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  • USD 232 Joins JCCC in KU’s Degree in 3 Program
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USD 232 Joins JCCC in KU’s Degree in 3 Program

January 25th, 2019 -- Hannah Michelle...
USD 232 (De Soto) joins Degree in 3 program, providing its high school students an accelerated pathway to a college education.
Story by Hannah Lemon

OVERLAND PARK (Jan. 25, 2019) – 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 new partnership, students earn college credits in high school, complete an associate 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.”(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 at the KU Edwards Campus on Jan. 24.

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 and writing; molecular biosciences and public administration. This is the latest addition for Degree in 3. The University of Kansas 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.”

About USD 232 (De Soto)
Each school day, USD 232 welcomes more than 7,400 students through the doors of its 12 campuses with seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. The school district encompasses an area of nearly 100 square miles in northwest Johnson County and draws from the communities of De Soto, Shawnee, Lenexa, a portion of Olathe, and unincorporated areas of the county. USD 232 has a record of steady, marked improvement with a continual quest for excellence. It has built a record of achievement in instructional program quality, policy development, efficiency of operation and student co-curricular activities.

About The University of Kansas
The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. Its mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world. The KU Edwards Campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park brings the high-quality academic, professional and continuing education programs as well as research and public-service benefits of KU to the Greater Kansas City community in order to serve the workforce, economic and community development needs of the region.

About Johnson County Community College
Established in 1969, Johnson County Community College is the largest community college in Kansas, and has a strong reputation for educational excellence and student success. JCCC helps students on the path toward tomorrow with undergraduate credit courses in nearly 50 one- and two-year career degree and certificate programs. The College’s Continuing Education division offers courses and certificate programs that equip today’s workforce for tomorrow’s challenges.