The first students complete the new Business Essentials partner program


From FHSU University Communications

HAYS, Kan. – Just one year ago, Fort Hays State University launched a partnership with Hays Academy of Hair Design to allow Hays Academy students to take four business courses while working toward their Business Essentials certification.

Last fall semester, two students, Dawson McDonough and Afrika Kaman-King, were the first to complete the program.

This partnership allows students to enroll in at least one FHSU class and pay the appropriate student fees to enjoy a variety of services offered to all Fort Hays State students, including participation in all student activities and organizations, access to health and fitness services and athletic events, student opportunities campus accommodation and much more.

Four classes developed by Fort Hays State College make up the Business Essentials certificate. The lectures are Management Practice, Personal Finance, Accounting and Tax Basics, and Marketing on Social Networks.

Each of these classes run from 4:30pm to 6:30pm every Monday for eight weeks, so they do not conflict with students’ hours at Hays Academy.

dr. Stacey Smith, chair of the Department of Applied Business Studies, worked with faculty to develop courses for the certificate.

“These students are already doing some business courses at the academy,” Smith said. “This partnership helps them improve and upgrade their business knowledge.”

For Dawson McDonough, this program fit perfectly into her future plans.

“I had already intended to attend Fort Hays to pursue a business degree after graduating from HAHD when I found out about this program,” McDonough said. “I saw this program as an opportunity to better myself for my clients and my business and expand my knowledge of what it takes to own and/or run a business.”

Originally from Loveland, Colorado, McDonough has lived in Hays for almost three years. She plans to complete her associate degree in business at FHSU while working full time at Inspire Salon in Plainville.

Because Hays Academy has four different start dates, including February, May, August and October, and each group attends classes for nine months, completing 1,500 hours, finding accommodation can be a real challenge.

dr. Dennis King, associate vice president for enrollment management at FHSU, noted that housing is one of the hurdles this partnership will help students overcome.

“Academy students starting, for example, with an October start date can have a place to live right away instead of trying to find a house or apartment in the middle of a college semester,” King said. “We had two students on campus this fall and will have three in the spring.”

FHSU offers housing contracts to Hays Academy students on a monthly basis. This service could benefit any student at Hays Academy, even those taking a three-month nail technology program.

“This program is a win-win for everyone,” said Len Melvin of Hays Academy, FHSU student. “This helps the community by attracting students to the area, where many will stay after these programs are completed. It helps both us and FHSU with recruitment.”

“I am extremely grateful to everyone in the Hays Academy family and at Fort Hays who took time out of their lives to spend evenings teaching these courses,” McDonough said. “If anyone is thinking about taking these courses, I would highly recommend them. Not only did I gain a wealth of information, but I built relationships with instructors and other students. I am very happy that I passed both HAHD and FHSU with Africa.”

For more information about the Business Essentials Certificate program, contact Len Melvin of Hays Academy of Hair Design at [email protected] or Dr. Stacey Smith at [email protected]

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