April 01, 2024

Kansas Community Colleges Celebrate Impactful Contribution to the Kansas Economy

Kansas game changer graphic

Elevating Affordable Transfer Programs and Career and Technical Education

Kansas community colleges invite citizens to join them in celebrating National Community College Month this April. With community colleges spread across the state, these institutions drive economic growth, provide the workforce critical to the state's economy, and foster educational opportunities that make possible prosperous economic futures for students. 

An economic study released in November 2023 by Lightcast, a labor market analytics firm, found that between 2021 – 2022 Kansas’ community colleges added $6.7 billion in income to the state economy, or approximately 3.3% of Kansas’ gross state product (GSP).

The affordability of community colleges is a major financial advantage to students. Kansas’ robust network of community colleges served more than 90,000 students in 2023.

"Kansas community colleges are undoubtedly the best value in higher education—whether a student is seeking a pathway to a four-year degree or wants to receive the education needed to go directly into a skilled trade, Kansas community colleges are ready to serve students of all ages at an affordable price," said Heather Morgan, executive director of the Kansas Association of Community Colleges. 

National Community College Month serves as an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the transformative power of community colleges, which continue to bridge the gap between the unskilled and a trained workforce. Career-focused programs, flexible schedules, and lower tuition have afforded thousands of Kansans the opportunity to achieve their educational and professional aspirations.

One of the many ways that Cowley College continues to promote education is through our career and technical education program. In a continued effort to bolster programs like Criminal Justice, Cosmetology, and HVAC Cowley has begun construction of a Technical Education Center to be completed by July of 2024.

“We will have a banner on display in Galle-Johnson on Main Campus and also in the Short General Education Center in Wellington for students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members to sign in support of community colleges nationwide,” said Cowley College President, Dr. Michelle Schoon.

Schoon expressed “We are honored to be celebrating National Community College Month alongside the other amazing Game Changer schools in Kansas and want to thank our community for all their continued support.”

Facts About Kansas Community Colleges:

  • Remain the most affordable option to access higher education.
  • Serve and support citizens from all walks of life.
  • Work to ensure seamless transfer of credits to four-year universities in Kansas.
  • Provide personalized attention to students with faculty mentors focused on student success.
  •  Partner with business and industry for innovative workforce training.

About Cowley College

The Arkansas City Junior College was established in 1922. For 30 years, the college had facilities in the basement of the Arkansas City High School. Because the “basement university” experienced incredible growth, the creation of a college campus began with the construction of Galle-Johnson Hall in 1950. In 1965 we changed our name to Cowley County Community College and Vocational-Technical School to reflect our position as the community college for Cowley County.

Today, Cowley College has campuses and educational centers throughout south central Kansas in Arkansas City, Mulvane, Wellington, Wichita, and Winfield.

Hunter Ferguson | Integrated Communications Specialist
Cowley College
125 S. 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005