Kansas is recognized for its enduring commitment to higher education. With its vast selection of institutions of higher learning, the state provides a wealth of academic options including private and public universities, as well as public community and technical colleges dedicated to serving a myriad of adult learners.
The community and technical college system in Kansas is comprised of 26 institutions that grant two-year degrees. Serving approximately 78,000 students, the system offers numerous academic and professional opportunities including certification, English as a Second Language (ESL), workforce development and skills training, and associate degrees.
Additionally, the system delivers nontraditional programs including online courses and independent study as well as college credit for life experience and military service. While the criteria for these programs are exclusive to the institution, they serve to provide access to quality education for students with diverse life experiences.
The system’s focus is to prepare adult students for the competitive job market within a two-year timeframe. Robust transfer programs are also available within the system for students who elect to pursue bachelor degrees at four-year institutions.
|School||Number of Students|
|Johnson County Community College||19,684|
|Butler Community College||9,363|
|Kansas City Kansas Community College||6,575|
|Barton County Community College||6,252|
|Hutchinson Community College||6,128|
According to the Kansas Board of Regents, at the state university level, there are six state colleges and one municipal four-year institution, serving 100,782 students. Haskell Indian Nations University, a public tribal four-year institution that serves students who are Native Americans, is also recognized as a state university. The University of Kansas, celebrated as the state’s largest public research university, maintains five separate campuses.
The Kansas state university system features more than 1,000 undergraduate and certificate programs, designed to meet the growing demands of the twenty-first century job force within the fields of agriculture, business, computer technology, education, and health care.
|School||Number of Students|
|University of Kansas||27,784|
|Kansas State University||24,581|
|Wichita State University||14,550|
|Ft. Hays State University||13,441|
With its impressive selection of public institutions, Kansas also boasts a vibrant catalog of over 20 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. From small theological and liberal arts colleges to professional schools, specializing in business, education, engineering, and medicine, more than 50 percent of Kansas’s undergraduate population is enrolled in the private, nonprofit higher education sector.
Each institution within the private, nonprofit sector is presided over by its own governing board committed to enriching the academic experience of its student population.
For the nontraditional adult learner, the Kansas Board of Regents has accredited over 40 online colleges and institutions. With over 108,000 students enrolled in online classes, including fully online and blended degree and certificate programs, the state provides 2,000 online programs through its 32 public academic institutions.
College students who reside in Kansas and elsewhere are afforded a wealth of distance learning options that deliver a quality education comparable to the traditional on-site course delivery methodology.
The University of Kansas, for instance, offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, nursing, occupational therapy, and science. Non-credit and certificate programs are also available online within these same disciplines as well as aerospace, fire and rescue, and law enforcement.
Nontraditional adult learners also have the option to enroll in one of the numerous for-profit online institutions that offer fully online degree programs or hybrid courses to complete certificate, associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees in such curricula as business, computer science, criminal justice, education, and health care.
Students at the University of Kansas have a few options for earning a degree online. The two bachelor’s degrees that can be earned fully online are both in the health care field—RN to BSN and respiratory care for RRTs. Online graduate students have a wider selection, including dietetics and nutrition, educational administration, occupational therapy, and social work. KU also offers two online doctoral degree options in the field of nursing—nursing (NDP) and nursing (PhD).
In addition to its degree programs, the university has a number of online classes as well as certificates and continuing education credit courses. Certificates are available in the aerospace, medical, law enforcement, and biosciences areas. Online students go through the same admissions process as their campus-based peers, and, once admitted, follow the traditional semester schedule.
For more information on distance learning or specific online degree programs at the University of Kansas, go to KU Online.
Southwestern College, a four-year private college that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, offers a dozen graduate programs online in subjects such as accountancy, management, teaching, special education, theological studies, and security administration. In addition, SC has more than 15 undergraduate degrees that can be earned online in academic areas such as business and leadership, education, health care and social sciences, ministry, technology, and security and safety. Online classes at SC last six weeks.
SC also offers certificates online at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Examples of certificates that students can earn are: cyber crime investigation, operational leadership, executive accounting, and emergency planning. Adult students may be eligible to earn credits by taking exams to demonstrate previous knowledge or by providing proof of corporate or military training.
To learn more about online education options at Southwestern College, visit: http://ps.sckans.edu/.
Based upon data released by the state’s Department of Labor, Kansas is a leader in a variety of economic sectors. Among the most prominent industries include agriculture, government, health care, manufacturing, retail trade, telecommunications, and transportation.
Many of the most renowned organizations in the country have their corporate headquarters in Kansas such as Sprint Nextel, Seaboard, and YRC Worldwide.
Data compiled from the state’s Department of Labor 2012 private employment sector study reveals that the trade, transportation, and utilities industries were the leading employers within the state at 23.4 percent, followed by education and health services (16.9 percent), manufacturing (14.8 percent), and professional and business services (13.9 percent).
According to the state’s Department of Commerce, the top ten employers in Kansas for 2012 were Spirit AeroSystems, Sprint, Cessna Aircraft, General Motors, United Parcel Service, Black & Veatch, Tyson Fresh Meats, Farmers Insurance, Garmin, and Koch Industries.
Johnson County Community CollegeOverland Park, Kansas
University of KansasLawrence, Kansas
Kansas State UniversityManhattan, Kansas
Wichita State UniversityWichita, Kansas
Fort Hays State UniversityHays, Kansas
Barton County Community CollegeGreat Bend, Kansas
Butler Community CollegeEl Dorado, Kansas
Kansas City Kansas Community CollegeKansas City, Kansas
Hutchinson Community CollegeHutchinson, Kansas
Pittsburg State UniversityPittsburg, Kansas