ARKANSAS CITY — Major General Lee Tafanelli and members of his team from the Kansas Army National Guard visited Cowley College’s main campus in Arkansas City on Thursday to discuss the opportunity for a long term partnership between the National Guard and the college.
Along with Major General Tafanelli, the Adjutant General of Kansas, Major Dana Graf, Chief Legislative Liaison for the Kansas National Guard, and Command Chief Master Sergeant Maurice Williams, the Senior Enlisted Leader for the Kansas Army National Guard, attended the meeting held in the President’s Dining Room.
Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle and members of the college’s administrative team also attended the meeting as did Rachel Schmeidler, coordinator of military services, and Suzie Bacon, director of accounting.
Rittle said a partnership with the military would continue to enhance the robust patriotism in the area, increase economic and career opportunities for participating students, and enhance workforce development as well as introduce new dollars into our communities.
“Partnerships are essential for future relevance. As two publicly-funded organizations, these types of partnerships save taxpayers substantial dollars, in large measure, by the sharing of scarce resources and the strengthening of our workforce” president Rittle shared.
Along with the opportunity for a long term partnership between the National Guard and the college, the potential for a full-time recruiting presence at the college and the potential to establish a unit presence at the college were also discussed.
The Kansas Army National Guard is a component of the Army National Guard and the Kansas National Guard. Kansas Army National Guard units are trained and equipped as part of the United States Army.
The Kansas National Guard Educational Assistance provides up to 100 percent of tuition and fees that leads to the award of a certificate, diploma or degree upon satisfactory completion of course work requirements for members of a Kansas Air/Army National Guard unit.
“We can provide another pathway to help pay for educational opportunities,” Major General Tafanelli said.
The Kansas Army National Guard currently has a partnership with Garden City Community College called “Task Force Broncbuster”, and they lease a space on campus to promote recruitment into the Guard.
Major General Tafanelli said the Kansas Army National Guard is interested in expanding its partnerships with institutions across the state.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to continue building our partnership between the Kansas National Guard and Cowley College,” Major General Tafanelli said. “This partnership is a tremendous opportunity to collaborate in a way that benefits both organizations, the students of Cowley College and the members of the Kansas National Guard.”