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Bethel to participate in second Kansas Private College Week

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TOPEKA, KAN. – To highlight the “special, vital niche in the Kansas higher education landscape” that Kansas’ private colleges hold, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has declared April 17-23 Kansas Private College Week.

The 18 member institutions of the Kansas Independent College Association are the beneficiaries of the governor’s proclamation, which urges “all citizens to join in this observance by recognizing the important contributions of private colleges in the state.”

KICA President Doug Penner, Topeka, in a special op-ed piece released to newspapers statewide for Kansas Private College Week, noted: “The independent colleges, not-for-profit fully accredited colleges, have for decades been an integral part of the state’s higher education system, consistently enrolling about 20 percent of students attending four-year colleges and graduating 20 percent of the bachelor’s degree students and 29 percent of the masters level students.

“Kansas Private College Week is an opportunity to recognize again one small but very productive sector of the higher education enterprise in our state,” he concluded.

KICA institutions in this area are, in Harvey County, Bethel College in North Newton and Hesston College; in Marion County, Tabor College in Hillsboro; and in McPherson County, Central Christian College and McPherson College, both in McPherson. The other participating colleges are Baker University, Baldwin City; Benedictine College, Atchison; Bethany College, Lindsborg; Donnelly College, Kansas City; Friends University, Wichita; Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina; Manhattan Christian College; MidAmerica Nazarene University, Olathe; Newman University, Wichita; Ottawa University; Southwestern College, Winfield; Sterling College; and University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth.

About 22,000 students from across the nation enroll at the Kansas private colleges each year. The institutions support their students through generous financial aid, awarding more than $120 million annually in institutional grants and scholarships to supplement grants and scholarships from the federal and state governments.

Kansas private colleges have more than 200,000 living alumni, half of whom live and work in Kansas – among these some of the state’s most important civic, business and cultural leaders.

For more information on Kansas private colleges or on Kansas Private College Week, contact Mark Millikan at 785-235-9877 or visit www.Proud2BPrivate.com.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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