Appreciate what the university offers

Wichita State could be seen as the third wheel when it comes to the big three public universities in Kansas.

Traditionally, the university has not been the first choice for high school students. The University of Kansas and Kansas State University are usually the schools eyeballed by future college students before they even consider WSU as an option.

In the last two or three years, however, this trend has shifted — more and more incoming students say WSU was their first choice.

Obviously this is a good change, but it is one that is long overdue, mostly because the university offers many things KU and K-State don’t, or can’t, offer their students.

For instance, students in the Elliott School of Communication had a chance to hear from men’s basketball head coach Gregg Marshall and national sports broadcaster Gary Bender on Monday. Marshall and Bender talked about coach relationships with news media and gave tips to future journalists on how to handle interviews with coaches and players. How many other universities in Kansas can say they had students learn from a national sports broadcaster? There are probably not that many.

Aside from communication students, other students at WSU get unique experiences. With Youngmeyer Ranch recently donating access to the property, biology and geology students will be able to conduct research activities on a large piece of Kansas land.

Classes such as these that get students out of the traditional classroom setting are vital to later success in life. Hands-on learning will get the best results from students.

Not only do WSU students get unique learning opportunities, but they are more likely to get a job right out of college that will keep them in the area.

Lawrence and Manhattan are smaller towns than Wichita. Job opportunities there are limited because of the small-town size.

Wichita, however, is the biggest city in the state, with plenty of job opportunities in many different fields. Shockers are likely to get jobs in the area, with so many WSU faculty having connections to the professional world.

The work done in college may seem tedious now, but it will pay off in the long run. All students, regardless of major, should appreciate what the university has to offer. It may well help jump-start a plethora of careers.

—For the editorial board, TJ Rigg