Garden City Community College has joined the Kansas Campus Compact.
The compact is an affiliated group of one dozen colleges and universities working to enhance service learning and civic engagement in higher education, as well as breaking barriers between colleges and communities.
The compact, established at the Kansas Statehouse in 2003, includes four community colleges, four private colleges and four state universities, including Kansas State, Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State Universities, as well as the University of Kansas.
GCCC’s admission brings the compact’s membership to 13, according to Joshua Mosier, Manhattan, compact executive director. Other institutions include Butler, Hutchinson, Johnson County and Seward County Community Colleges, along with Baker University, McPherson College, Southwestern College and the University of St. Mary.
“We’re excited to announce the addition of GCCC,” Mosier said. “Our mission is to build and strengthen the collective capacity of those who teach, study at, work with and lead Kansas colleges and universities to integrate a commitment to civic engagement and responsibility into the higher educational learning environment.”
Based in Manhattan, the compact is focused on five goals for the period that began in 2010 and will conclude in 2014. Those include brand demonstration, institutional structure development and what the executive director termed “engagement impact assessment.” Objectives also include addressing critical Kansas needs and strengthening of organizational capacity. In addition, the compact recently created an updated strategic plan for the years of 2011-2016.
“We are proud to throw our hat into this ring,” said Dr. Herbert J. Swender, GCCC president. “This is a time of change and challenge in higher education, and it is important to draw strength from each other as we serve our students and our communities.”
“The state of Kansas stands on the threshold of many tremendous new opportunities for growth, expansion and development,” Swender added, “but new directions and initiatives in everything from industry to society require a well educated populace and a highly skilled workforce. Focusing on engagement, service learning and the elimination of barriers is a true means to reaching those ends.”
The Kansas organization belongs to a national coalition of more than 1,100 colleges and universities, founded in 1985 and known as the Campus Compact.
The compact has been credited with efforts toward college and university service in health care, environmental concerns, homelessness, hunger, education, literacy and senior citizen services.
“We have been building civic engagement into campus and academic life and pushing the boundaries of traditional education since our establishment in 2003,” Mosier said. “We welcome GCCC as we focus on working together for the greater good, allowing students to become leaders who make a difference in their communities and in the world.”