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Hammond Hall 201
600 Park Street
Hays, KS 67601
Phone: 785-628-4291
Toll Free: 800-628-FHSU
Fax: 785-628-4037
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Awards – Why They Matter, and Why They Don’t

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Awards – Why They Matter, and Why They Don’t

A really wonderful problem for a university to have is having to build more trophy cases. Winning awards, whether on the athletic field or in the classroom, is always great as it shows a tangible outcome to the efforts that go into making the student experience everything it should be.

Last week, Fort Hays State University was recognized by in an article entitled “The Best Online College in Each of America’s Fifty States.” According to the publisher, we were selected as the best in Kansas based on academic excellence, course and degree offerings, faculty strengths and reputation for online degree programs. You can read the full article at . Since the article lists the schools in alphabetical order by state, you will need to scroll down a bit. You’ll find that recognized the same benefits of an FHSU online education that U.S. News & World Report recognized earlier this year when they ranked our online programs #16 nationally for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, #20 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs, and #64 for Best Online Graduate Business Programs. When combined with online tuition that is in the bottom 2% in the United States, FHSU does offer value that is truly remarkable, and it’s great when other organizations notice.

So, honestly, these awards do mean a lot to us.  They are third-party recognition of the constant and dedicated effort we put into online education here at FHSU. When we win awards, and in a year like this year when there are almost too many to count, we do feel good about the recognition.

On the other hand, winning awards is only a by-product of the ongoing, intense focus we have on student success. We don’t think about awards when we try to better serve our students. For example, at a time when most universities were cutting back on new programs and initiatives, we invested a significant sum of money into creating a professional advising group to serve most of our 6,000+ online students with a more personalized and comprehensive advising service. We are always looking for better ways to serve students so they will be successful in their academic pursuits. That’s really what drives us, day after day. We do listen to feedback from our students, and encourage it.

The awards are great, and we like winning them. However, awards or no awards, our focus in on student success, and always will be. It is at the core of what we do, and at the end of the day, it’s the successes we’ve had with our students that really makes us proud.

Brad Goebel

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