GCCC-KWU agreement expands bachelor degree opportunities in Garden City

GCCC-KWU agreement signing
From left: Dr. Herbert J. Swender, GCCC President, Larry Pander, Fire Science Instructor and Dr. Mark Bandré, KWU Vice President for Enrollment Management.

In an effort to provide further educational and career development options for southwest Kansas, Garden City Community College and Kansas Wesleyan University have signed a unique 2+2 agreement.

The agreement, signed recently by Mark Bandré, KWU vice president for enrollment management, and Dr. Herbert J. Swender, GCCC president, provides GCCC students pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science the option to follow a prescribed curriculum track which enables them to earn a bachelor degree in Kansas Wesleyan's distinctive Emergency Management major.

This Emergency Management degree is the only such bachelor degree in existence in Kansas and is approved by FEMA. By signing this agreement, GCCC becomes Kansas Wesleyan's first community college partner in Emergency Management and further strengthens a partnership begun in fall 2013 when the two schools established a blanket articulation agreement for all who complete associate of art or associate of science degrees. “This agreement underpins access and opportunity for our students and community to obtain advanced credentials in the field of Emergency Management and Fire Science.”

GCCC has also entered similar agreements with Sterling College, Kansas State University, National American University, Newman University, Baker University and others. “This is good for our college, this is good for the university, and ultimately it is something that will be beneficial for the students we serve in southwest Kansas,” said Swender.

To be accepted at KWU, GCCC students must graduate with an Associate of Science degree with a GPA of at least a 2.0. A minimum of 45 credit hours of general education distributed in specific fields is also required, however, may be completed through KWU before graduation. Furthermore, transfer students must meet all other KWU prerequisite, program, degree and residency requirements to graduate from the university.

GCCC students will receive full consideration for all forms of federal, state and institutional financial aid, based on results of their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data and their cumulative Garden City GPA. Transfer students will also be eligible for housing in KWU dorms and other student services, such as academic advising and the Student Success Center.

Emergency Management is the study of how individuals, businesses, and governments prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from man-made or natural disasters. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in the field can complete their major in Emergency Management or with a track in Homeland Security, Victim Services, or Nongovernmental Organizations.

For more information about the partnership from the GCCC perspective, contact Larry Pander, Fire Science Instructor at 620-275-3251 or At Kansas Wesleyan, contact Dr. Mark Bandré, VP for Enrollment Management at or Dr. Lonnie Booker, Director of Emergency Management at Much more information exists at or directly at