College focus is on improving lives of individuals E-mail
Opinion
Thursday, 17 April 2014 10:16

By Dr. Duane M. Dunn, SCCC/ATS President

April is recognized nationally as community college month, and Seward County Community College/Area Technical School invites you to join us in many activities and events as we celebrate the importance our college provides to our region.

Community colleges are a uniquely American aspect of education and are established in order to provide access to high quality and affordable educational opportunities.

SCCC/ATS has provided college degrees and career certificate programs for nearly 45 years and, as a result, has provided improved lives of likely more than 50,000 individuals. Those individuals may have completed a full associate degree, a one-year career certificate, a short-term training program for employment advancement, or perhaps a single course related to a particular personal interest.

We are proud of our service to our region and the accomplishments of our students and employees.

This year, we have realized continued excellence and recognition by national, regional, and state organizations. The Noel-Levitz organization recognized us as a national leader for our work toward student completion and persistence. The Aspen Institute has named us as one of the top 10 percent of all community colleges in the nation. Our men’s tennis team won the ITA national doubles tournament – a first for our college. Our Crusader journalism students have recently been recognized by the Kansas Collegiate Media association with the All-Kansas program excellence and student journalist of the year honors. Our nursing program has recently been recognized as the top licensed practical nursing (LPN) program in the state. The men’s basketball team won the conference championship for the fourth consecutive year, a first in conference history. Our graduation rate is among the very top of all colleges and universities in the state, and our rates of student persistence, graduation, and goal attainment exceed all national benchmarks.

Those achievements are marks of excellence and indicators of the dedication of many faculty, advisors and staff members who truly support our mission of improving the life of the individual. During a time when the value of higher education is questioned across the nation as student debt continues to climb, we are proud that our student financial aid and cost analysis also are among the best in the state.

Our students can seamlessly transfer to all public colleges and universities through the articulation agreements we have as well as the dozens of specialized arrangements we have with scores of colleges and universities.

Parents and students are assured that, through those agreements, a student can successfully transfer our courses and degrees toward a bachelor’s degree resulting in thousands of dollars in savings. We estimate that the use of our well planned associate degree programs, the student who transfers to a university may save more than $10,000. Additionally, the data from universities indicate that our transfer students typically complete their bachelor’s degree with a higher grade point average than those students who start at the university.

SCCC/ATS was established to provide access to courses and degrees which were beyond the reach of the people in our region. Our residents can now enjoy classes throughout the year, during the evening, during the weekend, and on-line.

SCCC/ATS offers associate degrees and career programs ranging from art and music to welding and corrosion technology; from surgical technology to computer animation; from diesel technology to pre-pharmacy; from personal fitness to drafting. In fact the over 2000 students attending SCCC/ATS classes are enrolled in over 25 different degree and certificate programs.

Throughout April and May, a variety of events and celebrations are being conducted at SCCC/ATS which recognize the contributions of our students, employees, and the entire college provide. Concerts, poetry night, baseball and softball games, car show, Spring Fiesta and many other events are all open to the public, and we welcome you to join us.

SCCC/ATS is truly a community college in which we are proud of our achievements and the continued focus of improving the life of the individual.

 
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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press.

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