Southwestern College (Kansas) Distance Learning

Southwestern College is a privately owned, baccalaureate college that shares affiliations with the United Methodist Church. It is located in Winfield, Kansas. Studies at Southwestern College are focused in the Liberal Arts with a supplementary array of Interdiscplinary studies, and a strong fixture in professional topics, majors, and preparatory studies.

Distance education is offered at the college, but the specific options one has access to are broken up amongst a few topics. All the while, the college doesn’t specifically feature or compartmentalize general distance learning. This most likely means that there are a online courses, but not enough to entirely cover a particular major.

For example, there is a set of online Senior-Level Nursing Courses; three of them, to be precise, as of 2008. These courses allow students earning their Bachelor of Science in Nursing to take 12 credits out of their on-campus schedule. A nursing student would still have to weave campus-based learning into their collegiate plan, but these courses will most likely expand until the requisites of a degree program are met. Courses are accessed through Blackboard, a common courseware tool used for online information transfer and communication.

There will most likely be an online nursing program offered in the near future, as the selection as most likely expanded over the past few years. This leaves only the barrier of general education courses to be introduced, which would complete the requirements for an online degree. Once these general education courses are fully in place, more degree options can branch therefrom.

A unique feature of the college that all students can benefit from is the wide distribution of grant aid. Each student that attends the college receives a grant to put towards their tuition costs. The average size of this grant is $8,642. A third of the student body receives federal grants for its studies while another third of the student body receives grants in roughly the same amount from state and/or local sources. The presence of financial aid is moderately large and significantly lowers the difficulty of financing a Southwestern College education.

Another unique feature of the college is that is has developed thorough academic relationships with international Chinese students. There is a section of the site and a dedicated program for Chinese students. This provides some translation services, English courses, and student information in Chinese so that these students don’t miss important or helpful announcements.

Lastly, the cost of attending this college, for a private institution, is more affordable. Per year, a student pays $18,600, assuming they are engaged in their learning full-time (12 – 18 credit hours per semester). Part-time students stack up their dues at $775 per credit hour. There are some graduate programs offered in extension to undergraduate study. These come at the full-time cost of $7,228 per year, or the part-time cost of $457 per credit hour.

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