in Arkansas of the last decade and ranked 14th overall in the nation.
LendEDU is a website that helps consumers compare financial products, including student loans, credit cards and banking products. Its study tracked four-year colleges’ total number of applicants and admissions yield from the 2008-09 and 2018-19 academic years. Colleges had to have a minimum of 500 applicants a year to be considered.
The study relied on data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
According to the website, Lyon College saw a 105% increase in applicants and a 5.61% percent increase in admissions yield.
Director of Institutional Research Andrew English said the increase, based on the NCES data, “is particularly impressive because the total number of Arkansas public high school graduates has only increased by approximately 10 percent.”
“This means Lyon has significantly outpaced the population.”
Executive Vice President Matt Crisman attributed the increase to the College’s efforts to grow its brand across the region and affinity strategies that appeal to prospective students and families.
“This also speaks volumes to the great relationships our award-winning faculty and engaged Student Life Department foster with current students and graduates,” he said. “Those relationships are creating a buzz.”
Lyon was the only Arkansas college to break into the top 100. It ranked above Stanford University and New York University, among others. You can view the list here
Military Friendly named Lyon College as one of the nation's top Military Friendly® Schools.
According to Military Friendly, Lyon "codifies [its] commitment to military service-members and veterans through granting academic credit for learning acquired in the military in accordance with the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Additionally, Lyon offers an Army ROTC program to provide students entering the military with a solid grounding in the liberal arts."
Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by VIQTORY with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.
About Military Friendly® Schools: The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions.
This semester, two area schools will be offering their stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback about the climate on their campuses.
Lyon College Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Kim Crosby is partnering with the Cedar Ridge and Southside school districts to conduct a School Climate Survey this spring. Cedar Ridge will be conducting surveys from Monday, Feb. 10, through Thursday, Feb. 13, and Southside’s surveys will be available from Monday, March 9, through Friday, March 20.
The School Climate Surveys measure school climate across three domains: engagement, safety and environment.
Crosby will be using a platform developed by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and the American Institutes for Research. She will survey students in grades 5-12, parents, instructional staff, and non-instructional staff to understand and support the school community’s commitment to a safe and healthy school environment.
The surveys do not collect any personally identifiable information, and the system generates random usernames that protect the anonymity of participants.
When researching school climate two years ago, Crosby was unable to find any statewide initiatives in Arkansas. She hopes to fill that need.
“I’m hoping to start with these two schools in this round of data collection and add others in later rounds,” she said. “Ultimately, I would like to build a good database of Arkansas schools.”
The engagement portion of the survey looks for strong relationships between students, teachers, families and schools and strong connections between schools and the community. The safety portion looks at schools and school-related activities to determine how safe students are from violence, bullying, harassment and substance abuse. The environment portion looks for appropriate facilities, well-managed classrooms, available school-based health supports and a clear, fair disciplinary policy.
Crosby said her mission is not to uncover negative information about schools.
“I’m not interested in putting out information that will be harmful to a school. I just want to get a broader look at school climate in Arkansas and provide data to participating schools that I hope will be helpful to them.”
The online survey will allow Crosby to manage the data and provide reports to superintendents at the partnering schools.
“They can use that information to see if there are issues and start working toward school improvement in those areas.”
Director of Curriculum/Federal Programs Novella Humphrey said the Southside School District values its partnership with Lyon.
“Together, we know this data can provide insights into the best ways to improve education for all students and families. We are eager to work together to make education better.”
“We are excited to partner with Lyon College and hope to gain knowledge from the survey that will continue to help Cedar Ridge improve,” said Dr. Andy Ashley, superintendent of Cedar Ridge Schools.
Once a database is formed, Crosby will be able to compare different school types and different demographics.
“It is a great opportunity for school patrons to give feedback and have a real impact on the climate in their schools,” Crosby said.
For more information, contact Crosby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 870-307-7275. Cedar Ridge patrons may also contact Brianna Goodman at email@example.com or 870-201-2577. Southside patrons may contact Novella Humphrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 870-251-2341.
Talk Business & Politics featured Lyon College President Dr. W. Joseph King on the cover of its February magazine. In the article, King shares his journey from technology company, Zama Networks, to his career in higher education. He also discusses his plans for the College.
Read the full article here.
When students have the freedom to be their authentic selves, they can accomplish so much more.
Junior Timothy Tignor has learned that firsthand at Lyon College.
Tignor, of Cave City, first visited Lyon as a high school freshman in the APPLE Project, which prepares students to succeed in college. He started to come out of his shell thanks to how welcoming the staff and his classmates were.
“I came out to my APPLE group as a member of the LGBT community in ninth grade,” he said. “They really made me feel comfortable.”
He found the same was true when he enrolled as a Lyon student.
“It was an amazing place. I did not feel like anybody was going to discriminate against me or make me feel like less of a person.”
The first day of classes this August, he wore a skirt, a wig, makeup and platform sandals.
“I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. One of my professors said I looked beautiful.”
Tignor continued, “I’ve been authentically myself since the day I came here.”
After being the only openly LGBT student in his high school class, he wanted to take advantage of this new atmosphere to get more involved.
“I was motivated to make myself known on campus.”
Tignor began taking on leadership roles. He is now the president of the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, the vice president of Spectra Alliance, co-president of the Spanish Club, a resident assistant (RA), a member of the Honor Council, and an employee at the Scot Shop.
He first got involved with Spectra Alliance, a student organization focused on serving the needs of Lyon’s LGBTQ+ community and its allies. He went to Pride in Little Rock with Spectra his freshman year. It was his first time going to a Pride celebration.
“I got to see a drag queen for the first time and almost cried,” he said, laughing. “One thing I enjoy very much is drag in general.”
Since the club did not have a vice president, he took on the role this year. He wanted to support the work Spectra does because it shows LGBT students that their classmates and faculty care about them.
The club tries to involve the campus with LGBT events and activities, such as Transgender Day of Remembrance last semester.
“We held a vigil and put lanterns in Bryan Lake as the club president read off all the names of the trans men and women who had been murdered.”
He continued, “While the need for that day isn’t wonderful, it is wonderful to be able to honor them that way on campus.”
Spectra isn’t the only organization where Tignor has found a sense of community and solidarity.
He was introduced to TKE and “felt very at home” when hanging out with the fraternity brothers. He was initiated as a brother in the spring semester and took on an officer position as secretary.
“There are several LGBT members in TKE!" he said. “I never feel out of place there, which is something I was really worried about at first.”
However, Tignor never thought he would be president of the fraternity.
“It seemed like too much work, and I wasn’t sure I wanted it.”
As president, he is responsible for maintaining a good relationship with the administration and student life, making sure fraternity officers are fulfilling their duties and helping his vice president with recruitment of new brothers.
“Luckily, I already had connections with student life through being an RA,” Tignor said. “I really love personal skills and being so involved in different departments made it easier to be president.”
Being involved also comes with unique challenges, such as balancing coursework with leadership roles.
“Having my brothers to rely on has helped me a lot. That’s why I like Greek life in general. You have such a support system.”
Tignor feels he has improved his leadership skills through his campus involvement. He is learning how to delegate and to accept that he cannot always please everyone.
“I don’t like people being upset with me. The TKE role specifically has helped me realize I can do that and people won’t hate me because they know I have a job to do.”
Through his experiences at Lyon, Tignor has decided he wants to dedicate his life to service.
“My political science courses have helped me realize what a good leader should be versus what they shouldn’t,” he said. “And my anthropology courses have shown me that people are going to be different wherever you are in the world.”
He plans to do AmeriCorps for a few years and then work for a nonprofit organization.
“I would love to be the director of a nonprofit some day.”
Tignor said he will appreciate Lyon and TKE the rest of his life.
“Everyone here has been so warm and made me feel comfortable in my own skin,” he said. “I want to help others feel the same way as a leader.”
Lyon is more than just a college. It's a community distinguished by its academic curriculum, unique honor and social systems, and award-winning professors.