Hesston College students will have more programs of study and course options from which to choose when classes resume in August. The newest program additions and expansions are among at least 13 new or expanded programs that have been added to the list of more than 50 offered programs of study in the last three years.
In an effort to continually meet student needs and interests, the college is adding two new programs of study starting in fall 2017 – emergency management and sports ministry – and offering expanded, more transferable courses in five existing programs – aviation, biology, graphic design, engineering and theatre.
“We say that Hesston students ‘start here’ and ‘go everywhere,’ but our students are increasingly coming from everywhere and going everywhere,” said Brent Yoder ’98, vice president of Academics. “These new courses and programs will help satisfy the interests of students and prepare them well to transfer to a wide variety of institutions or to immediately begin their careers.”
The new emergency management program will operate in cooperation with the City of Hesston Emergency Services Department. Students in the program will be selected through an interview process to work part time with Hesston EMS while completing coursework to earn Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and/or Firefighter certification. For students selected to the program, the coursework and fees for the EMT and Firefighter certifications will be paid for by Hesston EMS with a one-year student commitment to the department once certified.
“Hesston Fire/EMS is excited to partner with Hesston College to offer an amazing community service opportunity for students and also fill a critical need for firefighters and emergency medical responders in our department,” said Russ Buller, City of Hesston director of emergency services. “This collaboration provides a chance for students to experience meaningful and rewarding situations providing help to others in their time of need while not compromising their college experience. For our community, this program helps address the constant need for qualified emergency responders.”
The other new program addition, sports ministry, prepares students to plan, direct and initiate church-based or community recreation programs and equips students to use recreation and sports as a tool for outreach in the community. The curriculum focuses on courses in both physical education and Bible and ministry as students are provided a biblical and theological foundation for ministry through sports.
In addition to the new programs, new course offerings are being added to programs associated with aviation, biology, graphic design, engineering and theatre to give students smoother transitions into four-year programs and a career.
The college’s aviation program received FAA approval in December 2016 to offer Reduced Airplane Transport Pilot (R-ATP), which allows graduates of Hesston’s program to apply for the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate after 1,250 hours of flight time instead of the 1,500 hours typically required by the FAA. The change in the program will allow Hesston aviation graduates to more quickly climb the career ladder.
The course expansions in the remaining programs were added or revamped to better fit general course requirements in those programs at both private and public four-year programs nationwide, improving the transferability of courses from Hesston to other higher education institutions programs.
Over the last three years, other new programs added to the lineup, and which continue to grow, have been criminal and restorative justice, exercise science, leadership and baccalaureate degree nursing.