When ASU-Searcy opened its doors in 1966, it was known as Foothills Vocational Technical School. Foothills consisted of 17 employees and seven programs, and was primarily an educational opportunity for persons who could not or did not want to attend college. In 1991, the name changed to Foothills Technical Institute.
On July 1, 2003, Foothills Technical Institute merged with Arkansas State University-Beebe and became Arkansas State University-Searcy, a technical campus of Arkansas State University-Beebe.
The emphasis on the Searcy campus is technical and occupational programs along with workforce and economic development. Most programs at ASU-Searcy lead to a Certificate of Proficiency or a Technical Certificate within the discipline, however, all technical certificates can lead to an associate's degree for those wishing to pursue that level of education.
ASU-Searcy includes various non-credit continuing education classes and classes offered by the ASU-Searcy Adult Education Center with campuses in Beebe, Heber Springs, and Searcy. ASU-Searcy also operates a Regional Career Center offering programs for high school students in the surrounding areas. Many high school students qualify for concurrent credit (receive both high school credit and college credit for completing one college credit class).
ASU-Searcy draws students from a variety of backgrounds. Some already have college degrees, but need to be updated on current trends in their fields, especially in technology. Sometimes students enroll as the result of a career change, or just to pick up a new skill through a continuing education or night course.
ASU-Searcy is constantly adapting to strengthen working relationships with business and industry in the area. ASU-Searcy offers specific training curriculum designed to meet the needs of area business and industry. Training is scheduled as needed and offered on the Searcy campus or at the business location.