Officials from Fort Hays State University traveled to Garden City Community College today for a signing ceremony to expand the 2+2 Partnership between the two western Kansas schools.
"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to continue our service to GCCC students with this new agreement to provide business programs," Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, said during the ceremony.
The partnership was launched in February for Early Childhood and Special Education programs, and today's agreement adds Bachelor of Business Administration programs in Hospitality Management, Human Resource Management, Management and Marketing. In addition, approval is nearing completion for BAA programs in Business Communication, Business Education and Accounting.
"This is so exciting because it means so much in terms of opportunity for our students," said Deb Robinson, an instructor in the GCCC Division of Business and Information Systems.
In the 2+2 Partnership, students will be able to complete bachelor-level degrees in Garden City without the need to attend classes on the FHSU campus in Hays. The upper-level courses provided by FHSU will be available through its Virtual College, which offers course work using electronic distance learning technologies.Each program is made up of two years of GCCC courses, including four semesters of 16 to 18 credit hours each, followed by four semesters of FHSU instruction, ranging from 15 to 18 credit hours per term.
"Like our university, GCCC prides itself on taking a forward-thinking approach to the way it educates and advises its students, so transfer students from GCCC find themselves at home in our programs at FHSU," President Hammond said. "The 2+2 Partnership is a remarkably good fit for GCCC and FHSU."Some of the initial general education classes at GCCC will be common to all of the program options, including courses in English, College Algebra, Public Speaking and others. However, later-semester classes through GCCC and FHSU will help participants develop specific skills in their chosen areas of business expertise.
The program in hospitality management, for example, incorporates courses such as Tourism and Hospitality Marketing, as well as Hotel and Resort Management, while the program in marketing includes Organizational Behavior and Development, plus a series of upper division marketing courses.Students in the accounting concentration may need to take some courses on the FHSU campus, organizers said, though they hope to make the university classes also available at GCCC within two years.
GCCC is a key partner in a group that includes nine other community colleges that have joined with FHSU to provide advanced higher education opportunities to their students. They include Barton County Community College (Early Childhood, Special Education); Butler County Community College (Early Childhood, Special Education); Cloud County Community College (Early Childhood, Special Education); Colby Community College (Early Childhood, Special Education); Cowley County Community College (Early Childhood, Special Education); Dodge City Community College (Early Childhood, Special Education, BBA in Management and, soon, Social Work); Hutchinson Community College (all programs); Pratt Community College (Early Childhood, Special Education); and Seward County Community College (Early Childhood, Special Education).
In addition, 2+2 Partnerships are in process and will be signed later this year with Johnson County Community College, Fort Scott County Community College and Labette County Community College.