Preparing diverse student populations for lives of enlightened faith, exemplary service, inspired leadership, and personal significance—that is the vision of Ottawa University. Why? Because the administration and faculty at Ottawa University know that education doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Instead, students must learn to grow, care for, and balance all aspects of their lives (spiritual, professional, financial, relational, physical, etc.) in order to “prepare for a life of significance” that is both personally fulfilling and outwardly impactful. That’s why every student who enrolls at Ottawa University generates a “LifePlan” during their academic tenure to help guide them as they enter life beyond college.
The University’s vision grew directly from its mission: to provide the highest-quality liberal arts and professional education in a caring, Christ-centered community of grace, which integrates faith, learning and life skills. Imbued by the spirit of the Ottawa Indian Tribe, and in tandem with Baptist missionaries, Ottawa University is blessed by a rich heritage and an unquenchable commitment to educate increasing numbers of students for lifetimes of significance. This quintessence, from which OU was born, permeates the University and its graduates to this day.
The picturesque, 65-acre campus consists of several original limestone buildings – three of which are on the National Register of Historic Places – and is anchored by the newly built, state-of-the-art Gibson Student Center adjacent to Braves Field. OU boasts 29 men’s and women’s athletic teams—the Ottawa Braves—competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Ottawa University is student-centered, value-priced, and technology-enabled. From its founding in 1865 in Ottawa, Kan., Ottawa University has grown to an institution that serves more than 4,000 students through its residential campuses in Ottawa, Kan., and Surprise, Ariz. (OUAZ); burgeoning online programs; and adult and professional studies campuses in the Phoenix, Milwaukee, and Kansas City areas.
Get to know Ottawa University
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- Concert band
- International Student Organization
- Jazz band
- Music ensembles
- Pep band
- Radio station
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- Career Services
- Writing Center
- Academic Advisors
- Library Services
- Disability Services
- Multicultural Engagement Center
- Health Services
- Academic Tutors
- Student Success Initiative (LifePlan Narrative)
“How am I going to use this in the real world?” Ottawa University faculty delight in answering this common question and usually do so with long lists of opportunities that allow and require students to put their newfound skills to work.
In recent years, Ottawa students have been able to experience incredible opportunities across the globe. Through missional and charitable work, Ottawa University students are leaving their mark on the world.
FROM TEXTBOOK TO TANGIBLE
When an EF5 tornado destroyed the town of Greensburg, Kan., Ottawa University students were on hand to assist with recovery and rebuilding efforts. Students have also traveled to Israel, Kenya, Australia, and the Amazon for cross-disciplinary trips. They have performed in Carnegie Hall, participated in national forensics tournaments, and traveled to the Sundance Film Festival to work as movie critics.
OU students organize and host the Kansas Kids Fitness Day each year for more than 300 third-graders. They have assisted with the Ottawa Tribe oral history project by conducting and transcribing interviews with senior tribe members, and they give of their own time and talents to conduct Braving Discipleship, a weekend spiritual retreat held on campus for area high school students.
PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE
Every student at Ottawa University completes a Senior Core capstone course that requires research on social issues. Students must develop possible solutions to address their topics and take action to raise awareness. At Ottawa University, students are provided every opportunity to make an impact on the world.
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 0%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 14%
White, non-Hispanic: 58%
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 2%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 11%
NOT WHAT TO THINK, BUT HOW TO THINK
From embracing spiritual values to executing business practices, students are pushed to explore, research, and evaluate questions for themselves, arriving at answers rather than being spoon-fed long lists of facts and information. At Ottawa University, mastery is as much about the discovery of knowledge as it is the knowledge itself.
TOP-LEVEL, EASILY ACCESSIBLE FACULTY
With a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, personal engagement, direction and collaboration clearly define Ottawa’s typical professor/student relationship. Teachers know their students by name (most of the staff do, too!), and each individual gets the personal attention needed to succeed. Through a wide range of service-learning projects and experiential learning opportunities, students can also engage directly in their education by completing dynamic projects that are particularly meaningful to them.
A MEANINGFUL CAREER BEGINS AT OTTAWA UNIVERSITY
With more than 30 majors offered across three schools (Arts & Sciences, Education, and Business), students can select from a wide range of majors and concentrations that prepare them for meaningful careers or graduate programs.
BRAND NEW, STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITIES
A new library and student center recently opened on the Ottawa campus to augment the overall teaching and learning experience. Through the student center, students can broaden their academic exposure by speaking to top OU professors from across the country. To enhance the educational experience, other facilities and equipment are regularly upgraded, such as the state-of-the-art Wenger music practice studios. Ottawa University is the only school in northeast Kansas to offer facilities of this caliber.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
In today’s global society, students often hear, “The world is your classroom.” At Ottawa University, that means traveling abroad, working with inner-city children, exploring the business practices of Indonesia, and gaining insight from their fellow classmates’ diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Other times, it means that the world is brought directly to the students through arts and cultural events, speakers, conferences, workshops, or weekly exploration sessions. Ottawa University believes that, by exposing themselves to a broad base of ideas, experiences, and people, students learn to achieve a better understanding of who they want to become.
Some of the esteemed speakers who have come to inspire Ottawa University students have been:
- Steven Hawley, NASA astronaut
- Albert Brinson, friend and colleague of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Viktor Yushchenko, former President of Ukraine
- James Gwartney, celebrated economist and author
- George McGovern, state senator and presidential candidate
There is always something for students to do. Ottawa University holds a variety of events every year, including:
- Pastors and Laity Conference
- Angell Snyder School of Business Symposium
- Annual Baseball in Literature & Culture Conference
- “WE” Conference on Diversity
- Adventures in Faith
The cultural atmosphere at OU is thriving, and students regularly participate in such events as:
- Jazz, chorale, band, and orchestral concerts
- Interpretive dance performances
- Art exhibits
- Documentary viewing and talk-back sessions
- Etiquette dinners
- Forensics and debate tournaments
Service is a cornerstone of student life at Ottawa. Opportunities for life-changing service include but are not limited to:
- Kansas Kids Fitness Day
- Habitat for Humanity
- Inner-city Mentoring Program
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters
- Christmas Toy Drive
Apartments for single students
Special housing for disabled students
Ottawa University’s residential campus in Ottawa, Kan., is located 50 miles southwest of Kansas City, Mo., and 28 miles south of Lawrence, Kan.
Athletic Division: NAIA (Division II)
Athletic Conference: Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC)
OUKS Varsity Athletic Teams: (29) Baseball, Basketball (men/women), Beach Volleyball (women), Bowling (men/women), Cross Country (men/women), Football, Golf (men/women), Lacrosse (men/women), Powerlifting (men/women), Softball, Soccer (men/women), Tennis (men/women), Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field (men/women), Volleyball (men/women), Wrestling (men/women), Competitive Dance (women), Competitive Cheer (coed) and eSports (coed).
Team Name: Braves
Mascot: “Gibby” (river otter)
Colors: Black & Gold
ADAWE (SAY WHAT?)
In 2008, Ottawa University established the Adawe LifePlan Center to serve as the epicenter for academic advising, counseling, and career services. Adawe (pronounced “a-dah-way”) is an Ottawa word that means “to trade.” Within the LifePlan Center, advisors facilitate educational exchanges and bring together a range of resources for collaborative mentoring. Tutoring services, experiential learning opportunities, workshops, personal counseling, spiritual exploration, academic advising, and career services are all available to students through the Adawe Center.
The Center is also where students meet with personal success coaches and embark on their four-year process for developing life plans that encompasses four key areas: self awareness, personal values, lifelong practices, and career competencies. This unique concept is one way Ottawa University delivers its promise to help students “prepare for a life of significance.” So, when they cross the stage at graduation, students walk away with much more than a diploma. They also take with them a life- plan narrative, a career action plan, a working portfolio, a variety of career options, and a map for leaving an OU legacy.
The Adawe LifePlan Center is such a game-changer for many students, because it lets them know that someone has their back—someone who will help them navigate through college and beyond. It is also setting OU apart by assuring parents that the University is looking out for their students, both academically and personally.
Tuition & Cost
TOP SCHOLARS SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION
Ottawa University’s semi-annual “Top Scholars” competition is a multi-phase scholarship competition that awards the Presidential (full-tuition) and Provost Scholarships (three-quarter-tuition). The University is looking for “Top Scholars” who strive to make a difference in their own lives as well as the lives of others. This rigorous competition is only open to students who have achieved a composite ACT score of 25 or greater, earned a minimum high school GPA of 3.5, and have been accepted to OU..
Through the “Top Scholars” competition, awards are presented to an elite group of students that promise to add significant value to the University’s academic, cultural, and civic environment.
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