Offering education in western Kansas

Jun 13, 2019

Students located in western Kansas are able to gain a Newman University education without traveling to the main campus in Wichita, Kansas.

Dodge City is home to a small Newman University campus that offers teacher education programs at both the bachelor’s and master’s level.

The accelerated pathway to teaching allows students with an associate degree or 60 completed credit hours to earn their Bachelor of Arts in elementary education K-6 in only 16 months.

Students spend one year completing coursework and one semester as a student teacher before graduating.

Students located in Dodge City are able to interact with professors on campus and receive face-to-face instruction.

Garden City, Liberal and Great Bend have classrooms with interactive television technology for students, and Zoom technology is used to connect students who are more than an hour away from those locations with faculty.

Newman University classrooms in Kansas

Newman University is helping meet the need for higher education in western Kansas through this outreach location.

A recent partnership between Dodge City USD 443 and Newman will help paraprofessionals become teachers.

The overall goal of the program is to allow paraprofessionals to earn a teaching degree and reduce the amount of debt they begin their career with.

The pilot Para-To-Teacher program offers paraprofessionals up to $3,000 in scholarship funds throughout three semesters at Newman. Graduates of the program will then be expected to teach at USD 443 for at least two years or repay the funding at a prorated amount.

With an average of 35 students in the western Kansas program each year, Newman University alumni have been making quite an impact in area schools.

“We offer our programs in western Kansas and have for a long time,” said Jessica Bird, assistant dean for nontraditional outreach programs. Newman University has been educating teachers in western Kansas for 20 years, Bird said.

Recent alumnus Irwin Torres, who was honored with the Kansas State Department of Education “Teachers of Promise” award, began his teaching career in the Dodge City public schools directly after graduating in December 2017.

Irwin Torres in his classroom

“No one ever really prepares you for what to expect in your own classroom,” said Torres. “Yes, we observed in classrooms and learned all these amazing strategies (as students), but actually implementing those strategies (in your own classroom) is another thing. But, I thoroughly enjoyed my first semester and I am more than excited for my first full academic year.”

Bachelor’s degrees offered:

Master’s degrees offered: