Professional Studies Expansion: A Facility of Substance

When doors were opened on the East Wichita professional studies site in 1995, the simple classrooms in a couple of rooms at the end of the Cedar Cove shopping center represented a toehold into the urban degree completion market. Today that toehold has grown into a fully-mature academic program with 550 students in 10 undergraduate majors.

The entire building at the corner of Rock Road and Pawnee is devoted to SC programs, including two technologically-advanced master of business administration classrooms. President Dick Merriman and Vice President Karen Pedersen cut the ribbon that officially opened the expansion of the East Wichita site Jan. 19. Also on hand to mark the moment were President Emeritus Carl Martin and Marvin Hafenstein (the first vice president of the professional studies program), as well as Southwestern trustees and other guests. It is, as one remarked, a facility of substance. More photos can be found online by clicking here to visit the scrap book.


New Concept Brings Relevancy to Foreign Language Program

A new concept in foreign language studies will allow Southwestern College students to become fluent in a language without majoring in that language. The new intensive foreign language program will begin in academic year 2001-2002.

Students entering the program will spend a full year studying Spanish intensively, the fall semester in an immersion setting in Winfield and the spring semester at a university abroad. The remaining years of the student's undergraduate major are complemented by continued language courses and service learning projects in the foreign language.

According to Moira Rogers, coordinator of international studies and language programs, the result will be a graduate with skills appropriate for today's world.

"The globalization of markets, of international problems, and even of individual lives has made the knowledge of more than one language an essential skill," Rogers points out. "By teaching students to communicate in another language and to function successfully in another culture, we help them acquire a respect for human diversity, an awareness of the purposes and possibilities of different forms of expression, and the experience and skills necessary to pursue graduate studies or a variety of careers in education, business, information technology, government, and other areas."

In its first year the intensive foreign language program will award approximately 15 Spanish language grants to students interested in accelerated language study. These students will live and take classes as a group, working in Spanish, to develop basic competency in the language. The second semester their coursework in a foreign university will be chosen to complete Southwestern's integrative studies requirements.

When they have completed the second year of the foreign language program, the students are expected to be able to score a minimum of 3 on the standard assessment of the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages).

The new program is expected to remedy two areas that have concerned foreign language faculty in recent years-the low number of majors (during the past two decades seven students is the most majoring in all foreign languages at any given time), and lack of institutionally-organized opportunities to study abroad.

Eventually, success with the Spanish intensive language program is expected to lead to additional programs for students wanting to study other languages such as French or German.

"We're excited to be one of the first in the nation to offer this type of a program, one that will let students use their knowledge and skill in a language to go on in any field they choose," Rogers adds. "This sets Southwestern College apart as a leader in the kind of education that will be important to today's students."

For more information, contact Moira Rogers at (800) 846-1543 ext. 6276, or e-mail her at


CASE Awards Honor Southwestern, SC Communications Staff

Southwestern College went head-to-head with some of the largest universities in the Midwest and was a winner in several categories of the CASE District VI annual competition.

CASE, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, is the professional organization for higher education in communications, alumni programs, and fund raising. Its members include institutions of all sizes throughout an eight-state area that includes Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Colorado.

Southwestern's communications office received two gold awards and one bronze award for excellence, placing in three of the 14 categories offered.

The awards included a gold award for periodicals, given for the alumni tabloid The Southwesterner; a gold award for writing, received for a memorial tribute to Karen Mages; and a bronze award for editorial design for The Southwesterner.

"We were delighted to receive these awards, especially considering that we were compared to such institutions as the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri, Kansas State University, and the University of Nebraska," said Sara Severance Weinert, director of communications at Southwestern. "These larger institutions have much larger budgets and staffs, and we were extremely pleased that the quality of our work was considered excellent in this fine competition. I'm especially proud of the award for The Southwesterner because it represents a team effort by every member of our staff."

Communications office staffers who worked on the award-winning entries included Weinert, editor of The Southwesterner and writer of the memorial to Mages; Joni Rankin, communications assistant and assistant editor of The Southwesterner; and the late Karen Mages, graphic designer for The Southwesterner and for the college, who was killed in a car accident on the day she completed her award-winning design. Ralph Decker, director of record information in the Office of Institutional Advancement, compiles and writes the alumni notes for The Southwesterner.

Awards were presented at the annual CASE District VI conference in Kansas City Jan. 15.