The Wichita Independent Business Association (WIBA) presented the Cowley College Foundation with a check for $10,000 on July 28 at the school’s Wichita Downtown Center to establish a scholarship for future students.
The gift will be directed toward students with majors in the BREG industry sectors for south-central Kansas — advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, aerospace, agriculture, data services and information technology, health care, oil and gas, transportation, and logistics.
“It is truly a blessing to partner with organizations like the Wichita Independent Business Association that want to reach out and help our students,” said Cowley College Foundation Coordinator Elizabeth Thummel. “Gifts like this truly make a difference.”
For this scholarship, WIBA elected to focus on the health care sector by providing awards to students in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or Allied Health programs.
Preference will be given to Sedgwick County residents. Preference also will be given to students entering Cowley College’s nationally accredited paramedic program, which provides qualified graduates who serve with many Wichita-area public safety and health care organizations, including Sedgwick County EMS, the Wichita and Sedgwick County fire departments, and many local hospitals.
The majority of graduates from the Cowley paramedic program are Wichita residents who return to serve in the community after completing their education.
The paramedic program boasts an 80-plus-percent retention rate, 98-plus-percent certification rate for graduates and 100-percent positive placement rate after graduation.
The WIBA scholarship will help to alleviate the paramedic hiring shortage that many local EMS services, including Sedgwick County EMS, sometimes face.
“Our program trains a lot of students in the Wichita area and this will help kids come to school that might not have been able to,” said Chris Cannon, Cowley College Allied Health Department chair and director of EMS education.
Along with the check presentation, a memorandum of understanding was signed.
Ray Frederick Jr., WIBA president and chairman of the Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority, and Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell spoke at the event.
“It is a pleasure and humbling to share in this partnership with Cowley College,” Frederick said. “You cannot help but be impressed with the people at Cowley and the good work they do.”
Since its founding in 1922, Cowley College has continued to provide a quality, affordable education in south-central Kansas.
For more than two decades, Cowley has served more than 20,000 students in the Wichita metropolitan area, from its early beginnings at the Southside Education Center through today with the opening of the Wichita Downtown Center in 2015.
Cowley College President Dennis Rittle thanked those in attendance and spoke of how this scholarship will benefit future students of the college.
“When a student receives a scholarship, they feel somebody now believes in me and are involved in my success and my future,” Rittle said.
This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.