The Heartland Project brings together eight partnering schools of higher education from Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Guided by the regional approach and FOA suggestions for acquiring a diverse group of partnering schools, a unique mix of colleges and universities have been acquired for the Heartland Project. These partners include a collection of universities that serve predominately rural or urban populations and represent a range of large-scale universities to small, private colleges.
In Missouri, the Heartland Project’s partners include Harris-Stowe State University, Lincoln University, Rockhurst University and Crowder College. Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) is a historically black, public university tracing its origin back to 1857. The University is located in St. Louis, Missouri. HSSU enrolls approximately 1,700 students and is predominately an undergraduate university but it also hosts collaborative graduate degree programs with other universities. HSSU is one of the most diverse in the region and is ranked number 40 nationally for producing African-American graduates in education and ranked 47, for producing African- American graduates in mathematics and statistics.
Lincoln University (LU) is also a historically black university that was founded by African American veterans of the Civil War in 1866. Unlike the urban location of HSSU, Lincoln University is situated in the midsize town of Jefferson, population 43,330. By 1890 Lincoln became a land grant school and following the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, it began serving all students meeting its entrance criteria. LU has a diverse student body that includes both residential and non-residential students. It enrolls approximately 3,050 students across its three colleges and offers associate, bachelor and master degrees. LU continues to emphasize diversity and a liberal arts education that has practical application.
Rockhurst University (RU), founded in 1910, is a private Catholic, Jesuit university. RU models itself in the Jesuit liberal arts education tradition that emphasizes individual dignity, which is a current that runs through the curriculum. It serves 3,000 students and offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. RU is located in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri and is the largest nonprofit provider of adult continuing education in the nation. In addition, RU prides itself on being an active community partner, and earned the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2010.
Crowder College (CC) was founded in 1963 at a World War II military training facility in Missouri. CC is one of the fastest growing state-assisted two-year community colleges in the state. Its student enrollment has increased 65% since 2000. CC’s location is pivotal; it is the only community college in Newton County, Missouri, close to the Kansas state line. It currently serves approximately 5,600 students in both Missouri and Kansas and offers in-state tuition for residents in both states. CC has built a national reputation for its alternative energy programs.
The Heartland Project’s two school partners in Kansas, the University of Kansas and Kansas State University, represent larger universities compared to the Missouri partners. Founded in 1854, the University of Kansas (KU) is a comprehensive research and teaching university and it is the largest public research university in Kansas. KU serves approximately 28,000 students across five campuses, with the main campus located in Lawrence. KU boasts 13 schools and it is the only university in the state of Kansas to have a school of pharmacy and medicine. KU has 46 nationally ranked graduate programs and is the only partnering school that is a member of the Association of American Universities.
Kansas State University (K-State) is a large land-grant public research university located in central Kansas. Started in 1858, K-State became the first completely operational land grant college in America in 1863. It serves approximately 25,000 students a year. K-State has 10 colleges that offer more than 250 undergraduate majors across its three campuses. The main campus is in Manhattan, Kansas, a midsize town that has a population of 52,000 residents. K-State prides itself on the applied research that is conducted at the university and delivered to all 105 counties in Kansas through its extension activities.
In Nebraska, the Heartland Project’s school partners include the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Doane University. Founded in 1905, University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) is part of the University of Nebraska system. It primarily focuses on undergraduate education, offering 170 majors and 27 graduate programs. UNK serves roughly 5,300 undergraduate students and 1,628 graduate students. UNK stands out as the only campus in Nebraska that participates in the National Student Exchange; a program that provides a one or two semester study abroad experience for students.
Doane University is the oldest private, liberal arts school in higher education in Nebraska. Founded in 1872 as Doane College, its original campus in Crete is home to its College of Arts and Sciences for traditional, residential undergraduates as well as Tiger Athletics which competes in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, one of the premier NAIA conferences in the country. Doane is known for its outstanding undergraduate programs in teacher education and the sciences along with outstanding regional and national performing arts groups and was named the No. 1 school in Nebraska back-to-back years (2014 and 2015) in Money.com's "Best Colleges for Your Money" rankings. Doane is also recognized for its convenient, affordable continuing education programs in its College of Education and College of Professional Studies, which have four masters' and one doctoral program combined available at satellite campuses in three of Nebraska's largest metro areas: Grand Island, Lincoln and Omaha. In 2016, Doane changed its name from "Doane College" to "Doane University" and is in the midst of introducing new online programs.