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 FHSU Profile – Students

With nearly 5,000 in Hays, more than 3,000 in China, and thousands more in nearly all 50 states and more than 20 other countries, there really is no typical Fort Hays State University student. The diversity spans age, gender, race, culture and national origin.

Fort Hays State has three modalities for delivering education -- on campus in Hays; at partner universities in China; and through the Virtual College across Kansas, the nation and the world.

FHSU students in China attend partner universities at Xinzheng and Shenyang, earning both a Chinese degree and a degree from Fort Hays State. They are almost exclusively traditional college age and very much a part of their native culture. They also aspire to learn Western business practices and share a fascination for American culture. Some of them relocate to Hays for graduate studies, and some traditional FHSU students study at the partner universities in China. The cross-cultural experiences are enhanced as Chinese faculty serve as visiting faculty in Hays and American faculty teach in China. Since the first Chinese student earned a degree from Fort Hays State, President Edward H. Hammond has traveled to China to attend every commencement and personally hand out the diplomas.

Students in the FHSU Virtual College represent a wide cross-section of not just the United States but the world. The majority of these students are employed, with family responsibilities, and are working toward a degree to improve their career. Most do not take a full course load in any given semester. Their average age is 36, and 64 percent are female.

On the Hays campus, quintessential FHSU students are determined, hardworking and conscientious according to the 2013 ENGAGE ACT data reports. Through the Student Government Association, students take an informed and active role in the governance of the University. Students are determined to avoid large amounts of debt, so they work on and off campus to pay for much of their education rather than taking out student loans. They are conscientious about their place in the world and show it by becoming engaged civically, socially and globalStudent-johnly. Through the many student organizations and more formally in classes that have a service-learning component, FHSU students impact Hays and their home communities in positive and dramatic ways.

Perhaps the most common phrase that is used to describe FHSU students is "diamonds in the rough." Despite their rural work ethic, curiosity and intellectual ability, they tend to be very humble, even lacking in academic confidence. Still, they definitely are not averse to working hard to realize their dreams.

In sum, the FHSU campus is a diverse community in terms of home countries, home states, race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status and sexual orientation. They also share common threads of being family oriented, hardworking, eager to learn and incredibly talented. Of the 4,767 students on campus, a bit more than 90 percent are undergraduates. Of those undergraduates, 53 percent are female, and 88 percent are in the traditional age group.

In order to address unique needs of FHSU students, the Division of Student Affairs has embarked on two notable programs to polish these diamonds. The first Learning Community was launched in 2010. A Learning Community is a group of 20-30 first-year students who share some common interests, take classes together, live on the same floor of a residence hall and participate in activities together throughout the year. Because the Learning Communities have been such a success, they have expanded to nine unique choices this year. In addition, beginning this year all incoming freshmen are required to take a one-credit-hour class, Freshman Seminar, that teaches them the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the transition to collegiate life.

Continue Reading: Student Success ->

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