Park University, located in Parkville, Missouri, was founded as a small, private college affiliated with a local Missouri church in 1875. With land donated George Park, the founder of Parkville, Missouri, the college began as a great experiment. Initially, students who attended the college were offered free tuition in exchange for a half-day’s labor in the town’s farms, printing presses, and electrical shops. However, this experiment eventually failed and the college reverted to a more traditional educational structure.
Today, Park University is spread across the nation with over forty different campuses in the United States. Most of the small satellite campuses are located on or near military bases as Park University caters especially to members of the military and their families. A large portion of Park University’s academic programs are available online, and many students opt to attend Park University without ever setting foot on campus.
While the school was originally associated with the Presbyterian Church, it has since dropped that affiliation and focuses mostly on its relationship with United States Military. The school has only been known as Park University for a little over a decade as its name was changed in the year 2000.
Park University offers both on-campus and online bachelor’s degree programs in a variety of different subject areas. Often, these programs can be paired with a minor program to customize a degree. Students can pursue a bachelor’s degree in a variety of liberal arts subjects such as communication, English, fine arts, education, criminal justice, mathematics, music, or psychology.
Some students choose to pursue a career certificate instead of a bachelor’s degree with a major and minor. Many occupations do not require employees to have extensive post-secondary education. These careers simply require students to receive certification: a process which can take as little as one year. Homeland security, criminal justice, military history, and some business programs are offered as career certification programs.
Some courses are offered in accelerated versions at the Kansas City campus of Park University and online. These courses can be completed in eight weeks rather than sixteen week sessions. Park University also has a reputable Honors program. Students in the Honors program have access to classes with smaller sizes and varying styles of education.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Admission to Park University is typically started with an online application. While students are able to visit the campus in Parkville to apply, many students who attend Park University live in different states and hope to attend one of Park University’s many satellite campuses. For these students, applications for admission must be completed online or mailed to the university.
Park University requires its applicants to have completed high school or an equivalency test such as the GED. While the school does not require SAT or ACT scores for admission, students are greatly encouraged to take these tests. Because of the school’s close relationship with the military, active-duty members are very likely to be admitted.
After an application is received, the university will usually contact the student regarding his or her admission within one week. After a student is accepted into the university, he or she can choose to meet with a guidance counselor in person, establish an online relationship with an academic advisor, or research degree opportunities through the online catalog before enrolling in classes.
The Park University campus that is located in Parkville, Missouri is only able to accommodate a little over a thousand students. However, the total enrollment of Park University is well over ten thousand students. This makes the Park University student body a very unique community. While students who live on campus do share a close bond, they are the minority. Most students who attend Park University are working professionals or active members of the military, and, therefore, they have little involvement with on campus activities and events.
For the students who do live on campus, Park University does offer a wide variety of clubs, social groups, and events to promote community and campus involvement. Sports clubs are groups of individuals who gather informally to play sports at an amateur level. There are also many social activism clubs on campus whose mission is to raise awareness for important current events and social trends.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Park University provides students with fifteen different options for varsity sports. Both men’s and women’s sports are available for athletes. The Park University mascot is the Pirate, and Park University team members proudly sport the college’s covers of canary gold and burgundy.
Park University has men’s and women’s volleyball programs as well as soccer, baseball, basketball, softball, and track and field. The athletes at Park University are affiliated with the American Midwest Conference of the NAIA. The coaches at Park University are able and encouraging individuals who emphasize not only physical health for all the athletes at Park but also emotional and spiritual health. Athletics are revered at Park University, and many of the varsity athletes secure prestigious awards and recognition throughout the school year. In the 2008-2009 school year, twenty-four Park University varsity athletes received twenty-five athletic awards through the NAIA.
- News of Park University. Park University, 2011. Web. 17 May 2011. <http://news.park.edu>.
- Park University – Online, Undergraduate, and Graduate Degrees. Park U, 2011. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.park.edu>.
- Stevens, Walter B. Centennial History of Missouri. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub., 1921. 41. Print.