On January 11, 2023, North Central Kansas Technical College (NCK Tech) announced the pursuit of a new affiliation initiative with Fort Hays State University (FHSU) and Northwest Kansas Technical College (Northwest Tech) to address demographic and economic challenges in rural Kansas.
This affiliation initiative will focus on developing solutions in three key areas:
· Developing academic programs and integrated student services that meet the educational and professional needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students
· Aligning and optimizing inter-institutional operations to remove unnecessary bureaucratic barriers to student success
· Creating a coalition with regional businesses, industries, and communities focused on increasing opportunities for students, expanding entrepreneurship, and meeting workforce development needs in rural Kansas
NCK Tech President, Eric Burks, along with FHSU President Tisa Mason and Northwest Tech President Ben Schears released this statement regarding the affiliation initiative:
Our institutions exist to serve students and communities. This is the true north that will guide our focus in this endeavor. Higher education institutions have long been beacons of opportunity and drivers of economic prosperity. For our communities to thrive, every individual needs a chance to fully develop their talents, skills, and interests. We look forward to working together and aligning our efforts and resources to deliver enhanced opportunities for rural Kansas.
Furthermore, NCK Tech President, Eric Burks stated:
“Over the next several months, before this initiative can be finalized, it must go through a process involving the passage of a bill through the Kansas Legislature, authorization from the Higher Learning Commission, and a ratification by the governing boards of all three institutions. While this process unfolds, we invite input from our internal and external constituents to share their ideas and suggestions. This feedback is crucial to help shape the resulting partnership into something that better serves our students and communities for years to come.”
To ensure consistency, all three institutions are directing their constituents to the Official Affiliation Initiative page for additional information. There you will find a Share Your Thoughts button where you can submit your thoughts and suggestions.