Educational Partnerships

In 1999, when the institution was threatened to experience enrollment declines in its service territory of Western Kansas due to declining population of high school graduates, FHSU made a decision to grow its undergraduate and graduate enrollments through state, national, and international strategic partnerships and through online Virtual College enrollments. Initially, this was accomplished with 2+2 articulation agreements with community colleges in Kansas and surrounding states. Later, the University was the recipient of the first Navy College Distance Learning Partnerships Program award, which launched the University into military education opportunities. Since 1999, a variety of partnerships have been initiated through Memoranda of Understanding or Memoranda of Intent. Not all of them have flourished with large enrollments. Delivery of FHSU's education depends on partners' needs and the students they serve. Some of these are strictly online delivery; others are inbound study abroad, faculty and student exchange or face-to-face off-campus delivery; and others are corporate, military and high school concurrent enrollment.

Two of the successful partnerships are located in mainland China and are what we call "cross border education" where FHSU hires faculty to live and teach "across the border in China."

FHSU has been involved with various types of partnerships in its mission area in Western Kansas for many years. The Internet has greatly expanded its ability to share learning experiences more conveniently almost anywhere in the world. The Office of Global Partnerships develops a wide array of win-win relationships linked to the capabilities of online and face-to-face learning that support FHSU's mission, vision, brand, and values. These relationships have been developed for Kansas citizens, other educational institutions, the military, corporations, federal and state government, non-profit organizations, and international higher education institutions.

In 1900, there were 238,000 students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities. Today, the number has swelled to an estimated 17 million. And just as the number of students who are pursuing higher education has grown, so has the role colleges and universities play in the community. Today, universities are also economic engines, major employers, investors, real estate developers, technology centers, and reservoirs of creative and energetic people. FHSU wants its faculty and students to collaborate and work together in the communities in which it serves.

Effective partnerships require good communications, mutual respect and the development of joint visions, goals and objectives. Often partnerships involve the development and signing of Memoranda of Understanding and Memoranda of Intent or contractual arrangements that require the definition of items such as budgetary arrangements, deliverables, intellectual property and publication rights, and facilities use. All of these require careful negotiation with an understanding that partnerships are relationships that seek careful attention and mutual respect to achieve win-win results.

If you represent a foreign institution and would like more information about partnering with Fort Hays State University, please contact Cindy Elliott, Assistant Vice President for Global Partnerships; or Mary Meier, Executive Administrative Specialist, in the Office of Global Partnerships.

If you are a current faculty or administrator at FHSU and would like to discuss our current partnerships, or would like to discuss developing a new partnership for face-to-face or online delivery, please contact Cindy Elliott, Assistant Vice President for Global Partnerships.

Contact Information
Phone: 785-628-5834
Cindy Elliott:
Mary Meier:

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