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Alumnus employs Baker ties to create opportunities in rural Kansas

First as a student and now as a college administrator, Dr. Vincent Bowhay, ’17, understands the importance of choosing the right college or university. “Now more than ever, what you learn and who you learn it from can make the difference between success and failure,” he said.

That’s why Bowhay, a graduate of Baker’s Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program and president of Independence Community College, thinks Baker’s new pathway program with ICC is so important. The program provides a strategic transition between ICC’s associate degree in business administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baker. Because Baker’s BBA program is online, students can remain in their communities and fit coursework around their jobs, finishing their bachelor’s degree through Baker in as little as two years. The pathway program will ease the transfer process, providing greater access to higher education in rural Kansas.

“It is important for students to know they have a path forward in their educational journey after graduating from ICC,” Bowhay said. “Students are more entrepreneurial than ever and want the hands-on experience ICC and Baker can offer them. A partnership between our two great institutions is a natural fit because both are dedicated to helping students succeed in reaching their dreams.”

A Path Forward

Dr. Matthew Bice, dean of Baker’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies, said the pathway program is student centered and faculty generated through collaborative discussions between ICC and Baker.

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“There is significant value to both an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree,” he said. “Within the bachelor’s degree, students will be able to major in emerging areas, including leadershipmanagement, marketing, and human resources. Collaborating with ICC provides students a multifaceted approach from different faculty members that will benefit them in the workplace.”

Bowhay thinks the pathway program will provide opportunities for students regardless of their background.

“We are educating future business leaders to be the next generation of thinkers, entrepreneurs, educators and innovators,” he said. “Leaders, like businesses, aren’t just born. They are developed and nurtured in an educational environment that encourages innovative thinking about real-world problems facing business leaders. This program will help any person looking to strengthen their abilities to lead others, develop a business, and change organizations for the better.

Baker Creates Opportunities

And Bowhay can attest to the value of having a degree from Baker and the opportunities it creates.

“I truly believe Baker’s program gave me the hands-on experience that catapulted me from an assistant director when I started the program to president of a college in just under seven years,” he said. “The lifelong connections, outstanding faculty and unique academic experiences make this the ideal experience for anyone wanting to change institutions for the better and grow as a leader. Baker, and ICC, make people better.”

Written by Jenalea Myers, ’08

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