History Podcasts

Cowley County Community College

Cowley County Community College

Cowley County Community College and Area Vocational-Technical School was started on Sept 11, 1922 in Arkansas City, Kansas.The journey of his community college to offer higher education to the community started when 58 students enrolled to take classes at Arkansas City Junior College. The Community College is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; and by the Kansas State Board of Regents.Cowley County Community College, a leader in innovation and quality, is committed to learning excellence and personal enrichment in an open-access environment. It works hard to maintain higher standards of quality that will provide students an education that will prepare them either to transfer to a four-year program or to enter into the workforce.The various educational programs in the college are offered under six academic departments, namely, Allied Health, Business and Information Technology, Humanities, Industrial Technology, Natural Science and Mathematics, and Social Science. The vocational/technical school of the college offers two-year job-oriented degree programs.Cowley County Community College and Area Vocational-Technical School has a number of off-campus sites with major centers in Mulvane, Wellington, Wichita, and Winfield.Its Aviation Tech Center in Wichita offers the Aviation Maintenance Technology program. The college also offers distance and online learning programs.


Cowley College held its first classes on Sept. 11, 1922. At this point, it was known as the Arkansas City Junior College (ACJC), and, like most junior colleges of the time, operated under the directorship of the local school district. Classes were held on the top floor of the Arkansas City High School, but were soon relocated to the basement, earning it the nickname "Basement University." In 1936, a combination auditorium-gymnasium was constructed, and in 1952, ACJC held its first classes in a dedicated college building.

During the mid-1960s, ACJC began a process of name changes in an attempt to keep current with state legislation designed to spur growth of junior colleges and vocational schools in Kansas. After no less than two revisions, in 1965, it was given the name Cowley County Community College and Vocational-Technical School, which was commonly abbreviated CCCC. [2]

In 1967, the citizens of Cowley County elected a six-member board of trustees for CCCC, and on July 1, it assumed control of college operations. The new board appointed Dr. Paul Johnson as the first president of the college. Johnson had been the dean of the college under the school board's direction. The county continues to elect members to the board of trustees in four-year terms.

In March 1968, Johnson died. He was succeeded on an interim basis by William S. Scott until the end of June. On July 1, 1968, Dr. Gwendel A. "Gwen" Nelson was appointed president of the college by the Board of Trustees. Immediately, Nelson began a far-reaching program of expansion and upgrades. When he arrived at the college, it owned no property (the land on which the buildings stood was rented from the school district), and its program offerings were limited. During his tenure, which lasted until 1987, Nelson would be instrumental in land negotiations with the school board, resulting in the college's ownership of all of its main campus and the adjacent old high school. His leadership resulted in great expansion of academic programs, including upgrading the vocational school, and he would oversee the construction of six new buildings, including the college's first dormitories.

November 2017 Sumner County, KS passed a half cent sales tax increase to fund a second campus of Cowley College to be built in Wellington, KS. Sumner County Campus of Cowley College will open for classes Fall 2018. The Short Family of Oxford, KS donated the property for the campus to be built on the South side of Hwy 160. [3]

The college's main campus is in Arkansas City, Kansas. It also operates locations in nearby Winfield, Mulvane, and downtown Wichita. In addition to its online presence the college offers on-site courses at nine area high schools. Cowley College's Ireland Hall, was designed by architect Charles Sumner Sedgwick and constructed in 1890 as the Arkansas City High School. [4] It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Old Arkansas City High School and considered one of the oldest, standing buildings in the city of Arkansas.

On July 1, 2015 Dr. Dennis Rittle became the 5th president of Cowley College. In June 2020, Rittle was appointed as President to the Council of Presidents for the Kansas Community Colleges. [5]

Cowley College offers over 70 academic programs, which culminate with one of five certificates: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of General Studies, and Vocational Certificate. Programs range from Liberal Arts to Business Technology to Vocational Training. The average class size for the 2014-2015 school year was 15. For the 2014-2015 academic year the unduplicated headcount was 4,997 students.

Cowley College's area vocational technical school was the first vocational school in Kansas to operate in association with a junior college.

Each year in October, a female Cowley sophomore is elected by the student body to be crowned as Queen Alalah. This is in conjunction with Arkansas City's fall festival, called Arkalalah.

Cowley College's Mascot is the Tiger. The college is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association, and is home to a variety of athletic programs. Men's sports include: baseball, basketball, cross country, track & field, tennis, and wrestling (Beginning in the fall of 2017). Women's sports include: softball, basketball, cross country, track & field, volleyball, tennis, spirit squad, and dance line. The Cowley baseball team won two consecutive NJCAA World Series Championships in 1997 and 1998 and third place in 2017. The men's and women's cross country teams captured NJCAA DI National Championships in 2010. They are the only program in NJCAA history to sweep all the post season awards. Both teams won the conference, region, national and half marathon championship for men and women. The volleyball team won the NJCAA DII National Championship in 2011 and 2013.

Cowley is one of only a few Junior Colleges in the country with its own Sports Television Network. The Cowley Sports Network, launched on August 30, 2011 in a partnership with local production company Legleiter Video Productions and NJCAATV provides live coverage of baseball, men's and women's basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, and wrestling nationally online and on local television in the Arkansas City area. The network reaches 100,000 viewers annually online and on TV.


Online Course Fee — $25 per credit hour
Security Fee — $15 per semester
Course Fees (tools and supplies) — varies by course — see class schedule for details

Tuition and fees are subject to change by the Board of Trustees without notice.

2019-2020 Academic Year

Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020

$55 AcceleRATE (special tuition for Kansas high school students)

$75 AcceleRATE (special tuition for Oklahoma high school students)


Academic Year 2020-2021

Cowley College&rsquos Board of Trustees approved the 2020-2021 proposed operating budget of $23,317,010 during its regularly scheduled meeting held Monday in the President&rsquos Private Dining Room located inside the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center.

With four Trustee seats up for re-election in the November election, Board Chair Gary Wilson led discussion on the value and rewards of being a Trustee at Cowley College during the monthly Board of Trustees meeting held Monday, May 17 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

Former Cowley College assistant coach Donnie Jackson is returning to the school after being named the 21st head coach in the history of the Tiger men's basketball program. Jackson was highly sought after by a number of schools following a stellar eight-year run as head coach at Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa.

Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a college update during the annual monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees held Monday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

The Cowley College Board of Trustees approved the naming of the Cowley College Track and Field Complex as the Mark A. Phillips Track and Field Complex during Monday’s regular meeting held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

Christina Henson of SJHL, LLC, provided Cowley College with its annual audit review during Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. The meeting was also held via Zoom.

The Cowley College Board of Trustees appointed Gary Wilson to assume the duties of Chair of the Board during Tuesday night&rsquos meeting held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room following a tie vote and a resultant coin-flip. Wilson was elected to serve a 4-year term on the Board of Trustees, starting in January 2018. His current term expires in January 2022.

Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a college update during the final Board of Trustees meeting of 2020. The meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom, was conducted on Monday, December 14.

Fresh off competing at the NJCAA Division II National Championships Saturday in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the Cowley College women and men&rsquos cross country teams were recognized in attendance at Cowley College&rsquos monthly Board of Trustees meeting held Monday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

Steve Abrams, who served as the Kansas State Senator from the 32nd District from 2009 until 2017, took part in his first meeting as a member of the Cowley College Board of Trustees during the regularly scheduled monthly meeting held Monday, October 19 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. The meeting was held in the spacious Wright Room in order to safely increase community access with an approximate gathering limitation of 60 people while maintaining adequate social distancing. The meeting was also live streamed to increase access due to social distancing guidelines.

The Cowley College Board of Trustees regularly scheduled meeting was held Monday in the Bill and Marjorie Short Community Room of the Short General Education Center located in Wellington, KS. The meeting was held in the spacious Short Community Room in order to safely increase community access with an approximate gathering limitation of 60 people while maintaining adequate social distancing. The meeting was also available as a Zoom virtual option to increase access due to social distancing guidelines.

Recently appointed to fill vacant seats on the Cowley College Board of Trustees, JoLynn Foster and Christopher Swan took part in the regularly scheduled meeting held Monday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. The meeting was held in the spacious Wright Room in order to safely increase community access with an approximate gathering limitation of 60 people while maintaining adequate social distancing. The meeting was also live streamed to increase access due to social distancing guidelines.

A work session of the Board of Trustees of Cowley College was called to order on August 8, 2020 at 9:00am, in the Wright Community Room inside of the Brown Center, 215 S. 2nd Street in Arkansas City.

The Cowley College Board of Trustees appointed JoLynn Foster to fill the vacant seat of Bob Juden, a 1.5-year term, and Christopher L. Swan to fill the vacant seat of Jill Long, a 3.5-year term, during its regularly scheduled meeting held Monday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. The meeting was held in the spacious Wright Room in order to safely increase community access with an approximate gathering limitation of 60 people while maintaining adequate social distancing. The meeting was also live streamed to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Looking to fill its Trustee vacancies, Cowley College&rsquos Board of Trustees held a Candidate Forum Monday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. The meeting was held in the spacious Wright Room in order to safely increase community access with an approximate gathering limitation of approximately 60 people while maintaining adequate social distancing. The meeting was also live streamed to comply with social distancing guidelines.


K-State Research and Extension

The Cowley County Extension Office is located at 311 E 9th in Winfield. The office can be accessed using the southeast entrance of the Cowley County Courthouse.

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
Open 8 a.m. -11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.

K-State Research and Extension

In Kansas, Extension personnel work on the Kansas State University campus and in 105 county offices. Extension programs are designed to meet the needs of the local community.

In addition to county agents, Cowley County Extension programs are supported by one office professional and numerous volunteers. Educational efforts are guided by volunteers that serve on one of four Program Development Committees (PDC). The PDC collectively constitutes the Cowley County Extension Executive Council.

K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service. We are a partnership between Kansas State University and federal, state, and county government, with offices in every Kansas county. We conduct research through Kansas that is then shared by Extension agents and others on our Web sites and through numerous conferences, workshops, field days, publications, newsletters and more.

Our Mission

"We are dedicated to a safe, sustainable, competitive food and fiber system and to strong, healthy communities, families and youth through integrated research, analysis and education."

Our Vision

K-State Research and Extension is committed to expanding human capacity by delivering educational programs and technical information that result in improved leadership skills in the areas of communication, group dynamics, conflict resolution, issue analysis, and strategic planning that can enhance the economic viability and quality of life in communities.

Brief History of K-State Research and Extension

1862 - The Morrill Act was passed paving the way for a land-grant university in every state.
1863 - Bluemont College was renamed the Kansas State Agricultural College.
1887- The Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station was created at Kansas State Agricultural College under the provisions of the Hatch Act.
1914 - The Smith-Lever Act created the Cooperative Extension Service.
1959 - The official university name was changed to Kansas State University of Agriculture and Applied Science.
1996 - The Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station and Kansas Cooperative Extension Service (K-State Research and Extension).

Today, K-State Research and Extension employs more than 300 research scientists, approximately 180 faculty specialists and program leaders, nearly 270 county and area specialists, and more than 400 support staff in 23 academic departments in five different colleges. In addition to main campus, K-State Research and Extension personnel are located in all 105 counties, seven experiment fields, four area offices, three research centers, and three research - extension centers.

About Cowley County

Cowley County has a population of 35,753 and is located in south central Kansas approximately one hour from Wichita. Winfield, population 12,284, is the county seat and home of Southwestern College. Arkansas City, population of 12,063, is the home of Cowley College. Five school districts serve students in the county.

Major employers include Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, GE Engine Services and Rubbermaid. Winfield is home to several blow-molding companies. Strother Field has numerous industries. Arkansas City has ADM flour mills Skyline mobile home manufacturing KanPac maker of shelf-stable milk products.

The agriculture industry includes a cotton gin, grain elevators, farm services, and active oil exploration and production. The eastern half of the county is Flint Hills pasture and the western half of the county is crop land with corn, wheat, soybeans, milo and cotton.

Cowley County has a little irrigation. There are 2 lakes: Cowley County State fishing lake and Winfield City lake. Winfield City lake supplies domestic water to about 30,000 people. Arkansas City gets its water from a well field near the Arkansas River. They are permitted for 9 mpg/day, a far greater yield than the Winfield City lake. There are 2 watershed restoration and protection systems (WRAPS) in Cowley County. These are partnerships between local stake holders, the State of Kansas and EPA. The Upper Timber Creek WRAPS is focused on protecting the Winfield City Lake. The Grouse-Silver WRAPS focuses on water quality. The Grouse-Silver system is a reference stream. This is what EPA looks to as a standard when evaluating impaired streams. Grouse Creek qualifies for listing as America’s wild and natural stream.

Cowley County Extension has a rich and proud history with an active "Friends of Extension" committee that serves to raise the profile of extension and generate non-tax monies to support extension programs.


Associate of Arts

This Associate of Arts (AA) degree is designed to specifically meet the student’s educational objectives in preparation for transfer to a bachelor degree program at a university. The courses are equivalent to lower-division courses offered at Kansas Regent’s universities. Students who intend to transfer are responsible for becoming acquainted with the program and degree requirements of the institution to which they expect to transfer and should also work with their Cowley advisor to select the most appropriate courses.

  • •  (AA) Associate of Arts (Liberal Arts) Transfer Pathway
  • •  Accounting Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Anthropology Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Art Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Business Administration Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Computer Information Science Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Creative Writing Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education - Elementary & Early Childhood Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education/Secondary Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education: Health & Physical Education K-12 Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education: Secondary Agriculture 6-12 Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education: Secondary Biology 6-12 Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education: Secondary Chemistry 6-12 Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education: Secondary Earth & Space Science 6-12 Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education: Secondary History 6-12 Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education: Secondary Language Arts 6-12 Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education: Secondary Math 6-12 Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Education: Secondary Physics 6-12 Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  English Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Graphic Design (AA)
  • •  Health Services Management & Community Development Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  History Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Hotel & Restaurant Management Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Instructional Technology & Design Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Law (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Management Information Systems Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Mass Communications Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Music Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Paraprofessional Educator Pathway (AA)
  • •  Political Science Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Psychology Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Religion Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Social Work Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Sociology Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Sports Management/Administration Transfer Pathway (AA)
  • •  Theatre Transfer Pathway (AA)

Associate of Science

The Associate of Science (AS) degree is designed to prepare students for transfer with advanced standing to 4-year colleges or universities. These programs are for students who plan to major in a science related discipline. Students are responsible for becoming acquainted with the program and degree requirements of the institution to which they expect to transfer and should work with their advisor to select the most appropriate courses.

  • •  (AS) Associate of Science (General STEM) Pathway
  • •  Agriculture Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Athletic Training (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Biology Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Biomedical Engineering Pathway (Articulated with Wichita State University) (AS)
  • •  Chemistry Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Chiropractic (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Computer Science & Computer Engineering Transfer Pathway-Wichita State (AS)
  • •  Computer Science Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Dental Hygiene Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Dentistry (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Dietetics Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Engineering (PRE) -Transfer Pathway Articulated with Wichita State University (AS)
  • •  Engineering (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Engineering Technology Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Environmental Health Transfer Pathway to Missouri So State University(AS)
  • •  Environmental Science Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Forensic Sciences Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Mathematics Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Medicine (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Mortuary Science (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Nursing (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Pharmacy (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Physical Therapy (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Physics Transfer Pathway (AS)
  • •  Veterinary Medicine (PRE) Transfer Pathway (AS)

Associate of Fine Arts

The Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree is designed to prepare students for transfer into a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program at a 4-year college or university. This degree program is for students who plan to major in a fine arts discipline in Art, Graphic Design, Music or Theatre to obtain a BFA Degree. Students are responsible for becoming acquainted with the program and degree requirements of the institution to which they expect to transfer and should work with their advisor to select the most appropriate courses.

Associate of General Studies

The Associate of General Studies (AGS) degree is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes, and greater philosophical appreciation for lifelong learning. Although many of the courses students may complete may be considered general education transfer courses, the degree itself is not intended to be a full transfer degree into a four-year university program.

Associate of Applied Science

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is designed to prepare students for entry into a specific occupation or closely related cluster of occupations. The objective of the AAS degree is to enhance employment opportunities.

  • •  Accounting Clerk Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Automotive Technology Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Child Care and Development Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Cosmetology Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Criminal Justice Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Farm and Ranch Management Degree (AAS) Pathway
  • •  Machine & Tool Technology Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Manufacturing Technology - Mechatronics Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Medical Coding Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  NonDestructive Testing Technology Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Office Management Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Paramedic - Emergency Medical Services 2021 Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Paramedic - Emergency Medical Services Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Software, Security and Development Degree Pathway (AAS)
  • •  Welding Technology Degree Pathway (AAS)

Vocational Certificate

Vocational Certificates prepare students for entry-level positions in career and technology jobs. Certificates typically recognize completion of a course of study based on a specific field.


Course Descriptions

Cowley College has nearly 600 courses approved by the Kansas Board of Regents which coincide with the many pathways and programs of study that lead towards a degree, vocational certificate, or industry recognized credential or skill. Cowley advisors will help you design a program to meet your educational and career goals.

Refer to the Cowley College “Programs of Study   ” to determine the course requirements and recommended elective courses for each degree or certificate for each specified pathway. Not all courses are offered each semester. Students should visit with their advisor for information on courses that are offered on a rotational basis. Some courses list a scheduling note in the description.

Course Descriptions

Following are descriptions of approved courses which can be offered by Cowley College. Courses are grouped under academic disciplines identified with a 3-letter prefix and are alphabetized. 

Descriptions are listed by prefix and include the course number, course title, credit hours, elective type, course description, prerequisites/corequisites, and a link to the approved course outcomes/procedures document. If applicable, also identified is the Kansas Regents Shared Number (KRSN) or Special Funding Identifier. 

Cowley College Course Procedures/Outcomes      
Each course has a link to the Course Outcomes/Procedures document that details:

  • Student Level
  • Prerequisite
  • Controlling Purpose
  • Learner Outcomes
  • Units Outcomes
  • Projects Required
  • Textbook
  • Material/Equipment Required
  • Grading Policy
  • Course Time Frame
  • Attendance Policy & Applicable Policies
  • Disabilty Service Program contact information

Kansas Regents Shared Number (KRSN)

Courses that currently have a Kansas Regents Shared Number (Common Course Numbers designated by the Kansas System Wide Transfer Course Matrix) are indicated by their associated KRSN number. The learning outcomes and competencies in these courses meet or exceed the learning outcomes and competencies specified by the Kansas Core Outcomes Groups project for these courses as approved by the Kansas Board of Regents. 

The Kansas Board of Regents has approved and faculty representatives from Kansas public postsecondary institutions have agreed upon the learning outcomes for the systemwide transfer of specified courses.  A student who completes any of these courses at a Kansas public university, community college, or technical college will be able to transfer the course to any Kansas public institution offering an equivalent course.

For a full listing of approved courses and their corresponding transfer course visit the Kansas Regents website that links to the Transfer Course Matrix.


Cowley County Community College - History

COVID-19 Vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccines are free for all patients of the Community Health Center. There is an administration fee ($40 for the first dose and $40 for the second) that will be billed to the vaccinated person’s insurance. Most insurance companies are paying this fee. For uninsured patients, there is no cost.

New Patient

If you are a new patient please click the button below to go to our patient forms page. You can print and complete forms before your appointment to speed up your process.

The Community Health Center in Cowley County is a Federally Qualified Health Center. We offer a variety of services that are constantly growing. We currently provide Family Practice Care, Preventative Services, Laceration Repair, Minor Surgery, Diagnostic Radiology, Referral Dentistry, Behavioral Health and many others! If you have a question about the different services that we may offer please don’t hesitate to call us at 620.221.3350 or email us at [email protected] .

If you are uninsured or under insured we offer a sliding fee discount. We accept all in the clinic both families and individuals, uninsured and those with private insurance alike. We strive to make your visit with us personalized and the highest quality that we can offer.

THE MISSION

The Mission of the Community Health Center in Cowley County is to provide comprehensive, integrated and holistic medical, dental and mental health care that is affordable and patient-centered for everyone in Cowley County.

The Vision of the Community Health Center in Cowley County as a non-profit organization is to be a financially sustainable health center, organized and managed to fulfill its mission, providing care by a highly collaborative and effective professional team and to be a valued community partner working cooperatively to improve area-wide health outcomes.

COVID-19 Testing

Section 3202(b) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires all providers that order or provide COVID-19 testing to publicly post their charge to the provider’s public internet website. The Community Health Center in Cowley County’s gross charge for the clinically-indicated COVID-19 test is $93. Currently, these tests are provided to our patients free of charge. Additional charges for office visits may apply.


For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. The first European visitor to Kansas was the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in 1541. In 1601, the Governor of New Mexico, Juan de Oñate, visited Etzanoa, a settlement of several thousand Wichita people near Arkansas City along the Walnut River. The ruins of Etzanoa have been found by archaeologists.

19th century Edit

In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. Cowley County was officially organized as a county, but reserved for the Osage Indians, by the Kansas Legislature in March 1867, originally named Hunter County for Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter (1809–1887), a Virginia Representative and Senator to Congress and Speaker of the House in the twenty-sixth Congress. In 1870, the county was renamed for Matthew Cowley, First Lieutenant in Company I, 9th Kansas Cavalry, who died at Little Rock, Arkansas, on October 7, 1864. Officially opened for settlement July 15, 1870, there was a lengthy and bitter disagreement between the towns of Winfield and Cresswell (the town now named Arkansas City) over the possession of the county seat of government. Finally settled after two special elections and numerous petitions to the Governor and Legislature, Winfield was determined to be the county seat and a courthouse was constructed in 1873 at a cost of $11,500. [3]

21st century Edit

In 2010, the Keystone-Cushing Pipeline (Phase II) was constructed north to south through Cowley County. Controversy arose from the Kansas legislature's decision to grant the pipeline a ten-year exemption from property taxes it was estimated that this would mean $15 million per year in lost revenue to the six counties through which the pipeline passed. The counties were unsuccessful in an attempt to eliminate the exemption. [4] [5] [6] [7]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,132 square miles (2,930 km 2 ), of which 1,126 square miles (2,920 km 2 ) is land and 6.7 square miles (17 km 2 ) (0.6%) is water. [8]

Adjacent counties Edit

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860158
18701,175 643.7%
188021,538 1,733.0%
189034,478 60.1%
190030,156 −12.5%
191031,790 5.4%
192035,155 10.6%
193040,903 16.4%
194038,139 −6.8%
195036,905 −3.2%
196037,861 2.6%
197035,012 −7.5%
198036,824 5.2%
199036,915 0.2%
200036,291 −1.7%
201036,311 0.1%
2018 (est.)35,218 [9] −3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [10]
1790-1960 [11] 1900-1990 [12]
1990-2000 [13] 2010-2016 [1]

Cowley County comprises the Arkansas City-Winfield, KS Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Wichita-Arkansas City-Winfield, KS Combined Statistical Area.

As of the U.S. Census in 2000, [14] there were 36,291 people, 14,039 households, and 9,616 families residing in the county. The population density was 32 people per square mile (12/km 2 ). There were 15,673 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the county was 90.13% White, 2.70% Black or African American, 1.96% Native American, 1.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.36% from other races, and 2.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.59% of the population.

There were 14,039 households, out of which 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.20% were married couples living together, 9.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.50% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.00% under the age of 18, 9.90% from 18 to 24, 26.00% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,406, and the median income for a family was $43,636. Males had a median income of $31,703 versus $21,341 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,509. About 9.20% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.00% of those under age 18 and 11.20% of those age 65 or over.

Presidential elections Edit

Presidential Elections Results [15]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2020 67.9% 9,656 30.0% 4,273 2.1% 302
2016 65.5% 8,270 28.1% 3,551 6.3% 800
2012 63.6% 8,081 34.0% 4,319 2.4% 310
2008 61.6% 8,492 36.4% 5,012 2.1% 283
2004 65.1% 9,407 33.4% 4,818 1.5% 222
2000 56.9% 8,080 39.0% 5,535 4.2% 595
1996 50.8% 7,872 36.1% 5,588 13.2% 2,039
1992 34.4% 5,422 34.2% 5,405 31.4% 4,957
1988 54.4% 7,778 43.3% 6,186 2.3% 322
1984 65.0% 10,008 33.7% 5,193 1.3% 198
1980 57.1% 8,749 35.8% 5,474 7.1% 1,089
1976 50.3% 7,513 47.5% 7,095 2.2% 323
1972 70.5% 10,332 24.5% 3,592 5.0% 729
1968 54.3% 8,070 33.7% 5,014 12.0% 1,777
1964 47.9% 7,092 51.3% 7,591 0.8% 114
1960 62.0% 10,276 37.4% 6,205 0.6% 99
1956 63.9% 6,734 35.6% 3,753 0.4% 46
1952 68.1% 11,454 31.2% 5,242 0.7% 116
1948 52.1% 8,102 45.3% 7,042 2.6% 397
1944 55.9% 8,453 43.5% 6,577 0.6% 90
1940 54.0% 9,684 45.3% 8,115 0.8% 136
1936 43.5% 8,378 56.1% 10,805 0.4% 72
1932 44.7% 7,657 50.7% 8,681 4.6% 788
1928 80.8% 12,701 17.9% 2,818 1.3% 202
1924 58.5% 8,529 21.7% 3,161 19.8% 2,887
1920 59.2% 7,352 38.1% 4,733 2.7% 329
1916 43.9% 5,297 49.4% 5,962 6.8% 816
1912 15.8% 1,113 35.9% 2,539 48.3% 3,414 [a]
1908 42.4% 2,578 49.3% 2,995 8.3% 505
1904 61.3% 3,961 22.5% 1,456 16.1% 1,042
1900 50.5% 3,679 47.1% 3,436 2.4% 174
1896 45.1% 2,871 53.6% 3,410 1.2% 79
1892 49.1% 3,886 50.9% 4,023 [b]
1888 53.4% 4,112 25.1% 1,933 21.5% 1,654

Laws Edit

Following amendment to the Kansas Constitution in 1986, the county remained a prohibition, or "dry", county until 1996, when voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink without a food sales requirement. [16]


Course Descriptions

Cowley College has nearly 600 courses approved by the Kansas Board of Regents which coincide with the many pathways and programs of study that lead towards a degree, vocational certificate, or industry recognized credential or skill. Cowley advisors will help you design a program to meet your educational and career goals.

Refer to 2018-2019 Cowley College “Programs of Study   ” to determine the course requirements and recommended elective courses for each degree or certificate for each specified pathway. Not all courses are offered each semester. Students should visit with their advisor for information on courses that are offered on a rotational basis.

Course Descriptions

Following are descriptions of approved courses which can be offered by Cowley College. Courses are grouped under academic disciplines identified with a 3-letter prefix and are alphabetized. 

Descriptions are listed by prefix and include the course number, course title, credit hours, elective type, course description, prerequisites/corequisites, and a link to the approved course outcomes/procedures document. If applicable, also identified is the Kansas Regents Shared Number (KRSN) or Special Funding Identifier. 

Course Outcomes/Procedures Document Link
Each course has a link to the Course Outcomes/Procedures document that details:

  • Student Level
  • Prerequisite
  • Controlling Purpose
  • Learner Outcomes
  • Units Outcomes
  • Projects Required
  • Textbook
  • Material/Equipment Required
  • Grading Policy
  • Course Time Frame
  • Attendance Policy & Applicable Policies
  • Disabilty Service Program contact information

Kansas Regents Shared Number (KRSN)

Courses that currently have a Kansas Regents Shared Number (Common Course Numbers designated by the Kansas System Wide Transfer Course Matrix) are indicated by their associated KRSN number. The learning outcomes and competencies in these courses meet or exceed the learning outcomes and competencies specified by the Kansas Core Outcomes Groups project for these courses as approved by the Kansas Board of Regents. 

The Kansas Board of Regents has approved and faculty representatives from Kansas public postsecondary institutions have agreed upon the learning outcomes for the systemwide transfer of specified courses.  A student who completes any of these courses at a Kansas public university, community college, or technical college will be able to transfer the course to any Kansas public institution offering an equivalent course.

For a full listing of approved courses and their corresponding transfer course visit the Kansas Regents website that links to the Transfer Course Matrix.


Watch the video: Take a tour of Main Campus with us! (January 2022).