Dodge City Community College held its annual State of the College Address on Friday and college officials praised the school’s successes.

Adam John, vice president of the college, said he is approached daily with a single question.

"I’m asked all the time ‘what’s going on at the college,’" he said. "We’re changing lives every day.

"It’s what we are doing. Education is the key to the future and we’re helping these students get a good start on their future. It’s great when we help a student get into a 4-year college with a goal of completing their degree.

"It’s amazing to be a part of it."

Several faculty members presented success stories in their fields of expertise. Areas of focus included the academic success center, the sciences, the nursing program, the adult learning center and more.

"In the next semester we will begin building a new strategic plan," said Harold Nolte, school president. "A strategic plan is a plan of where we want to be in the future — a guide to get to our goals.

"It will be a guideline to being successful for our students."

The college also has a focus on being successful for Dodge City and surrounding areas. Ryan Ausmus, dean of workplace at the college, talked of meeting with city and business leaders.

"We are trying to find out what areas of workplace development are needed the most," Ausmus said. "We have success in health industries, construction and electric lineman.

"But, we want to make sure as our college grows that we feed the community in areas it needs more workforce. I’ve spoken with business leaders and Joann Knight (of Ford County/Dodge City Economic Development Corporation) to make sure we are developing in areas we need to."

New athletic director Jacob Ripple admitted wins and losses are important, but touted the academic success of the athletic department.

"We have three teams — men’s cross country, men’s golf and football — who lead the conference in grade point average," he said. "It’s important that our athletes compete not just on the field, but even harder in the classroom."

Dodge City Community College unveiled a new academic logo for the school, informed the crowd that 53 percent of the students at the school were from Ford County and that 75 percent were from southwest Kansas and encouraged everyone to help the college’s foundation, which is raising money for scholarships, but also to finish the Student Activity Center, which is a year old.

"We have been a member of the community for a long time," Nolte said. "We intend to be a member of Dodge City for a lot longer."

 

To contact the writer email rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.