Amy Hempleman

Finish (at KU) what you start

The close proximity of the University of Kansas – Edwards Campus to JCCC is not just a zoning fluke, and it’s become more than just a matter of coincidental convenience. Both institutions reinforce the other’s excellence, and the principal beneficiaries are the students who take classes at both schools and complete a bachelor’s degree as part of the Start2Finish program. 

Leaders at the two schools, which are two miles apart along Quivira Road in Overland Park, initiated Start2Finish in 2007, and it has been a success – even offering scholarships to S2F students. Amy Hempleman, public administration major and scholarship recipient, restarted her education after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. 

“I was looking for a program that would allow me to do as much of my prerequisite classes at JCCC and would allow me to use scholarship money in order to complete the last two years of my program,” she said. “I am very grateful for the Start2Finish scholarship.” 

Hempleman started her college career in fall 1988. She became a single mother in 1989 and worked full time. She simply couldn’t keep up the rigorous pace. “The great thing about JCCC is you can start again,” she said. “Most all of my credits have transferred from JCCC with no problem at all.” 

Counselors at both institutions work with a student to determine if each school’s academic programs fit the student’s goals and then guide the student through the programs. Hempleman would recommend easing into this avenue of learning to others for a variety of reasons. 

“I wanted to take advantage of the smaller classes that JCCC offers, as well as the lower tuition for my prerequisite classes,” she said. “Plus, as a non-traditional college student, walking into a smaller class at JCCC was much less intimidating to me than a lecture hall at KU.” 

She’s also taken advantage of discounted student tickets for the Performing Arts Series and feels like she’s been able to broaden her cultural arts awareness because of the discount. 

“We are so lucky to have a wonderful community college like JCCC so close to home. It is a great way to start or restart your education journey while you are sorting out what you want to do with the rest of your life,” she said. 

Now, with hopes of graduating in May 2015, Hempleman is faced with another choice – to minor in sociology or English.