Cowley College was host to the governor of Kansas at its main campus in Arkansas City for the first time in decades when Gov. Sam Brownback visited the school Feb. 3 to congratulate the college for its recent academic accomplishments.

Brownback visits Cowley College

Courtesy photo

As he does annually, Brownback delivered his State of the State address at the beginning of this year’s legislative session. In that message, he put out a call for Kansas schools to offer a baccalaureate degree for $15,000 or less.

Many people thought this goal was out of reach, but not the staff at Cowley College.

“In response to the challenge set by the governor, a student can now get a baccalaureate degree for less than $15,000 if they start with Cowley College while in high school and then move on to Fort Hays State University,” said Cowley College President Dennis Rittle.

The governor praised the work done by Cowley College in making this a possibility for students.

“Thank you all for what you do here and for Kansas students,” Brownback said. “You have created a pathway for students to realize a baccalaureate degree for a price tag they can afford.”

Along with Cowley College employees and members of the Cowley College Board of Trustees, several area legislators and Cowley County commissioners were in attendance.

Board chair Bob Juden thanked the governor for visiting the Cowley campus so the school could showcase how it is changing students’ lives.

“We are honored to work alongside you and the Kansas Legislature to continue our part in providing a first-rate experience,” Juden said.

Rittle said Cowley College appreciates Brownback for taking the time to recognize the college’s accomplishments. He also discussed the many values and opportunities Senate Bill 155 offers.

“It is a program that has afforded our high school students the opportunity to take technical education classes at little to no cost to them,” Rittle said. “This important legislation was championed by Governor Brownback and our students are proof it’s working.”

While on a tour of the Arkansas City campus, Brownback also congratulated the school for being selected as the only college in Kansas and Oklahoma to be invited to take part in the High School: Pell “Dual Enrollment” program, which allows students taking college-credit courses to access Federal Pell Grants as early as high school.

He also mentioned Cowley’s new campus that will be constructed in Wellington, with the goal of offering classes in the fall of 2018.

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