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From the President
Dear friends,

In early February I participated in “Southwestern Sunday” at First United Methodist Church in Dodge City. I, along with students in the college’s ministry outreach teams, have participated in six or seven of these special Sundays so far this year. Each worship service is different, but the visit to Dodge City stood out because a graduate of the college gave me a button, one that’s many years old, bearing the simple message: FOR SOUTHWESTERN I WILL.

I’ll admit, I got a little choked up when I read that button. It expresses perfectly the credo of the Moundbuilder. You will recommend students to us and you will talk up the college with prospective students and their parents. You will send gifts to support Southwestern now and you will make provision for estate gifts later. You will serve as guest lecturers and mentors, will provide internships, will work on advisory committees and boards, will support Builder athletics and athletes. You name it, someone is doing it for the college and doing it willingly.

The people who live and work at Southwestern want, and very much need, your involvement and support. Never doubt that. Your readiness to say “I will” fuels our passion for the college and its future.

Best regards,

Dick Merriman

Professional Studies Viewpoint

Southwestern College is a college with a planning culture. We have a 2010 vision…a strategic plan…short-term directions and steps…an academic vision. It was our “2010 Goals for Excellence” that prompted us two years ago to seek approval from The Higher Learning Commission (our regional accrediting body) to offer undergraduate and graduate courses, majors, and degree programs online.

With this approval SC Online became a reality. SC Online started with only two majors (pastoral studies and business administration). We quickly added four additional undergraduate majors and our online offerings will include our newest major, security management, in September. (See our Web site, www.sckans.edu/online, for a full list of majors.)

The two years since accreditation have gone by at a dizzying speed. SC Online has taken us in new directions and new milestones have been realized. One of these milestones occurred in December when SC Online was selected as one of 32 institutions to provide online coursework to soldier-students worldwide through eArmyU. Through a competitive process, Southwestern College was selected (along with Indiana University, UCLA, and others well-known institutions) to participate in this innovative initiative.

Why the growth in online education? It’s simply response to learner demand. Whether a soldier-student or an adult learner in Ponca City, Okla., or Palmyra, Va., the online format provides students with a flexible and convenient learning environment without the time/location constraints of traditional classroom-based courses. A learner who is working full-time, raising a family, traveling on business, active in community activities and taking classes to complete a degree finds that each of these is competing for a very important resource: time.

And because we can now recruit learners and faculty members in all 50 states and around the globe, the world is our marketplace and we need your assistance. If a colleague, family member, neighbor or friend is interested in earning a degree but can’t come to the main campus for a four-year experience, please refer them to SC Online.

That’s all part of the plan.

Karen L. Pedersen
Vice President for Professional Studies