SJMS Partners with Local Colleges to Offer Cadets Concurrent Courses

As part of St. John’s Military School’s ongoing commitment to developing opportunities that will best position its cadets for college-level academics, the all-male, all boarding, military-style high school has expanded its partnerships with two local area collegiate institutions.

Cadets who meet academic requirements have more opportunities to take concurrent college courses at Kansas State Polytechnic and Salina Area Technical College. Both institutions aim to prepare students for careers with technical applications, and will position the cadets to succeed as our nation’s next generation of engineers, aviators, scientists, artists, and scholars.

St. John’s partnership with Kansas State Polytechnic was formed several years ago with the goal of enhancing the school’s college preparatory offerings. Previously, cadets were eligible to take such courses as English, Algebra, Plane Trigonometry, and Expository Writing. Now, not only have the course offerings expanded, cadets will be able to take courses at Kansas State Polytechnic without ever leaving the comfort of the St. John’s campus.

Cadets at St. John’s will have the option of participating in two types of virtual classroom offerings. Depending on the class, cadets can view course lectures via instructor recordings, or they can virtually attend classes via live video streams. According to Terri Gaeddert, Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus Director of Academic Operations, both options offer unique benefits.

“The recorded lectures mean our courses can fit any schedule, and the students can learn at their own pace,” said Gaeddert. “For the virtual classrooms, the students have the option of watching the live lecture via Zoom, or a telepresence robot. With the telepresence robot, if the class is breaking up into small group discussions, the students can remotely move the robot over to one of the small groups so he can truly be part of the discussion.”

Additional concurrent courses are available for St. John’s cadets at Salina Area Technical College. With the knowledge that 70 percent of jobs in Kansas require a technical education, Salina Area Technical College provides its students with a high-quality education and a focus on technical career development.

“The benefit to the cadets at St. John’s who choose to take classes at Salina Area Technical College is multi-fold,” said Stephani Johns-Hines, Salina Area Technical College Vice President of Instruction. “Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree before they graduate high school. If their intention is to go straight into the career field, they will be prepared to do so after high school graduation. If their intention is to obtain a bachelor’s degree, they can transfer their credits.”

Sam Gross lives in Hays, Kansas and is the father of St. John’s cadet David Gross, who will be a senior at St. John’s Military School in the fall. David plans to take credit hours at Salina Area Technical College toward a degree in Construction Technology. For his father, the opportunity for David to take college classes before graduating from St. John’s, will help advance his son’s education and prepare him for the steps he will take after graduation.

“David has already met the majority of his requirements for high school completion in the state of Kansas,” said Sam. “He researched his options and found this opportunity to take classes at Salina Area Technical College. He’ll spend half the day completing his high school requirements, and the other half earning credits toward his degree. David is already doing well in high school, but this program will truly benefit him.”

The concurrent course programs at Salina Area Technical College and Kansas State Polytechnic also offer cadets the ability to earn college credit at affordable rates.

“The college credits we’re offering through both programs are very reasonably priced,” said St. John’s Academic Dean Ginger Wooten. “Cadets can earn up to 15 college credits and pay less than in-state tuition if they take full advantage of the program.”

All three institutions are looking forward to the opportunities the partnerships will bring to the cadets, and to the community.

According to Johns-Hines, “Our partnership with St. John’s is important to us because we’ve made a commitment to the community and the local students.”

Gaeddert echoed Johns-Hines’ thoughts, saying, “It helps us connect to possible future students, but more than that, it’s a service to the community and to the area around Kansas State Polytechnic.”

According to Wooten, adding both partnerships to the school’s offering is part of St. John’s Military School’s ongoing commitment to developing customized educational experiences for its cadets.

“Our goal at every grade level is to prepare students for what will come next,” said Wooten. “We always try to get to know each student and to develop their abilities and their unique qualities. Our goal is for each of our cadets to reach their maximum potential.”