Ever since 1992 when St. Mary of the Plains College closed its doors in Dodge City, the entire southwest quadrant of Kansas has been without a four-year institution other than tiny Barclay College in Haviland.
Residents in that part of the state want to re-establish local access to four-year degrees, and a proposal to create “Fort Hays State University at Dodge City” promises to address that need. The union of the existing Dodge City Community College with Fort Hays State University would be a first for Kansas.
The merged institution would offer associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees and certificates through a new technical institute. The merger would require a commitment from the state of $10 million to erect a building for the new technical institute and an ongoing $5 million annually for overall operations.
FHSU has pledged its support for the merger, conditional on financial support from the state, and members of the DCCC Board of Trustees have voted unanimously to support the merger.
If successful, the proposed merger could increase enrollment on the Dodge City campus by 2,000 students, giving a major boost to the area economy and providing residents of southwest Kansas access to the American dream through greater educational opportunities.