Monthly Archives: September 2016

Record growth, top quality education

Fort Hays State University continued its 16-year run of record enrollments  this year,becoming the third-largest University in Kansas. 

The Graduate School, with 2,600 students, continues to grow.  Congratulations to our students, faculty, and staff who continue to strive to be a world leader in accessible and quality graduate education! 


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Measuring Satisfaction and Learning are NOT the Same

Today’s Inside Higher Education shares a meta-analysis of student evaluation of teaching (SET) scores meta-analysis of student evaluation of teaching (SET) scores and their relation to student learning and success.

Despite decades of attention to student instructional evaluations, where some institutions use them exclusively to measure effectiveness in the classroom, there appears to be no correlation at all between student evaluations and learning outcomes.  What would a better measure of the effectiveness of a teacher be?  How can we use this knowledge to provide a more accurate evaluation of learning?

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Meet our students – Christy Wesselius


  • City of residence: San Mateo, CA
  • Program/concentration: MLS / Public Administration
  • Field of work: Law Enforcement
  • I am a police sergeant supervising a patrol team in a mid-sized police department in Northern California.
  • I knew higher education would equip me with advanced skills to effectively navigate the challenges facing my law enforcement profession.  After a great deal of research, I chose to pursue my MLS in Public Administration from the Virtual College at Fort Hays State University because it offers a nationally ranked superior education at an affordable cost with flexibility that allows me to balance my work and family life.
  • As I’ve progressed through the program I have been impressed with how the Virtual College is able to provide me with a truly dynamic education by utilizing professors who personally care about my education along with technology that allows them to enhance my learning process.  I highly recommend the Virtual College at FHSU and am already assisting two of my coworkers with applying for the program.

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Graduate Education A Driver for Diversity

Inside Higher Education noted today that nonwhite Hispanic and African-American growth in graduate enrollment was nearly twice the nationwide average in 2016.

“underrepresented minorities seeing very robust growth in their first-time graduate enrollment — nonwhite Hispanics are up by 7.6 percent [year over year] and African-Americans are up 6.6 percent,”

A diverse student body that represents a cross-section of our changing world is important to bring people together and challenge all of our existing viewpoints.   FHSU is committed to bringing a diverse group together to build a family of scholars, teachers, learners, and leaders.


You can find out more about being part of our growing and diverse family at

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Credentials- Not Just for 2-Year Colleges

A new post today from a Seattle-area 2-year college makes the point that employers are looking for skills-based competency evidence in their job candidates.

A job-seeker takes out a three-ring binder to show an employer. Inside is a certificate of completion, an OSHA card, a certificate of achievement and a first-aid card. She holds up her phone: her LinkedIn account shows a badge in HR expertise. What does an employer make of this? And how do job seekers and students ensure that the credentials they earn are worthwhile?

The competency description provided by Petrait and Dillard is valuable and important.  Every few days another article, another blog post, stresses the need for us to transcript skills.  But why limit those transcripted skills to the 2-year level?  Four-year and graduate institutions produce students who need to demonstrate evidence of skill acquisition to employers, too.

As FHSU considers how we can ‘badge’ or credential skills, what are the skills graduate students should display?  How should we make note of transcripting those skills?

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Meet Our Alums: Virgil Hayden


Virgil L. Hayden, Jr, from Farmington, KS

Program/concentration  MLS/ Public Administration, works in Law Enforcement.

I love most outdoor activities and am passionate about natural resource conservation. One of my greatest joys is teaching young outdoor enthusiasts to respect and enjoy our natural resources.

I wanted a diverse program that broadened my knowledge beyond my background in criminology.

FHSU supported me as a non-traditional, distance learner.  I am proud to be a FHSU graduate and recommend FHSU to everyone who asks.

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Disrupting Higher Ed

An article from the Huffington Post today describes how established business like Blockbuster Video and taxis have been challenged by the disruptive innovations of Netflix and Uber/Lyft.

The upshot of the article is that higher education is ripe for disruption in the same style of Netflix’s emergence.  Netflix saw the new technology curve approaching and was prepared to utilize it, where Blockbuster was not.  The analogy drawn is that somewhere, someone is developing a use of technology that threatens to do the same thing to higher education that Netflix did to Blockbuster.

But where is that disruption?  Is it the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)?  Likely not.  The term “fad” is used regularly to describe MOOCs today. Despite fawning praise for their disruptive power, MOOCs have not caught on to the extent they were predicted.

Perhaps the for-profit education world?  ITT Tech failed, because of its dependence on federal financial aid. Corinthian Colleges suffered a similar fate.

Just because those two examples failed to disrupt higher education does not mean that we can believe university education is immune from disruptive forces.  Campus Technology highlights six factors that true disruptive innovations share:

1. They target people who are non-consumers or who are over-served by existing products.

2. The innovation is not as good as existing products, as judged by historical measures of performance.

3. They’re simpler to use, more convenient or affordable.

4. There is a technology enabler that can carry the new value proposition upmarket.

5. The technology is paired with a business model innovation that allows it to be sustainable.

6. Existing providers are motivated to ignore the new innovation and are not threatened at the outset.

The for-profits never had a sustainable business model and had no ability to move upmarket.  MOOCs also lacked a business model, and also neither brought non-consumers into the higher education market nor did it improve on the existing product.

Higher education can proactively fight off the disruptive forces by integrating these principles, especially the sixth.  By learning from MOOCs, for-profit entities, and our own mistakes perhaps higher education will disrupt itself.  Where is the great innovation that will disrupt higher education either from inside or out?

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