Tabor College Wichita and nearly 200 of its closest friends celebrated 10 years of educating working adults Thursday, Aug. 12, at the Wichita Boathouse.
A dinner and program acknowledged the contributions TCW has made to the surrounding Wichita area.
“As we look back on Tabor College Wichita’s 10 years of service to this community, it is appropriate to remember, and to respect, the somewhat humble beginnings of this program,” said Lyndon Vix, keynote speaker and chair of the school’s Board of Directors Lyndon Vix.
“Because even though we may think we have come a long way-and we have-we owe much of what we are today to the people who were involved in Tabor Wichita’s formative years.
“The growth and success of TCW cannot be attributed to a single person or initiative. It was borne of a commitment made over ten years ago and maintained to this day.”
When discussions began on the traditional Tabor College campus in Hillsboro regarding the expansion to Wichita, Vix was a member of the board. He said the primary question asked at that time was: “‘Can Christ-centered education, which had always been delivered in a traditional, rural setting, be transplanted to a non-traditional, decidedly urban setting?’
“I think we have proven, ten years later, that it not only can be done, but that it can be done very well.”
TCW’s continued growth is attributed to Tabor’s mission of preparing people for a life of learning, work and service for Christ.
Howard Keim, academic dean, said: “At Tabor College Wichita, we want to extend the reach of Tabor College, and we want to develop programs that are in tune with the mission of Tabor that meet the needs of the community and pave the way. But along that way, we will not compromise neither the identity or mission of Tabor or academic quality.”
The celebration also provided an opportunity to announce the near completion of a facility-expansion project at the 21st Street and Ridge Road location in Reflection Ridge Plaza.
The 2,400-square-foot addition will provide space for two classrooms, each capable of seating 22 students each. These new classrooms now provide TCW with a total of five classrooms, plus a conference room that is also utilized as a classroom.
Two additional offices were also constructed, as well as an enlarged private work and storage area.
“The expansion project was necessary for us to be able to expand our enrollment,” said KaLyn Nethercot, executive director of TCW, because classroom space was limited and enrollment numbers continue to rise.
“Our name recognition in Wichita is increasing and the facilities expansion will increase recognition of physical location in the community,” said Nethercot.
Although TCW has aggressively advertised for the last two years, including radio, television and print, Nethercot said, “word of mouth continues to be our No. 1 source of new students. It’s usually in the form of a referral from someone who is in class.”
According to a recent student survey conducted at TCW, students choose TCW because of the personalized service they receive before they even enroll, academic reputation, safety and security and service excellence.
“That is truly different from our competition,” said Nethercot. “We’re open a tremendous amount of hours a week, and it’s at times that are convenient for adults-early in the morning, at noon, early in the evening.”
On-site academic advising, small class sizes, a Christian learning environment and face-to-face instruction are hallmarks of a TCW education.
TCW was the first college with a main campus outside of Wichita to begin a degree-completion program in the city.
TCW opened at its first location, Tallgrass Executive Park, in 1993 and enrolled its first students in 1994. The TCW offices moved to the current location at Reflection Ridge Plaza in 1999.
TCW offers three degree-completion programs: business administration, Christian ministry and “RN to BSN,” a program designed for working registered nurses with both daytime and evening class options.
A master of science in accounting is also offered, as well as elective credit coursework specific for the adult-student population.