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Tabor College, Hesston College finalize academic partnership

Hesston College Interim President Ross Peterson-Veatch and Tabor College President David Janzen shake hands after signing the memorandum of understanding. Photo: Tabor College

Following approval from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Tabor College and Hesston College, have formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to offer courses and degrees to students at their respective institutions.

Planning for the agreement started in the summer 2023. With the signed MOU, Tabor will begin offering a nursing major to its students through this strategic academic partnership for the upcoming fall semester.

Students will take courses on Tabor’s campus over the first two years. Tabor students will continue to live on campus and participate in Tabor activities, chapel and student life in their final two years while taking nursing courses at Hesston College and clinicals in area hospitals.

Hesston introduced pre-nursing to its curriculum in 1945 and has been approved to offer its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program through the HLC and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education since 2015. The program has consistently produced a first-time pass rate on the RN licensure exam that is well above the national average, and graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate in healthcare agencies.

The Bonnie Sowers Nursing Center, home of Hesston’s program, has propelled students to clinical experience across Kansas including Newton Medical Center and Prairie View Mental Health Center in Newton, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, McPherson Hospital, Wesley Medical Center and Ascension Via Christi in Wichita, and Schowalter Villa in Hesston.

Hesston College Interim President Ross Peterson-Veatch and Tabor College President David Janzen sign the memorandum of understanding allowing both colleges to offer courses and degrees to students at their respective institutions. Photo: Tabor College

“On behalf of the Tabor College Board of Directors, administration, faculty and staff, I want to express our sincere excitement about this strategic partnership with Hesston College,” said Tabor President David Janzen. “Thank you to our friends at Hesston College, Interim President Ross Peterson-Veatch and VP of Finance Caleb Loss. Thank you to our Provost Frank Johnson and CFO Cathy Castle, who were both instrumental in making this partnership a reality.”

Both institutions will have offices on each other’s campuses. This space will only further enhance opportunities for students to explore their degree of choice and also allow for expansion in course offerings from each college.

“I expect that soon our partnership will allow us to create four-year degree options for Tabor students in engineering and aviation on our end,” explained Hesston’s Interim President Ross Peterson-Veatch, “and also allow Hesston students access to Tabor’s excellent four-year programs in social work, accounting, education, and other career-focused degrees.”

Course offerings for Hesston’s students at Tabor have yet to be finalized but will include classes from throughout a diverse undergraduate catalog of over 30 majors.

“This has been a truly collaborative effort from the beginning—with goodwill, good ideas and strong planning from start to finish,” said Peterson-Veatch.

Hesston College, located 30 miles north of Wichita, Kansas, is a liberal arts college of Mennonite Church USA.

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