Gen. Myers returns home to Shawnee Mission North to tout program for first-generation college students

Gen. Richard Myers (Ret.), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and current interim president of Kansas State University speaks about the K-State College Advising Corps at Shawnee Mission North High School.

Gen. Richard Myers (Ret.), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and current interim president of Kansas State University speaks about the K-State College Advising Corps at Shawnee Mission North High School.

The nation’s former top military commander returned to his high school alma mater Monday to publicize a new program aimed at helping future first-generation college students succeed.

Gen. Richard Myers (ret.), who from 2001 to 2005 was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and senior military advisor to the president, was at SM North high school to discuss the Kansas State College Advising Corps (KSCAC) program.

Myers graduated from North in 1960 and went on to attend Kansas State University where he went through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, ultimately rising to the rank of four-star general in the U.S. Air Force.

Since April, he has been acting president of Kansas State.

“We take a lot of pride in providing access to students from all kinds of cultural backgrounds,” Myers told audience at SM North.

The new KSCAC program has placed counselors in six area high schools: SM North, South and West; Olathe East and North, and Turner High School. Their mission is to guide students who’s families have never navigated the college application process.

“We eagerly embrace this mission of the college advising corps to make it easier to understand the options you have and how to fill out the myriad forms which can be intimidating,” Myers said.

Pat Bosco, vice president and dean at Kansas State, said the university has the most diverse student body in the state.

“We’re interested in making sure no one falls between the cracks,” Bosco said, “especially first generation students.”

The program is being funded by Americorps, Kansas State, the Kauffman Foundation, the National Academic Advising Association and the Shawnee Mission School District. It will be headquartered at the Kansas State Olathe campus.