When opportunity came knocking, K-State Salina started talking.
Next fall, K-State Salina will start new academic programs in social work and family studies and human services. Dennis Kuhlman, dean of the College of Technology and Aviation at K-State at Salina, said the programs are a product of opportunity meeting materials.
“It fits the land grant mission of Kansas State University,” Kuhlman said. “Both of these programs are taking advantage of opportunities that are available to us.”
Starting in August of 2011, K-State Salina will offer a complete degree in social work and a personal financial planning option for students interested in expanding or beginning their studies in family studies and human services.
The opportunity to begin the social work program presented itself after another Kansas college was forced to terminate its own degree.
“Bethany College in Lindsborg, was doing away with their program, and that left a huge gap in the central part of the state for social work,” Kuhlman said. “I contacted the department head in Manhattan, Dr. Betsy Cauble, and she was very enthusiastic about this being an opportunity.”
Kuhlman said though Salina and Manhattan are within 65 miles of each other, K-State in Salina offers unique opportunities to potential students.
“When you look at the students who attend K-State Salina, all of those students come from a 60-mile radius from Salina,” Kuhlman said. “If we already have the classes, already have the faculty, already have the facilities, then we need to expand the opportunities for the students who want to take advantage of a small college atmosphere but still take part in a Big 12 degree program.”
Kuhlmann added that the new programs are just another step in fulfilling a mission that the Salina community has desired for years.
“The community for many years has been wanting the Salina campus to become more and offer more degrees,” Kuhlman said. “These are programs that make sense for this region and this community. We did a review of needs of the potential students in this area and found that this makes a lot of sense to go ahead and do this right away.”
The personal financial planning program, though not a degree, is another opportunity for Salina students and citizens to expand their skills, said Maurice MacDonald, director of the School of Family Studies and Human Services.
“Personal financial planning is operated by our faculty of family studies and human services, and it focuses on personal finance management and prepares people for careers in financial planning,” MacDonald said.
“Salina, although it is close to Manhattan, serves a region of the state that does not have this major content available,” MacDonald said. “There are jobs in the financial industry in places like Wichita, Hays and other community centers that are not served by this major.”
Personal financial planning will be added to the family studies and human services program that already exists in Salina, and will prepare graduates for work as personal financial counselors and planners.
In addition to social work and personal financial planning, Kuhlman said K-State Salina is awaiting approval from the Kansas Board of Regents to begin a masters program in technology. Kuhlman said all three programs meet important needs.
“Why not take advantage of our resources and actually do it in a manner where we can actually not require people to travel to Manhattan, but actually do it in Salina?” Kuhlman said.