Kansas State Polytechnic offers training courses for social workers, other helping professionals in Salina, Manhattan and Hays

By Julee Cobb

Debra Marseline, center, social work practicum director and program coordinator at Kansas State Polytechnic, will be teaching the Working with Loss and Grief course on Oct. 13.

From self-care to working through grief, a trio of training courses for professionals in helping fields, such as social workers, therapists and psychologists, are being offered by the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus in three different Kansas cities in the coming months.

The courses, designed to provide comprehensive curriculum, including new trends in industry and refresher information, are primarily for professionals who need to obtain continuing education units, or CEUs, though anyone from the community is welcome to attend. Starting in July and running through October, Kansas State Polytechnic is holding three courses and expanding its location from only one campus in Salina to both east and west in Manhattan and Hays. The course topics include Seven Steps to Fabulous Grant Writing, Self-care is Ethical Practice, and Working with Loss and Grief. All are approved by the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board.

“Many helping fields like social work require professionals to obtain continuing education units in order to stay current when knowledge is changing,” said Debra Marseline, social work practicum director and program coordinator at Kansas State Polytechnic. “There are core skills that professionals learn in school, but then there’s new evidence-based practices that emerge from time to time and CEUs can help bridge that gap. Because this campus produces graduates in social work, I’m proud it is a place that continues to foster educational growth for professionals through these courses.”

The first class Kansas State Polytechnic is offering is Seven Steps to Fabulous Grant Writing on July 17 at Fort Hays State University. Attendees will learn key grant writing skills needed to author competitive proposals as well as how to find and work with funders that are right for an agency’s specific needs. Participants also will be able to understand the grant proposal review process.

Self-care is Ethical Practice will be Sept. 15 at Kansas State Polytechnic in Salina and will educate attendees on how to identify secondary trauma injuries such as compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and burnout through specific symptoms and warning signs. The course also will help registrants create a self-care plan for themselves and learn how to facilitate a self-care strategy with others.

Working with Loss and Grief will be Oct. 13 at the K-State Alumni Center in Manhattan and is designed to explore the types of losses that may trigger a grief reaction while identifying strategies for working through those losses. Additionally, participants will learn common myths about grieving, discuss the central needs of mourning and recognize unresolved issues.

“Kansas State Polytechnic has a unique advantage for providing CEU courses,” said Kirsten Zoller, interim director of professional education and outreach for Kansas State Polytechnic. “Our instructors are not only licensed social workers, but they also have a teaching background. They can deliver high-quality courses while understanding what social workers and other helping professionals are experiencing day to day in the field. This combines to produce tailored trainings that best meet the needs of today’s professionals.”

For registration information on any of the three helping courses offered by Kansas State Polytechnic, including cost, sign-up deadlines and value of continuing education units, visit the campus’s professional education and outreach webpage at polytechnic.k-state.edu/profed.

Good as gold: K-State Salina’s journey of 50 revolutionary years

By: Julee Cobb

The year was 1965. “The Sound of Music” was released in theaters and shows like “Green Acres” and “I Dream of Jeannie” ruled on television. The average price of gas was 13 cents a gallon and a new car cost around $2,600. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama – a demonstration that later led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

In Salina, change was afoot on the Schilling Air Force Base on Centennial Road. It was announced the previous year that 150 military installations would close across the country. At the same time, Henry Neely and Thomas Creech, both faculty members at Kansas State University, had been tasked with designing a degree program for a potential engineering technology college. With Schilling Air Force Base shutting down, Neely and Creech met with base commander Col. Mike Scanlan about using some of their facilities and equipment.

K-State Salina is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their campus in 2015.

K-State Salina is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its campus in 2015.

Much to Neely and Creech’s surprise, the Kansas Legislature approved of their plans and officially established Schilling Institute on the base property on April 26, 1965 after the passage of House Bill 1101. The college would offer two-year degree programs in electronic engineering technology, detail design technology, civil engineering technology and aeronautical technology. Neely was appointed the president of Schilling Institute and Creech was named director of academic affairs.

Once the base was officially vacated in the summer of 1966, Neely and Creech, along with the other hired faculty and staff, moved onto the campus and started making the buildings and barracks suitable for students. They acted as carpenters, electricians, plumbers and painters as there was no extra money available to hire any tradesmen to complete the necessary work. Students arrived for classes in the fall and an additional program, computer science technology, was created – the first of its kind in the state. In 1968, Schilling Institute graduated its first 10 students.

The next year, the college was placed under the control of the State Board of Education and changed its name to Kansas Technical Institute, or KTI. Creech was selected as the campus’s third president in 1976 and during KTI’s reign, seven more degree programs were added. Students even picked the peacock as an unofficial mascot for the school, frequently appearing in the campus newspaper and yearbook.

In 1988, the property on Centennial Road would see another name change, to Kansas College of Technology. By this time, there were around 800 students enrolled and 11 programs led to an Associate of Technology degree. Kansas College of Technology, or KCT, also offered an Associate of Applied Science and an aviation maintenance certificate program.

In a full circle moment – as two K-State faculty were instrumental in founding the first institution on the grounds – KCT merged with Kansas State University in 1991 and became its ninth college, the College of Technology and Aviation. K-State Salina upgraded many of the previous two-year degrees to bachelor’s degrees. Most recently, it has added an unmanned aircraft systems program as well as family studies and human services, personal financial planning and social work. The landscape of the campus has also evolved, with the building of two residence halls, the College Center, the Student Life Center and a renovated Welcome Center.

Now the year is 2015, and popular comedic series aren’t just watched on television anymore. There are cell phones that are really smart phones, allowing access to the Internet and streaming music and social media. Movies are seen in theaters with 3D glasses and the price of gas continues to fluctuate between $2 and $3. Agreeably, times have dramatically changed since that day in 1965 when Schilling Institute was born. The students on campus now bleed purple, but K-State Salina wouldn’t be what it is today without the three colleges that came before.

K-State Salina is honoring the 50 years of those four educational institutions with a golden anniversary. If you would like to participate in the celebration, click here for the listed signature events that run April through September.

K-State Salina social work program offers educational conference on Kansas death penalty

By: Julee Cobb

An educational conference about capital punishment will be offered at Kansas State University Salina to find out more about both sides of the widely debated issue.

The Salina Regional Abolition Conference will be 3:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21. Two sessions, both open to the public, will be offered. Session one, beginning at 3:30 p.m., will feature the daughter of a murder victim and experts on the issue of capital punishment. It will be in rooms 108 and 169 of the Technology Center. Session two, starting at 6:30 p.m., will highlight a Missouri exoneree who spent 24 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. This session will be in the College Center conference room.

The conference is sponsored by the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty, which is a not-for-profit corporation that formed in 1989 by a group opposed to reinstating the death penalty in Kansas, and the social work program at K-State Salina.

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Presley named Social Worker of the Year

SALINA — Margaret Presley, instructor of social work at Kansas State University Salina, has been named the 2012 Social Worker of the Year by the Smoky Hill Association of Social Workers.

To be eligible for the award, the nominee must be currently providing professional social work services in Central Kansas. Nominations can recognize ongoing professional excellence, highly competent practice under difficult or unusual circumstances, outstanding contributions to policy and practice, and service “above and beyond” the normal expectations of one’s position. Continue reading