higher education

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos touted the importance of making higher education accessible Thursday while on a whirlwind tour of vocational classrooms at Johnson County Community College.

Courtesy Gretchen Eick

Universities in Wichita have produced Fulbright Scholars in the past, including Wichita State University President John Bardo. This year, Friends University has produced two, including one historian who's been a Fulbright scholar three times. She leaves on Wednesday to teach at a university in Bosnia.

The prestigious Fulbright Program, operated by the U.S. Department of State, helps to increase understanding between Americans and people in other countries. The program offers grants to study, teach and conduct research in 190 countries.

Courtesy photo

A small four-year private college in Winfield, south of Wichita, has experienced record enrollment this fall.

Southwestern College has enrolled 272 new students, more than half of the total student body.

College spokeswoman Kadee Riggs-Johnson says the school, which has an overall enrollment of about 500, attributes the growth to robust recruiting, and possibly, a newly added baseball program.

Courtesy Pratt Community College

Students who complete an associate’s degree at Pratt Community College that prepares them to become electrical linemen earn just under $100,000 annually five years after graduation, according to a massive database now available online as an interactive tool. 

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The cost of higher education in Kansas continued to swell last week, carrying on a long-running trend in which universities rely increasingly on tuition and fees to operate.

This fall, a full-time semester at the University of Kansas will cost nearly $2,000 more than a decade earlier. The increase at Kansas State University has been similar.

Also over the last decade, the state’s spending per student at Kansas Board of Regents universities has slid.

kansasregents.org

The Kansas Board of Regents will vote Thursday on how much to hike tuition at state universities next year.

The six regent schools’ requests range between 2.5 and 3 percent, less than recent years. Wichita State University is requesting a 2.5 percent increase.

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said during discussions Wednesday that the 2.5 percent increase her campus is asking for is barely above inflation.

“There was definitely a focus on making the tuition increase a modest one," she said.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A Kansas Senate committee has voted to restore some funding to higher education. Cuts were made to state colleges and universities earlier this fiscal year.

Gov. Sam Brownback had proposed adding millions of dollars in the coming two years to a state scholarship fund. As part of the Senate budget plan, the new money would instead be diverted and used to restore some funding to the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.

Stephen Koranda

Gov. Sam Brownback says Cowley County Community College is responding to his challenge to offer a four-year degree for just $15,000. Students who enroll would start their education at the community college before moving to Fort Hays State University. Eligible degrees are in the areas of education and technology.

Brownback made the challenge in the State of the State Address and announced the new degree plan Friday. He says the state has an interest in providing an alternative to more expensive college degrees.

kansasregents.org

Kansas higher education officials say in three years, the state needs thousands more students graduating college. Today, the Board of Regents will take a step towards that goal.

Right now about 40,000 students in Kansas are awarded a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree or some kind of certification each year.

That number, the state says, needs to bump up to 53,000. To meet the need of businesses in the state, 40 percent will need to be four-year degrees, and the rest will need to be two-year degrees or certificates.

Michael Long, flickr Creative Commons

In his State of the State speech Tuesday, Gov. Sam Brownback threw down a gauntlet for state universities: Come up with a $15,000 bachelor's degree. In the education world, almost nobody saw that coming.

But now that the idea for a bargain bachelor's is out there, it's up to the Kansas Board of Regents to try and make it a reality.

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