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  • Southwestern College Partners with Defense Acquisition University

    Wichita, Kansas – In an effort to provide continued support to military learners, Southwestern College Professional Studies has partnered with the Defense Acquisition University to assist students in a seamless transition while they pursue higher education.

    The DAU provides training and certification programs for service members and Department of Defense civilians employed in the Acquisition Contract Management workforce. Most courses offered by the DAU have been evaluated and weighted for college level credit by the American Council of Education. The DAU has partnered with several colleges and universities, including Southwestern College, allowing DAU workforce members the opportunity to transfer DAU credits towards a college degree.

    As an institution that focuses on providing learners with credible and career-relevant degree programs, Southwestern College Professional Studies has partnered with the DAU, accepting its credits toward bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as certificates from Southwestern College.

    “Our partnership with the Defense Acquisition University reiterates our commitment to support the mission of the Department of Defense and its stakeholders,” said Stephen Ferguson, Director of Military Partnerships for Southwestern College. “For over 20 years, Southwestern College has provided quality education opportunities to our service members and the partnership with the DAU reinforces our pledge to continue supporting the educational needs of our nation’s defense industry.”

    Southwestern College Professional Studies is committed to its military learners, offering them with discounted tuition rates. The six-week online courses provide them with the flexibility they need to continue their education while they graciously serve the country. Southwestern College has been named one of the top 20 Military Times Best for Vets colleges, a Military Advanced Education Top School and Military Friendly School® for 2015.

    Located near McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, Southwestern College Professional Studies has satellite locations on McConnell Air Force Base and Fort Riley.

  • Southwestern College Welcomes New Director of Nursing

    Wichita, Kansas – Southwestern College Professional Studies, a non-profit institution offering higher education to working adults and members of the military, has named the new director of its Nursing program.  

    Amber Pyatt comes to Southwestern College from the Breckenridge School of Nursing at ITT Technical Institute in Wichita where she worked as the nursing chair and an instructor. Pyatt earned her B.S. in Nutrition in 2006 from Southeast Missouri State University before earning her B.S. in Nursing at Newman University in 2010. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, Pyatt worked in labor and delivery at Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph in Wichita and for Via Christi Clinic. In 2014, she earned her Master’s degree Nursing Administration and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Nursing Education online from the University of Cincinnati.

    While Pyatt loved working in women’s health, her true passions is in education, especially online.

    “I liked earning my master’s degree online and I’m currently working on my doctorate online because of the flexibility of the schedule,” she said.” I have a family and a full-time job, so it is nice to be able to work on homework at various times throughout the day and week and not have to worry about going and sitting in a classroom.”

    Pyatt’s enthusiasm for online education will be an asset to the Southwestern College RN to BSN program, which offers flexible, six-week online classes. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Nursing program is designed for registered nurses with a diploma or associate’s degree looking to earn their bachelor’s degree. Graduates are prepared for leadership roles and career advancement in a variety of healthcare settings.

    Pyatt will oversee curriculum development and faculty teaching assignments and ensure the RN to BSN program follows AACN and CCNE accreditation requirements and standards. She will also work to increase the number of learners within the program.

    “Southwestern College has a great reputation within the nursing education community,” she said,” It is very innovative with online learning and with nursing education moving more towards online learning that is very important. The program is fairly new, which means there is opportunity for me to put my thumbprint on the program and help it grow.”

    A Missouri native, Pyatt resides in Derby, Kansas with her husband and two young sons. She is currently working to complete her Doctorate in Nursing Practice in Education Leadership from American Sentinel University in 2016.

  • Military Advanced Education Names Southwestern College Top School

    WICHITA, Kansas – Southwestern College Professional Studies has been named a 2015 Top School by Military Advanced Education. 

    MAE’s Guide to Colleges & Universities provides students with information about institutions that go above and beyond for military and veterans. Their evaluation of colleges and universities this year focused on military culture, flexibility, on-campus support, online support services and financial aid. The findings are made available to students via dashboard so they can easily recognize which institutions might best fit their academic and career needs.

    “We believe the Guide serves as an invaluable tool for both education services officers and transition officers when advising service members about their educational opportunities,” said Kelly Fodel, editor of MAE. “We used strict criteria to individually evaluate the submissions or respondents and we had a record number of schools participating this year.”

    Southwestern College Professional Studies prides itself on working closely with the military and their spouses, providing them with flexible, six-week online courses that work well with their service careers. Nearly two-thirds of Professional Studies students working toward their bachelor’s and master’s degrees are members of the armed forces. Southwestern College is honored to assist them in reaching their academic goals.

    Located near McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, Southwestern College Professional Studies has satellite locations on McConnell Air Force Base and at Fort Riley. It has also been named a Best for Vets College and Military Friendly School® for 2015. It will be featured as a Top School in the December issue of MAE’s 2015 Guide to Colleges and Universities and online at


    About Southwestern College

    Southwestern College provides a values-based learning experience that emphasizes intellectual, personal, and spiritual growth. Founded in 1885 by the United Methodist Church, the non-profit college offers bachelor, master and doctoral degrees on-ground and online. Students prepare for careers and graduate studies with courses that foster critical thinking and effective communication and are characterized by meaningful professor-student interaction. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Professional Studies programs embrace prior learning and facilitate career progression for working adults, members of the armed services, and persons in transition.

    For more information visit

  • Three Southwestern College RN to BSN Students Inducted into Nursing Honor Society

    WICHITA, Kansas – Three Southwestern College Professional Studies distinguished nursing students were recognized for their academic achievements this past weekend as they were inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.

    The RN to BSN students spent their afternoon on the campus of Wichita State University on Sunday for the induction ceremony of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Epsilon Gamma-At-Large Chapter. The chapter is made up of five BSN programs in the Wichita area, including WSU, Bethel College, Tabor College Newman University and Southwestern College.

    Students Debra Birdwell, Tonya Dresher and Jessika Haselbauer were inducted during the two-hour ceremony. Haselbauer was also awarded the Iota Chi Excellence in Scholarship Award.

    “It was a real privilege and honor to be inducted into the society,” said Debra Birdwell, Southwestern College RN to BSN student. “I began my nursing career as a CNA and my first boss at Wesley Medical Center was at the ceremony representing Tabor College. Linda Moody had been my instructor at WATC when I was in LPN school. These ladies have been great mentors in my nursing journey. I hope to become involved in the local chapter and make a difference in our community.”

    The Southwestern College Professional Studies RN to BSN program provides current nurses the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s in nursing degrees and learn from practicing professionals. Students can transfer up to 94 credit hours from any nationally or regionally-accredited institution and complete their degree in as little as 14 months.

  • Southwestern College Named Best for Vets College for 2015

    WICHITA, Kansas – Southwestern College Professional Studies has made the cut for Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2015.

    Best for Vets rankings are done as an independent project in which organizations are evaluated to determine if they are a good fit more members of the armed forces, veterans and their families. Best for Vets: Colleges is in its fifth year assessing colleges and the success rate of their military students. In order to be given the honor schools must document a large range of services, financial incentives and accommodations to military and veteran students.

    “We factor in what is, to our knowledge, the most detailed school-by-school data on veteran students’ academic success anywhere, including graduation, retention, persistence and course completion rates,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Best for Vets. “By recognizing only the schools that do the most, we believe we’re helping to raise the bar in veteran student services.”

    Southwestern College Professional Studies prides itself on working closely with the military and their spouses, providing them with flexible, 6-week online courses that work well with their service careers. Roughly two-thirds of Professional Studies students working toward their bachelor’s and master’s degrees are members of the armed forces. Southwestern College is proud to assist them in reaching their academic goals.

    “As our nation pauses to reflect and offer gratitude to the men and women who have sacrificed and honored their country through service, Southwestern College would like to extend our thanks and reaffirm our commitment to continue supporting veterans,” said Stephen Ferguson, Director of Military Programs, Southwestern College. “Southwestern College is committed to providing affordable, high-quality education programs to Veterans and their family members.”

    Located just minutes away from McConnell Air Force Base in east Wichita, Kansas, Southwestern College Professional Studies also has satellite locations on McConnell Air Force Base and at Fort Riley. The college has been named a Military Friendly School® as well as a Military Advanced Education Top School for 2015.

  • Southwestern College Signs Articulation Agreement with MCC

    WICHITA, Kansas – Southwestern College Professional Studies in Wichita, Kansas and Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City have announced the signing of an articulation agreement that will make for the easy transition of credits for MCC students wishing to further their education at Southwestern College.

    Students who have earned their Associate in Applied Science, Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees with MCC will now be able to easily transfer their credits to Southwestern College to earn their bachelor’s degree. The new articulation agreement will make it possible to transfer without losing credits or repeating courses already taken. It also provides a pathway for active and inactive military members to easily transition into earning their bachelor’s degree.

    “This is a great opportunity for MCCKC students,” said Paul Long, Vice Chancellor of Metropolitan Community College. “We try to advance as many pathways as possible for them to move from our institutions to other colleges. An online agreement in these areas provide them with such an opportunity.”

    “We are celebrating our 20th year anniversary at Professional Studies of helping students earn their Bachelors’ degrees,” said Amy Lash Esau, Dean of Southwestern College Professional Studies. “With our new RN to BSN Program and our Security Management Program, we are just more than thrilled that we can partner with MCC in this way.”

    Located in east Wichita near McConnell Air Force Base, Southwestern College Professional Studies provides flexibility with six-week online courses that allow students to work while they further their education.

  • KNOXX™ Partnership to Bring SC Students Innovative Career Networking Opportunities

    WICHITA, Kansas, October 20, 2014 – Southwestern College is proud to announce a partnership with KNOXX™, an innovative career networking platform created by Wichita-based firm Insights Career Consulting.  

    As the only college partner of KNOXX™, Southwestern College will be able to offer its students and alumni access to the career networking platform free of charge.

    “I was very impressed with how forward thinking Southwestern was in exploring new and effective ways to showcase their students and alumni to prospective employers,” said Mike Mathia, founder of Insights Career Consulting. “The commitment from Southwestern to blend technology into their educational programs well before we discovered each other speaks very highly of their likelihood for future success and stability. As a result, students and alumni should be very proud to be associated with such an institution!  Southwestern and KNOXX™ are both industry innovators and our missions are very similar – assist students in finding opportunity.”

    Students taking advantage of KNOXX™ will have the opportunity to be seen and heard with integrated video technology that will allow them to introduce themselves on a more personal level to potential employers. Those videos can be created and posted with the assistance of staff members at the Professional Studies building.

    An “About Me” section on the site will offer students the opportunity to showcase their personalities and interests with prospective employers and the “My Links” section allows students to provide more extensive information about their credentials. The site will allow potential employees to narrow down their search by the size of business they are hoping to work for. It also offers three security features, making it easier to search for jobs discreetly.

    “Employers are truly excited about the opportunity to visit a career networking site where they will be provided with detailed and valuable information regarding available candidates in the market and now through this partnership, Southwestern will separate itself from competing institutions that continue to rely only on traditional means of assisting students with their post-education careers,” Mathia said.

    The KNOXX™  Web site went live in September and is actively being used by employers and those seeking employment.

    Southwestern College students can learn more at or contact


  • SC Graduate publishes final class project

    WICHITA, Kansas, October 20, 2014 -- Becoming an author and illustrator wasn’t what Connie Kane set out to do when she enrolled in classes at Southwestern College in 2010. She was working as a para professional in Goddard and had her sights set on a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education when a final project steered her in an unexpected direction.

    Kane was tasked by her Children’s Literature instructor, Jill Sullivan, to write and illustrate a children’s book as her final project for the class. The book would then have to be put up to the ultimate test: reading it to elementary students.

    “Part of our assignment for whatever we created was we had to read it to different age levels – to different classrooms,” Kane said.

    Born in Eureka, Kansas, Kane spent the majority of her youth in Kansas and Oklahoma. The mother of four and grandmother of three now lives on 80 acres of land in a 100-year-old farmhouse just outside of Goddard where she enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren. She says it was her family and quiet country life that would be her biggest inspiration for her book entitled “Journey Through the Meadow.”

    “As I sat down and wrote the book my kids were a huge inspiration,” she said. “We used to go on nature walks when my children were growing up and now my grandkids come over and we kind of still do that.”

    The book is a quick read, perfect for any young child.

    “My favorite part about the book is that the main character is the reader, so it eliminates any kind of social or ethnic boundaries,” said Kane. “It is who is reading it.”

    Its illustrations, which Kane did herself with a little help from her students at Oak Street Elementary School in Goddard, boast eye-catching color.

    “The students took computer paper and we all joined in together and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do yet, but they just filled the sheet as much as they could with water colors and we hung them up to dry,” she explained. “And then I made stencils and then I began cutting stuff out and that’s just kind of how things evolved.”

    Once it was finished she read it aloud to her students and their teachers. Their positive feedback would become her motivation to have it published.

    “I had a couple teachers remark, ‘Oh, I would buy that,’” she said.

    With nothing to lose, Kane took the book to Mennonite Press in Newton, Kansas about a year ago to see about having it self-published.

    “They loved it,” she said. “They absolutely loved it and I could see them getting excited about it.”

    Next she would have to re-do her illustrations, covering the pages with her colorful artwork. After that was complete she got the approval of the Library of Congress and purchased her International Standard Book Number and tax codes. About six weeks later, she had the final project in hand.  

    “I am very pleased,” she said of her book. “It’s a neat feeling.”

    Her former teacher, who gave her an ‘A,’ shares the same sentiment.

    “I read it to my grandchildren and they loved it,” said Jill Sullivan, Southwestern College affiliate faculty member. “I hope that she continues to write and explore ways to utilize her creativity. I was so excited to receive a copy of her book in the mail and will use it as an example in future classes.”

    Kane graduated from Southwestern College through Professional Studies in 2012 and currently substitute teaches in west Wichita and Goddard while she seeks a full-time teaching position. She is in the process of selling her book on and if all goes well, she already has thoughts for a second. Until then, copies of her book can be purchased on her Web site,

    Learn more about Southwestern College Professional Studies Elementary Education Program.

    Are you a former Professional Studies student with a great story and want to be featured on our Web site? Email

  • Watch replay of lectures with Major General Michael Lehnert (retired)

  • Wichita Radio Stations to Air Interview with Retired GTMO General Michael Lehnert

    Wichita, Kansas, October 10, 2014 – iHeartMedia, Inc. stations will air an interview with Marine Major General Michael Lehnert (retired) over the weekend just days before he will speak to the public, military and law enforcement in Wichita.

    Lehnert, who was in command of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during its post-9/11 transformation in 2002, will take part in a law enforcement panel discussion with Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams (retired) and Master Police Officer Lionel Santiago, of the Orlando Police Department, at the Hyatt Regency Wednesday, October 15th from 9 a.m. to noon. That evening, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Lehnert will give a public lecture on terrorism to the public at the Hyatt. Both events are free and open to the public. He will speak to the military on Thursday, October 16th

    The interview on iHeart Media’s Wichita Weekend radio show will air as follows on Sunday, October 12th.

    Listen online by clicking the radio station links above.