The Career and Leadership Development Office has joined “Campus Wichita”, a program launched in 2021 to give students a chance for professional development and networking for 10 weeks over the summer.
“I’m so thrilled that Bethel is partnering with the W, Wichita Chamber’s Young Professionals Division, on an initiative called Wichita Campus,” said Megan Kershner, Director of Career and Leadership Development.
Wichita companies and businesses provide the internships, while the Wichita campus scholarship program, #internICT, helps students “learn the soft skills needed for a 21st century workforce while connecting them to the Wichita community,” according to marketing materials from the W.
Some of what Campus Wichita offers its scholars: participation in “Your Leadership Edge,” a Kansas Leadership Center program; access to W networking events; mentoring; volunteer opportunities in the Wichita area; a “passport” to facilitate the exploration of Wichita during free time.
The goal of the Wichita Campus is “to expose students to industry and engage them in the community to help them envision a future of living and working in Wichita.”
It grew out of Project Wichita’s identification of “talent” as one of five priority areas for long-range planning over the next decade.
Although there are 15 colleges and universities within 90 minutes of Wichita, data shows that few students outside of Wichita State University (and then only half) remain in the area after school. graduation – and especially that the region is bleeding educated women and people of color.
When Wichita Young Professionals, now the W, was created, its founders discovered that “every time a young professional leaves Wichita, we lose $300,000 of capital investment.”
Campus Wichita hopes to help reverse this trend.
Campus Wichita aims to place 60 interns in the summer of 2022. Hopefully some of them will come from Bethel College.
“This will be an exceptional opportunity for our students to get involved in the Wichita business market,” said Kershner.
Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Recognized for its academic excellence, Bethel ranks 15th in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #31 in US News and World Report, Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest, both for 2021-22. Bethel was the only college or university in Kansas selected for the 2021 American Association of Colleges & Universities Institute on Truthfulness, Racial Healing and Transformation, and was named the TRHT Campus Center. For more information see www.bethelks.edu