Ozarka College opened its doors as Ozarka Vocational-Technical School in 1975 to provide vocational training to residents of Fulton, Izard, Sharp and Stone Counties. The first class of 43 students graduated in July 1976 with degrees in Automotive Service, Food Service, Business Education, Building Trades, Industrial Equipment Technology, Licensed Practical Nursing and Major Appliance Service. Classes leading to GED certificates were also offered.
Ozarka now enrolls approximately 1,600 students per semester. This growth came from a major extension of the institution's mission. In 1991, the Arkansas State Legislature passed ACT 1244, transforming Ozarka and a number of other vocational technical schools into technical colleges. In addition to the courses already offered, Ozarka began to provide courses for college transfer credit through articulation agreements with other state colleges and universities.
Ozarka formed a partnership with Arkansas State University to facilitate the development of college transfer coursework. In August 1993, Ozarka Technical College became a candidate for accreditation. In 1996, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools determined that Ozarka had fulfilled all requirements for accreditation.
In keeping with its mission and continued evolution, the college made another name change to Ozarka College in 1999, dropping the "Technical" to emphasize the full range of available degree programs.
Ozarka now has transfer agreements in place with four-year colleges and universities around the state, allowing students in the Associate of Arts program to transfer easily.
As the campus has widened the scope of educational programs, services have been expanded to other locations in the region. With the main campus located in Melbourne, Ozarka also operates off-campus sites in Ash Flat and Mountain View as well as some local high schools in the area. Distance education classes are also available via Internet which offers Ozarka students more flexibility in scheduling classes.