First KU School of Professional Studies class starts this fall, pursuing workforce-oriented education

Dedicated to serving the needs of transfer and nontraditional students, the KU School of Professional Studies welcomes its first class in fall 2020.

Adult working at computer, writing

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (Sept. 10, 2020) – The back-to-school season looks a little different this year, and some University of Kansas students are not only starting a new semester but also make up the first class in the new KU School of Professional Studies.

KU created the KU School of Professional Studies in December 2019 as it continues to focus on innovation and serving adult learners with timely, relevant, workforce-oriented education. The new school is based at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park.

For nearly 30 years, the Edwards Campus has been a KU presence in Kansas City, offering in-demand programs to meet the talent needs of employers in the metropolitan area, across the country and around the world. The new school facilitates social mobility and equity by providing high-quality academic programs, research activities and engaged learning initiatives.

The KU School of Professional Studies offers in-person, hybrid and online programs in a wide variety of disciplines – from biotechnologyengineering and information technology to American Sign Language and Deaf studies, public health and workplace communication. It also provides tailored undergraduate- and graduate-level services to meet the needs of diverse students who may work full-time, have considerable commitments outside of the classroom, have prior college-level education or otherwise need a different approach to earning academic credentials.

The latest online programs launched from the School of Professional Studies include a minor and certificate in nutrition, a minor and certificate in public and population health, as well as a certificate in advanced professional skills.

“The School of Professional Studies is an important advancement for the evolving workforce needs of the Kansas City region and is in direct alignment with the Edwards Campus’ mission to serve these diverse needs as well as those of the local economy and community,” said Stuart Day, dean of the KU Edwards Campus and School of Professional Studies.

For more than a year, a taskforce of KU leadership, faculty and staff – along with representatives from KC Rising and the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) – gathered information on Kansas City’s workforce needs and available educational programs and interviewed leaders from other schools of professional studies at top-tier universities across the country. Armed with this research, the KU School of Professional Studies already houses nearly 25 programs with more on the way. 

“This school allows us to directly serve adult learners and transfer students with programs that help them to advance their career while equipping employers with highly skilled talent,” Day said. “We continue to build this school with our commitment to inclusion, professionalism, collaboration and innovation.”

About The University of Kansas 

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. Its mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world. The KU Edwards Campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park brings the high-quality academic, professional and continuing education programs as well as research and public-service benefits of KU to the Greater Kansas City community in order to serve the workforce, economic and community development needs of the region.

cover of the Alumni Survey results

Get Insights from KU Graduates

Download this report filled with statistical and qualitative feedback from more than 500 alumni to help you decide if the KU Edwards Campus is right for you.

Cover to the Tips for a Successful Start PDF

Get started at the KU Edwards Campus

Download your guide for a successful start on your KU Edwards Campus undergraduate or graduate program, including information on financial aid, academic advising and more.

alumni report

Maximize Your Financial Aid

Download your guide for making the most of financial aid at KU Edwards Campus.

Cover to the The Adult Learner's Guide PDF

An Adult Learner’s Guide to Choosing the Right KC University

Helpful tips to choosing the right university in Kansas City.

Cover to the The Adult Learner's Guide PDF

Putting off your academic pursuits?

Download our eBook that addresses and debunks 7 of the biggest concerns adult learners have about returning to school.

Cover to the The Online Learner's guide

Find the right online program for you

Download your guide for tips and questions to ask when researching online learning options.