The Associated Colleges of Central Kansas is a consortium composed of six private, liberal arts, four-year, church-related, co-educational institutions located within 40 miles of McPherson.
The six members of ACCK are also members of the Kansas Independent College Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening Kansas’ 19 independent, nonprofit, regionally accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities through collaboration.
In light of overlapping membership and programs, the governing boards of the two organizations have been collaborating for the past three years.
Since 2015, in an ongoing effort to keep costs low and opportunities high for these campuses, their communities and their students, the administrative functions of ACCK were contractually performed by KICF staff.
Having developed a plan to operate ACCK’s existing programs within the construct of KICF, the two organizations have elected to formally merge. On July 1, 2018, ACCK will officially become part of KICF.
This merger will dramatically increase the ability for independent higher education in Kansas to collaborate locally, regionally, and nationally.
ACCK Chair and McPherson College President, Michael Schneider, commented, “ACCK has been a great consortium for many years. However, the common challenges of private colleges and universities are not limited to a 40-mile radius. This merger will expand Kansas private institution’s ability to serve students.”
The existing programs that will now be shared across the KICF network include a pooled employee health insurance program for the employees of separate colleges, and, shared educational programs for Special Education and Secondary Methods instruction.
These will continue to prepare students to be stewards of their community, helping others from all walks of life.
Prioritizing student success was a focus of the merger, said KICF Board President and Kansas Wesleyan University President Matt Thompson, “I deeply value the important role of private higher education in Kansas and the nation. This merger will allow the collective work of the 19 private schools in the state to strengthen the efforts of the member institutions to serve the needs of the state and region. These benefits will provide additional opportunities without adding expenses for students pursuing teacher education.”
In order to maintain continuity of the existing programs, current employees of ACCK will be offered roles within the new KICF structure.
Celebrating the expanded capacity of KICF, and the value of merging the two like-minded entities, KICF President Matt Lindsey shared, “KICF’s strategic vision has focused for a long time on developing the sort of programs for all nineteen colleges that ACCK successfully built over the past fifty years. This merger will allow us to build on what works and grow it effectively, offering programs that strengthen the ability of our colleges serve their mission through collaboration.”