OVERLAND PARK — High school students in USD 232 (De Soto) have a new, accelerated path to a bachelor’s degree. On Jan. 24, USD 232 Superintendent Frank Harwood, Johnson County Community College President Joe Sopcich and KU Edwards Campus Vice Chancellor David Cook signed a new Degree in 3 partnership agreement, enabling students from De Soto High School and Mill Valley High School to earn a bachelor’s degree from KU in only three years.
Through this partnership, students earn college credits in high school, complete an associate's degree from Johnson County Community College one year after graduating and complete a KU Edwards Campus bachelor’s degree two years later.
“The mission of the school district is to prepare all students for their future through excellent, innovative learning opportunities,” Harwood said. “The Degree in 3 program is in line with our commitment to help students realize their academic and career goals more quickly. This opportunity will accelerate the pathway to college for interested students, reduce higher education costs for families and increase the number of individuals ready for the workforce. USD 232 is proud to be a member of this strategic partnership.”
As JCCC, a long-time Degree in 3 partner, celebrates its 50th anniversary, the community college continues to evolve its campus and offerings to meet student and industry needs.
“We’re proud to welcome USD 232 to our Degree in 3 partnership,” Sopcich said. “This is a transformative initiative that affords our students the opportunity to accelerate their education and realize their professional and personal goals in an impactful manner. By working together and putting our students first, we create a brighter future for all.”
The new partnership includes the following educational pathways: business administration; biotechnology; exercise science; law and society; literature, language & writing; molecular biosciences and public administration. This is the latest addition for Degree in 3. KU and existing partner school districts and community colleges formalized the program during a signing event at the KU Edwards Campus in June 2018.
“We are thrilled to add USD 232 to our growing list of Degree in 3 partners,” Cook said. “Since its inception a few years ago, Degree in 3 has widened its impact with more school districts and community colleges joining forces to achieve our common goal of educating the local workforce and equipping area students with the resources they need to start their careers on the right path.”
Photo: From left, USD 232 Superintendent Frank Harwood, KU Edwards Campus Vice Chancellor David Cook and Johnson County Community College President Joe Sopcich sign their new Degree in 3 partnership into effect during a celebration on Jan. 24 at the KU Edwards Campus.