The value the citizens of Cowley County place on education is readily apparent in their schools. Residents have also shown their commitment to quality public school facilities, with the school districts recently completing extensive improvements to their facilities. School districts include USD 465 in Winfield, USD 470 in Arkansas City, USD 462 Central School District serving Atlanta, Burden & Cambridge, USD 471 in Dexter, and USD 463 in Udall. Students consistently score above the national average in standardized tests. Student assessments to help determine curriculum direction for students begin in kindergarten and continue throughout their secondary education. Area schools offer broad curriculum choices to meet the future needs of all their students, helping them become aware of the full spectrum of career choices throughout their education. Several private parochial school options are available as well.
Cowley College and Area Vocational-Technical School in Arkansas City offers a blend of arts, sciences and technology with expanding programs and services in response to specific needs of business and industry and the varied needs of the community. Because Cowley is both a community college with transfer programs and a vocational/technical school offering two-year job-ready degree programs, students with very diverse needs will find it a perfect educational fit. Cowley College also has Mulvane and Wichita campuses that have seen significant enrollment increases in the past few years. They have recently completed a new dormitory, student center and dining facility on the Ark City campus.
Southwestern College, located in Winfield, began in 1885 as a liberal arts college and has grown to include three campuses, including a Downtown Professional Studies Center and the Wichita Campus. Both offer online learning and degree completion programs and an MBA program. Along with academic excellence, Southwestern College is proud of its tradition of athletics.
Cowley Countys many libraries emphasize service to their patrons. A variety of programs for children, teens, and adults are presented throughout the year as well as various outreach projects. Arkansas Citys Public Library and Winfield Public Library each house over 60,000 books, magazines, audios, and videos. Services include free Internet access, Word processing, Desktop publishing, FAX service, Email Newsletter, Interlibrary Loans, and Rotating Exhibits.
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