GCCC Signs Partnership With National American University
Articulation agreement adds additional bachelor’s degree options in SW Kansas
On the heels of recent partnership arrangements with Kansas State University, Newman University and Sterling College, Garden City Community College has now signed an agreement that guarantees acceptance of GCCC graduates as juniors at National American University.
The signing was completed during a visit to Garden City by Dr. Robert Paxton, NAU’s distance learning president. National American, founded in 1941, is a proprietary higher learning institution that offers nearly 50 bachelor and associate degree programs at multiple campuses across the nation, as well as over the Internet. NAU, based in South Dakota, also provides a variety of nursing and graduate degree opportunities.
The university, like GCCC, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Under the articulation agreement signed Aug. 17 by Dr. Herbert J. Swender, GCCC president, Dr. Ronald Shape, NAU president, and Dr. Samuel Kerr, NAU provost, NAU will admit GCCC graduates with junior class standing to bachelor of science degree programs listed in the university’s undergraduate catalog.
Those programs include the bachelor of science in management, covering merchandising, dental hygiene, electronics, medical assisting, drafting, welding and additional areas. The articulation also applies to the bachelor of science degree in information technology, in subject areas ranging from IT, computer science, programming and networking to database and computer aided design.
“We are proud to enter this agreement with Garden City Community College, because it will allow students to transfer credits to National American University with a minimum of delay and disruption in their educational process,” Paxton said during an inservice presentation to GCCC faculty and staff members.
Since GCCC is a nationally accredited community college, course work completed by students in Garden City is already accepted by baccalaureate degree institutions throughout the U.S. However, the agreement with NAU gives GCCC associate degree graduates a guarantee that they meet all of the university’s freshman and sophomore-level course requirements for the designated programs.
“We are always glad to have accredited baccalaureate institutions pursue our graduates as juniors,” Swender explained. “This latest agreement with National American just serves as yet another option in higher education for the benefit of our students.”
“I believe we are well recognized for the quality and excellence we provide in the classroom,” Swender added, noting GCCC’s recent ranking by CNNMoney magazine among the top 24 community colleges in the U.S. for student success. “National American University has also built a strong reputation, and this agreement is indicative of how our two institutions can work together in meeting the needs of today’s students in providing ever expanding bachelor’s degree opportunities right here in Garden City.”
Paxton, former president of Iowa Central Community College, Sac City, Iowa, said NAU understands the value and importance of GCCC in providing educational access for Southwest Kansas residents. Discussions leading to the agreement have been under way between GCCC and NAU for several months.
Paxton was accompanied for the signing by Heidi Bulman, National American’s director of affiliate relations. In discussing the new opportunity, the university leader recalled past professional relationships with Beth Tedrow, GCCC dean of student services, who retired in 2009, and Dr. James H. Tangeman, GCCC president in 1988-2000.
In addition to the course credit articulation, the agreement provides for transfer student scholarship opportunities. Qualified students transferring from GCCC and seeking degrees through the university may receive awards of $200 per course, up to a maximum of $2,000 per year, if they maintain grade point averages of 2.5 or higher.
Individuals who are interested in taking advantage of the partnership may contact Ryan Ruda, GCCC vice president for student services, at 620-276-9597.
GCCC and Wichita-based Newman University, a Catholic-affiliated institution, entered a similar articulation agreement earlier this month. In addition, GCCC and Kansas State University signed an innovative reverse transfer agreement in July, making it possible for students to complete their community college associate degrees even after transferring to KSU.
Previously, GCCC and Sterling College, a private, Presbyterian-affiliated institution located near Hutchinson, signed an agreement making additional bachelor’s degree opportunities available in Southwest Kansas.
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Date: Aug. 21, 2012
For Use: Immediate
Contact: Steve Quakenbush, 620-276-9627