WINFIELD — Cowley College President Dennis Rittle joined Southwestern College President Brad Andrews in sharing their thoughts on the state of higher education as it relates to their respective institutions during the Lunch Bites on Aug. 31 at the Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Cowley College president shares thoughts on state of higher education

Photo by Rama Peroo/Cowley College

“The purpose of this Lunch Bites was to give chamber members and community members an opportunity to hear an update from our largest educational institutions,” said Sarah Werner, chief executive officer of the Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce. “It is important for them to stay up to date on what is happening at those institutions.”

Following Andrews’ update on the positive things happening at Southwestern College, Rittle shared information on advancing a generation of learners and a vibrant community, as well as new partnerships, fiscal values and responsibility, student success and community involvement, and partnerships.

“It is always great as a community college to be able to share not only the joys and successes, but also the challenges we face with community members, because it is a partnership,” Rittle said. “I also enjoy the opportunity for members of the community to share with me what their thoughts are, because we are only successful as partners.”

Cowley agreements, new programs

Rittle informed those in attendance about the recent 2+2 articulation agreement in engineering that was signed between Cowley College and Wichita State University.

Another 2+2 agreement, called the Tiger2Tiger Pathway, guarantees a minimum number of scholarships to be set aside specifically for Cowley College students who have a minimum of a 3.0 grade-point average and transfer to Fort Hays State University after graduating from Cowley College.

Rittle spoke about other new programs the college has added, such as milling and fire science, and additional programs that will be instituted soon such as agribusiness and information technology with a specialty focus.

He also mentioned the new wrestling program that will begin competition this fall and the Cowley Pep Band that was started in 2016, as well as the Phi Theta Kappa Beta Upsilon chapter that was established at the college’s Mulvane Center.

Sumner County groundbreaking

Rittle then shared information on the groundbreaking ceremony for Cowley College’s Sumner County campus, which will take place at 1 p.m. Oct. 11 in Wellington. The location of the future campus is east of Walmart, along U.S. 160.

Agora Architecture will have 3-D Virtual Modeling goggles available at the groundbreaking ceremony for individuals to have an interactive first look at the Sumner campus before it is constructed. In addition, large paper-based renderings will be available for public viewing.

The Technical Center is expected to open in fall 2018, followed by the opening of the Short General Education Center in fall 2019.

“The journey we are doing there will affect this entire region,” Rittle said.

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.