The KU School of Professional Studies, based out of the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, commemorated its first class of graduates on Saturday, May 15.
Created in 2019, the School of Professional Studies’ vision is to increase social mobility and equity through academic experiences and professional skill building. It offers academic programs, research activities and engaged learning initiatives to meet local workforce, economic and student needs.
The KU School of Professional Studies offers in-person, hybrid and online programs in a wide variety of disciplines – from biotechnology, engineering 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.
“We’re proud to be able to serve our diverse student body as well as the Greater Kansas City community by ensuring our programs teach skills and offer experiences that help professionals thrive in the workplace,” said Stuart Day, dean of the KU Edwards Campus and School of Professional Studies.
As of spring 2021, 333 students were enrolled in a School of Professional Studies program. The School celebrated 32 graduates in the spring and a total of 43 since fall 2020. One such graduate, Sameer Upadhyaya, heads to medical school in the fall after having completed his post-baccalaureate in health science.
“[My KU degree] gave me the knowledge and advice to successfully apply and be accepted to KU Medical School,” said Upadhyaya. “My professors are steeped in the subjects they teach and are very good at their jobs. All my counselors are fantastic and give me advice, coach me for interviews and overall want me to succeed.”
For working adult students in particular, support from professors, family, advisors, friends and classmates can be essential to the successful completion of a degree, a sentiment Misty Chandler, assistant dean of the KU Edwards Campus and School of Professional Studies, touched on at the virtual graduation ceremony.
“While your tassel can exist singularly, it is actually made of many parts, just like your actual student experience,” said Chandler. “It takes a willing student and a team of people supporting them to get to this very, very special day. Let your tassel be the reminder of your journey and of the people that took it with you.”
Learn more about the School of Professional Studies.