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  • Spotlight Student

    SVA Spotlight

    Name: Tacarra Brown

    Branch of Service: Air Force

    Degree: Human Resource Development

    Graduation Date: May 10, 2015





    What is one of the biggest struggles with being a student and an Airman?

    The biggest struggle with being a student and an Airman is making sure that you meet the mission of the military as well as accomplish something for yourself and your future.

    What do you most look forward to upon retirement from the military?

    The one thing that I look forward to the most is finally being able to use the skills that I have learned while in school.  I am happy that I currently work in a position where I am able to build upon the strengths of my Human Resources Development degree.  Once I retire, I will not only have skills to expound upon but some experience as well.

    What are your fears, if any, upon joining the civilian workforce?

    I do not have any fears about joining the civilian work force.  I have worked in both sectors and I pretty much feel comfortable in both realms.

    What tips would you tell someone who was thinking about furthering their education?

    When you do it, first take the time to figure out what you really want to do with your life.  The saddest thing is to see someone dedicate time and money to an education and never use it.  If time is an issue, at least get started a little at a time rather than waiting until the last minute and life passes you by.  If you are in a position where you know that you won't use your degree until later in life, make the preparations now and try to find out where you can intern for now just to gain the experience until you are ready.

    What is an advantage and disadvantage in getting on online education?

    The advantage of getting an online degree would be that you can take your time and do it bit by bit while still feeling like you have a life. Online classes came in handy when my children had after school activities and I knew that I couldn't make it to class.  The disadvantages for me were that I enjoy talking to people in person and having the face to face interaction especially if I had any questions regarding the material.  Being in a classroom setting was also a good place to network with other people and work on group projects rather than being in other time zones.



  • Southwestern College Makes U.S. News List with Highest Percentage of Veteran Students

    Wichita, Kansas – Southwestern College’s Professional Studies division had the highest percentage of veteran students in 2013-2014, according to a recently published U.S. News Short List.

    The U.S. News Short List is a regular series aimed at providing students access to information that will aid them in deciding what colleges are best suited for them. It surveyed 296 public, private and for-profit schools for its 2015 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings. The top 10 schools on its list with the most veteran students had more than 28 percent of learners that were veterans or active duty service members. In 2013-2014, Southwestern College, through its Professional Studies division, had 81.5% military learners.

    Professional Studies began cultivating a relationship with the military in 2001 when it was selected to be part of the Army’s eArmyU, now GoArmyE. Since that time, the college has partnered with the Air Force’s Air University Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative (AU-ABC) and the Defense Acquisition University (DAU).

    The 16 undergraduate programs at Professional Studies consist mainly of six-week, online classes. The programs provide servicemen and women the flexibility they need to balance time with their families and their job serving our country whether at home or abroad. While at Professional Studies, military learners and their spouses receive tuition discounts as well as academic coaches, who remain with them through the duration of their college experience.

    In 2015, Professional Studies was recognized as a Best for Vets College, Military Friendly School ® and Military Advanced Education Top School.

  • Southwestern College Announces New President

    Winfield, Kan., May 12, 2015 — Dr. Brad Andrews will be the next president of Southwestern College. Currently senior vice president for student success and strategic enrollment at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Andrews will be the 18th president of the college when he begins his tenure July 1.

    Andrews replaces President Dick Merriman, who will become president of the University of Mount Union after 17 years at Southwestern.

    “We feel Brad Andrews is an ideal fit for Southwestern College and could not be more pleased that he will be the next president,” says Michael Lewis, SC trustee and chair of the search committee. “He has extensive, successful experience in three areas crucial to the continued success of the college—fundraising, enrollment managemen and student life. He also is a collaborative leader who will work well with faculty and administrators already in place to extend the excellence we have come to expect at Southwestern."

    A native of Miami, Florida, Andrews earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri in 1990 and went on to earn a master’s degree in education from Drake University in 1994. In 2009, he earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin.

    "For more than 130 years Southwestern College has defined a truly student-centered approach to higher education,” Andrews says. “It is obvious that an exciting combination of tremendous people, a pioneering spirit and outstanding programs have Southwestern College poised for great success moving forward. I am honored to be chosen to lead the Builder nation into the next era.”

    Andrews’s leadership encompasses three divisions at Carthage College, including the departments of admissions, financial aid, student affairs, first-year academic advising and religious life. His responsibilities include operational oversight for strategic institutional priorities with emphasis on the immediate improvement of retention and graduation rates.

    As a member of the Carthage executive leadership team, he has helped guide an incredible period of growth for the college. Since 2000, Carthage College has:

    • Grown its campus with more than $200 million in campus renovation and construction projects.
    • Grown its academic reputation as demonstrated by a rise in national rankings, by significant increases in the number and quality of freshman applications, and by national recognition for programs such as participation in the NASA undergraduate research SEED program.
    • Grown its enrollment from 1,500 to more than 2,500 full-time students.

    Andrews arrived on campus in 1999 and quickly worked with staff and students to remake the student affairs program. After eight years as dean of students, Andrews was appointed vice president for enrollment and student life. In this role, he provided leadership for the completion of a campus strategic enrollment growth initiative. With a particular emphasis on entering new admissions markets and raising the academic reputation of the college, the college surpassed the 2,500 student mark. This enrollment figure represents a 67% increase from the full-time student enrollment 10 years earlier. This accomplishment was completed while maintaining the college’s discount rate - even through the national economic downturn in 2008-09.

    In 2010, Andrews was asked to serve as senior vice president for academic resources, following the departure of the chief development officer. For two years in this role, he served simultaneously as the chief enrollment officer, chief development officer and senior student affairs officer. During this period, enrollment continued to increase, the academic reputation of the college continued to rise and fundraising results were accelerated after the national economic crisis.

    Andrews will move to Winfield with his family. His wife, Trish, was born and raised in Harvard, Ill., a small dairy farming community. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Carthage College in 1997. Trisha earned a master’s degree in education from Carthage and a master’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She currently serves as director of academic advising at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Ill., where she also has taught courses in U.S. History. She spent the first eight years of her professional life working in student affairs and career services at small private colleges.

    Brad and Trish enjoy spending time with their four children—Graham, 17; Tyler, 13; Madeline, 6; and Gwendolyn, 3. Brad is a golfer and enjoys running; he has completed 10 marathons. Trish is a photographer.

    Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.  About 1,700 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at professional studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.

  • Prepare for your Interview

    Prepare for your Interview

    Deciding to change careers can be a major hurdle. When you are leaving the military it can be even more trying. Many veterans have more than acceptable experience, but how do you decipher your skills to be marketable?

    Seek out a mentor to assist you in preparing you for your interview - specifically someone who has already been through the transition process and found success. You can also seek out someone who does the hiring. This will afford you the opportunity to know what the interview process is like and what might be asked. Ask your mentor for a practice interview as well as an assessment of what they feel could use some work.

    You will need to learn to describe your skills in a relevant fashion - avoid military jargon. Civilian managers will find it difficult to understand what skill sets you possess based on your resume alone. You need to be able to verbally communicate your skills in a way that is understandable. Utilize tools such as online translators to connect your military experience with civilian dialogue. 

    Do not focus solely on the main job you had while in the military. Avoid limiting your skills to being a mechanic on tanks for the past 20 years. Instead be general, saying you were a mechanic for 20 years. Include skills such as leadership, training, and programs such as government purchasing official and safety programs manager.

    Understand the position and company you are interviewing for. Take the time to do some research about the company as well as the job you are interested in. Often times a company’s “about us” tab on their website offers information on what they do and what their viewpoints and philosophies are. This will help you decide if not only are you right for the company, but is the company right for you.

    Focus on the specifics of the job requirement and skills. Allow yourself to target specific skills they are looking for while you are interviewing and market yourself on your abilities to meet those needs. Ask yourself, “What can I bring to the table?” and “What do I have to offer?”

    Lastly, stay positive! It is not a guarantee that you will land every job you interview for. Even if you don’t land that specific job, you can be kept in mind for other positions you are better suited for. Human resource professionals often network and at times direct you to other opportunities as well as tell a peer they believe you would be a perfect fit for them. 

  • TA Deadline for Summer 1 Session Approaching

    Wichita, Kansas – The deadline for tuition assistance for our military learners is rapidly approaching.

    The deadline for TA is 10 days prior to the start of classes. Our next session begins May 11th.

    Email us at with any questions or reach out to your success coach.  

  • Chinese Scholars to Discuss Chinese Culture & Medicine at Professional Studies

    WICHITA, Kansas – Members of the Southwestern College family, healthcare professionals and general public are invited to attend a presentation on Chinese culture and medicine on May 5th.

    The discussion on Chinese culture, the association of Chinese medicine and modern medicine, and the practice of traditional Chinese medicine will be presented by Yan Peng, Na Yu and Xiaojin Zeng, Chinese scholars from Hunan University in Changsha, Hunan, China.

    Anyone interested can attend the discussion at 7 p.m. on May 5th at Southwestern College Professional Studies, located at 2040 S. Rock Rd. in Wichita, or watch the discussion live online.


  • Resume Writing Tips for Veterans

    Veterans often face an uncertainty when writing a resume. How exactly can they market themselves using the experiences that they possess? A civilian is less likely to have difficulty due to their outlook, vocabulary and previous qualified experiences. Servicemen or women need to take a few extra steps to translate the career they had in to an eye-catching resume that will win the attention of a civilian employer.

    While challenging, interpreting a military resume into a civilian resume is far from impossible. If anyone is up for the challenge, it is certainly a veteran. The job market today is a challenge and highly competitive, however the experience that can be brought to the table from a veteran is highly desirable when marketed correctly. Here are some tips that will assist in the process and help you become a step up from your competition.

    1. Be specific to the job in which you are applying

    One of the main reasons applicants are passed up for positions is their wording on their resume. Each position will require slightly different job skills, so altering your resume to fit that job description is imperitive. It's important not to generalize the information to fit everything in. Tailor your resume to be a master of what is being sought after by potential employers.

    Include a Career Objective at the beginning of your resume, indicating to employers who you are and what you have to offer. This is also a pronounced way to show what position you are interested in applying for. You will not stand out if you are using a blanket career objective.

    2. Match You Skillset

    Applying to jobs you are qualified for. You are only wasting time and energy by applying for ones out of reach.  Focus your attention on jobs you stand a good chance at acquiring because of your experience and skills. For example, if your area of expertise is human resources, you will have a difficult time landing a mechanical job.  Instead, search for jobs using keywords such as “human resources,' “HR," “workforce planning," and the like.

    If you still have your heart set on mechanical positions, find a technical school near you and enroll. Education will help with you qualify for what your passion is.

    3. Cut out military lingo

    Remember most civilians do not speak military. Acronyms or specific knowledge of military applications will liikely be lost to the person reviewing your resume. If you do use an acronym in order to keep your resume at a certain length, make sure you type out the full title of the acronym first. Then you can shorten it with the acronym in a later sentence. This may come as a challenge, but translation will be needed from military specific language. Resumes containing a lot of military terminology will cause human resource managers to overlook quality skills because they do not understand it. 

    4. Sell Yourself

    It's OK to brag here. No one knows you like you, so sell yourself! This is where you get to flaunt and even brag about accomplishments you have made, awards you have recieved ands skills you have mastered. But remember to make it easy for a civilian to understand, taking that extra step to translate military jargon. Also, add credentials by including military honors and any medals earnd as this is definitely be one area where civilians will not be able to compete with you. Display what you have to offer from your military skill by using HR-friendly words such as:

    • Strategic Planning
    • Performance Optimization
    • Budget and Financing
    • Corporate Administration
    • World Class Organization
    • Crisis Management
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Decision-Making

    In many cases, having served in the military makes you a highly desired candidate. Critical thinking and problem solving skills are highly sought after skills. By complementing your military involvement with these skills you validate your titles, which is something that many civilian applicants will strive to do.

     5. Proofread, proofread and proofread again

    When writing your resume it is essential to check for grammar and spelling errors. It is not enough to simply run your resume through a spell check; it requires proofreading. One of the best things you can do is step away from your resume for half an hour and then go back to it. It's amazing how many typos or grammatical errors you can miss the first or even second time you proofread. Also, hand your resume to a friend. A second set of eyes can catch errors that might make the difference in you getting the job.

    Let us know your thoughts on resume building for vets using the hashtag #SVAatSC or at our LinkedIn Group:



  • 2015 Commencement Ceremonies Set

    WICHITA, Kansas – Commencement ceremonies for 2015 Southwestern College students will be held on Sunday, May 10th.

    The undergraduate ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. at Richard L. Jantz Stadium. The graduate ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. at Stewart Field House.

    For a detailed list of the weekend’s commencement activities click here.

  • PS Alumnus Makes National News for Children's Book Explaining PTSD

    Wichita, Kansas – A Southwestern College Professional Studies alumnus and former academic success coach has made national news for a children’s book he wrote explaining post-traumatic stress disorder to his children.

    Retired Army First Sergeant Seth Kastle, of Wakeeney, Kansas, wrote “Why Is Dad So Mad?” to explain the effects PTSD has had on him since returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Kastle graduated from Southwestern College Professional Studies with a Master’s of Science in Leadership degree in May 2009. His story aired on NBC Nightly News on April 1st.

    Books can be purchased at 


  • Why Should You Hire a Vet?

    There are approximately 19,000 unemployed Veterans in the United States today. This leaves plenty of opportunities to hire a quality employee who is the perfect fit to make your team a success. Here is a look at some things to consider when hiring a veteran:

    Exhibit proven leadership: From the beginning of a veteran’s career they are placed into leadership roles. Leadership roles that are continuously developed further education, training and on-the-job encounters.

    Mission focused:  Veterans are used to thinking of the mission at hand. Being able to stay focused makes veterans capable of meeting requirements in a professional and timely manner. Obstacles are easily maneuvered and overcome.

    Great team players:  Veterans have been taught to work within a team environment in any capacity whether it be a small role or as a leader. Individual efforts are what make the group successful. No matter the task, they are willing and able to take it on.

    Excellent work ethic:  Military personnel have an understanding of success. Success is dependent on the team in which they are part of. Because of hard work and dedication, veterans are able to take control of their own success and ensuring their promotion. By doing this it ensure the overall success of a company. This will carry over to their civilian career. Veterans are adaptable to new and changing work environments.

    Possess wide range of education and training: Education and training are at the forefront of any military career. Veterans are taught new skills in many different areas with a focus on the newest technology. Veterans are taught leadership, management, operations and sales. Being able to evolve and learn new skills makes veterans eager to learn and adapt. 

    Great contributors: Veterans are used to being challenged. They are encouraged daily to be quick thinkers, precise, excellent decision making skills and to able take initiative. They also have the ability to give credit where credit is due to ensure team cohesiveness.

    Previously passed background checks and security clearances: Over 90 percent of the military have already undergone extensive background checks and have various levels of security clearances. This saves corporations a great deal of time and money.

    Willing to relocate:  When leaving active duty, veterans are given paid relocation services. This can save employers money and ensure the employee will be able to relocate for the position.  Veterans are also highly adaptable and willing to move to meet the job requirement.

    If you have any questions, would like further information or would like to get involved, please contact us at SVA@SCKANS.EDU