Automotive Technology Chairman Tim Dell recognized some time ago that despite Pittsburg State University's unique and highly respected auto program, the school's location in Southeast Kansas might make it a little difficult for professionals in metropolitan areas to take advantage of programs that would enable them to finish their four-year degrees.
But starting this fall, PSU is bringing the program to them.
This August the university will begin offering courses that will allow students with an Associate's of Applied Science (AAS) in Automotive Technology degree to take courses at PSU's Kansas City Metro Center to complete their four-year degrees. The part-time program, which will consist of one in-class and one online course each semester, will help AAS students earn their Bachelor of Applied Science in Technology degree in just over three years.
Dell and automotive technology faculty including Steve Polley, who will oversee the program, have been hitting the Kansas City circuit for months in order to encourage support for the program. This spring they spread the word at Kansas City's Vision Conference as well as the Kansas City Auto Show. They've also been in talks with multiple Kansas City-area community colleges in order to recruit two-year graduates.
The program is designed so that AAS graduates working full-time can conveniently come back to school. With students' lab work behind them already, the courses are focused on management, business, and general education.
"It's going to change the life of some individual," Dell said. "Someone who has been in this career for years but can't relocate and can't move up because they don't have the degree - this will be a life-changer for them. The career opportunities are so much more rewarding, not just financially, but personally as well."