A total of 24 residents of Dodge City and other western Kansas communities were recently awarded degrees from Newman University. The students completed their requirements for graduation in December 2011. Fourteen area residents earned bachelor of science degrees in Elementary Education, while 10 earned master of science degrees in Education.
View the full list of graduates’ names, hometowns and degrees earned.
Newman University, a Catholic university based in Wichita, has offered courses to residents of Dodge City and surrounding communities since 1992, when it came to the area to fill a higher education void that occurred when Saint Mary of the Plains College closed. Over the past two decades the Newman Western Kansas Center in Dodge City has grown, and the university now offers courses that lead to several degree programs.
Classes are taught by in-classroom instructors in Dodge City and Garden City, or broadcast through interactive television (ITV) in 10 other western and central Kansas communities, including Liberal, Ulysses, Great Bend, Hutchinson, Syracuse, Sharon, Pratt and others. Newman University also offers four online degree programs.
“The Western Kansas Center offers a lot to people in our area who want to pursue higher education,” said Bonita Green, Director of Western Kansas Center Education Programs. “Our programs are well-respected by area residents as well as educators and other employers who need well-trained employees. We’re a known quantity in the area, and we offer a presence in the community. Students can come to classrooms on our campus and receive face-to-face instruction or speak to their advisors or use our computer lab. And, we offer a personal touch students in this area can’t find anywhere else.”
The Newman Teacher Education Program (TEP) has long been popular with students in western Kansas who want to earn a teaching degree without having to move or travel to another part of the state to attend a four-year university. Newman has created partnerships with several community colleges in the area. Students who complete general education coursework at a participating community college and meet other criteria may then enter the Newman TEP program to pursue a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Students who graduate with an associate of arts or associate of science degree from a community college in the area also automatically receive a $2,500 scholarship.
Most classes are held in the evenings to accommodate adults’ employment and family obligations. The program is also attractive to many area residents because it can be completed in only 16 months, including the student teaching semester.
Over the years the program has supplied many teachers to schools in the southwest part of the state. Green said that since 1992, more than 750 teachers in western Kansas have received their degrees from Newman University without leaving Dodge City.
Additional degree programs
In addition to the bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Newman offers classes leading to a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Unified Education. Master’s degrees in Education are available with Concentrations in Building Leadership, and Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in English as a Second Language, Accountability, or Reading Specialist. Newman also offers ESL endorsement programs for licensed teachers.
Newman also offers courses for a bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministry, and in Business Studies, which are available with face-to-face instruction or online. The university also launched an online nursing program last year designed specifically for working registered nurses who wish to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) while maintaining their current jobs.
The university also offers classes that lead to a master’s degree in Social Work, and fully online master’s programs in Theological Studies and Theology.
For more information about the Western Kansas Center at 620-227-9616, or visit www.newmanu.edu/western-kansas.