When Kansas high school students think about heading off to college, they usually think of becoming a Jayhawk or a Wildcat. But before students head east to spend a fortune on education, they should consider the higher education opportunities right here in Garden City.
Garden City Community College (GCCC) is a top-quality educational institution that can provide students with two years of higher education at a fraction of the cost of larger universities. This way, students can get started on their educational journey without being saddled with the heavy debt of a typical university student. Read on to learn more.
In 1919, the Kansas legislature decided it might be beneficial to Kansans to establish a series of junior colleges throughout the state. At the time, four junior colleges were established and GCCC is one of two that remains active to this day.
The college opened its doors in September, 1919. Originally, the college was organized as part of the Garden City Public School system, so it shared campus space with the old Garden City High School.
The first class included less than 40 students, and Mildred Hope, from Garden City, was the first student to graduate from the college.
Through the 1950s and 1960s, the college moved around to several different locations as efforts were made to try to separate the college from the public school system and organize it as an independent entity.
In 1965, the Kansas Legislature took action to create a Community College system throughout the state, establishing 22 independent schools. As GCCC was already operating, it was simply reorganized to function independently under this new charter.
At this time, the college was moved to its current 65-acre, 14-building location at 801 Campus Drive in Garden City. Over time, additional buildings, laboratories, training schools, student housing, and athletic facilities were added to the school to create the GCCC we know today.
These are the core principles that guide the philosophy of the organization.
Garden City Community College exists to produce positive contributors to the economic and social well-being of society.
GCCC will be the premier educational nexus to progress, providing world class learning in a dynamic environment. From here, you can go anywhere.
The college uses the mnemonic “BUSTERS,” to establish a set of core values the institution aims to operate by. They are:
- Bold innovation
- Unwavering Integrity
- Service and Collegiality
- Trust, Transparency, & Accountability
- Empowered Creativity & Academic Freedom
- Responsible Leadership
- Student-centered focus
One of the key factors to look for in any higher education institution is accreditation. This means, the school has been recognized as meeting certain educational standards and criteria by a recognized accrediting institution.
GCCC has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accrediting institution for midwestern states, headquartered in Chicago, IL. In other words, GCCC is a “real” school and the credits and degrees issued from there will be recognized as valid by other colleges and universities as well as employers.
Additionally, specific programs at GCCC have received supplemental accreditation focused on specific areas of training and study. For example, the GCCC nursing program is certified by the Kansas State Board of Nursing and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
You can study just about anything you want at GCCC. If your career goals require a technical certificate or an associates degree, you can finish your education right here in Garden City. Then, you can get out there and start making your dreams a reality.
You can also use GCCC as a stepping stone to studying at larger universities. Typically, studying at a community college gives students the opportunity to take common core classes that will then transfer to a study program at a larger university.
The main benefits of taking these courses at a school like GCCC is that the courses are cheaper and the class sizes are smaller. Rather than taking Calculus 101 in a K-State lecture hall with a thousand other students, GCCC students have much smaller classes and more personalized instruction.
Of course, don’t forget athletics. GCCC offers a full range of athletic opportunities to students. The Broncbusters participate in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference, which allows them to compete with other community colleges across the state.
As with academics, aspiring athletes can use their time at GCCC as a stepping stone toward greater athletic goals. For example, maybe a talented football player started playing late in high school and didn’t develop his full potential. He may have the talent to play at K-State, but not the experience. Playing for the Broncbusters is a great way to prepare for the next level of play.
This may sound far-fetched, but none other than Tyreek Hill himself, now an all-star member of the NFL Kansas City Chiefs, began his college football career at GCCC.
Continuing Education Opportunities
Of course, GCCC isn’t just for young students starting out on the journey of life. As an institution dedicated to serving the Garden City community, GCCC has educational opportunities for people in all stages of life from working professionals to retirees.
If you ever had some passion or curiosity you wanted to pursue, GCCC has a solution for you. Have you dreamed of pursuing a passion for art? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to understand computer programming. Whatever your goal might be, GCCC is there to help you achieve it.
As with most schools in the country and around the world, GCCC has evolved with the times to adapt to our modern technological reality. GCCC now offers a full range of distance learning options to provide even more convenient education to the widest possible range of students.
As high school comes to a close and students begin to plan their futures, it’s normal to want to hurry up and go to a famous university. But this mentality often overlooks the value of institutions close to home.
For over 100 years, GCCC has provided outstanding education to students of all ages, training them in technical skills or preparing them for university education — all while saving them a small fortune in tuition and fees. If you’re searching for a place to begin your educational journey, you can’t go wrong with GCCC.
For more information about GCCC including educational programs, athletics, schedules, etc., be sure to check out the school’s official website.