SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
by Christina DiMartino
For 136 years, Park University has been devoted to the timeless values of an affordable liberal arts education. Just north of Kansas City, perched above the Missouri River, Park University offers rich and varied opportunities at its flagship campus, its 21 campuses across the county, and online.
“We now offer three online programs,” said Rita Weighill, vice president for communication at Park University. “We are rooted in tradition, but fully engaged in the present and with our eyes on the future.
“Park is one of the oldest and most innovative liberal arts universities in the Midwest. Our educators are committed to a classic liberal arts mission and to preparing students for global professions, civic engagement, responsible citizenry, and most importantly, for life. Everything we offer students in a face-to-face environment here at Park and at our classrooms in 21 states, we also offer online to a worldwide audience.”
Whether studying education, athletic training, criminal justice, nursing, education, graphic design or business, students at Park are preparing for more than a career. At Park they learn to be critical thinkers and problem-solvers. They leave Park able to adapt to the world and rise to its challenges.
“That’s what higher education should do,” adds Weighill. “Given the wide-ranging career interests and personal goals that students seek today, they need a vibrant, diverse learning community such as Park provides.”
Beautiful and inspiring
From Park University’s 135 year-old campus, students gaze upon the rooftops of Parkville, a classic American small town that is part of Kansas City’s northern suburbs. In another direction, they can observe the city’s art deco skyline, located just 15 minutes away. Nearby is the 115-acre Parkville Nature Sanctuary, which offers picturesque hiking trails, overlooks, waterfalls, wetlands, and ponds.
Park offers all the services, features and facilities that make a university setting perfect. Besides outstanding educational formats, campus life and intercollegiate athletics provide a more intimate look and feel than most other universities.
“And we place a huge emphases on campus safety,” says Weighill. “Students have the availability of 24-7 security. Entrances are protected with security access, and they can opt for our emergency messaging system.
“Yet Park also prides itself on its family-like atmosphere, where friendliness and a genuine concern for students infuse a comfortable and caring campus environment.”
A perfect means to learn
Park University classes have a student to faculty ratio of 14:1. They stress both theoretical and practical topics under the direction of highly educated, experienced and gifted professors who work closely with the university’s senior administrative staff. The variety of financial assistance tools including scholarships, loans, grants, and work-study help Park students and their families deal with the expenses of attending college.
Park engages students to help them develop friendship and leadership experience through campus organizations and clubs. Global Future, in partnership with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce's World Trade Center, brings together international business leaders from major companies in the Kansas City area, local university professors, including those from Park University, and students from other area universities with the goal of providing a greater understanding of the many facets of international business through interaction and instruction.
“Students can also express achievement through honor and professional societies, such as Alpha Chi, the national scholastic honor society, or additional honor societies in 10 different professional disciplines,” says Weighill. The historic Parkville campus, residence halls, intercollegiate athletics, intramural sports and a rich array of social and cultural events allow students to truly live the college life. “It’s kind of like home, only way more fun.”
Opportunities for “non-traditional” students
Park administrators believe that everyone—adults and those who are located in remote places on earth—deserves an exemplary education. Pak University operates one of the largest distance learning and online degree-granting programs in the United States.
By welcoming diverse student populations from its earliest days, Park modeled the values of inclusion, where different life experiences add to the educational vitality of an academic environment. Adult students are offered five convenient term courses on weekends or evenings.
“We are also committed to providing educational opportunities to military personnel and their families,” says Weighill. “The majority of our out-of-city campuses are, in fact, military campuses. It doesn’t matter where in the world military members are stationed; they can continue to higher their education through Park’s online programs or at the face-to-face facilities.”
Some of Park’s classes are scheduled in accelerated eight-week terms that start five times a year. In recognition of the importance of serving “non-traditional students,” Park is one of the few comprehensive universities in the world where students can earn a degree entirely online. Many online students complete their degree in just two to three years.
Students at Park’s campus centers nationwide and online globally thrive in an environment that values their individuality and the rich tapestry of their life experiences. Serving the individual academic needs for students is one of Park’s most cherished traditions.
Christina DiMartino has been a freelance and assignment writer since 1985. She is a researcher, interviewer, writer, editor, and manuscript collaborator with a repertoire of clients from around the world.
Photo courtesy of Park University