Kansas Independent College Association (KICA)

KICA develops and enhances the competitive standing of its 19 member independent, nonprofit, regionally accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities. Our efforts include professional development and collaboration, governmental advocacy, and public engagement collectively aimed at supporting the ability of students to choose and afford an independent college education that fits their goals. KICA, founded in 1976, is a 501 (c) (4) not-for-profit Kansas corporation governed by a board of directors composed of the presidents of each of the member institutions and is managed by a staff of three based in Topeka.

Matt Lindsey is the President of the Kansas Independent College Association & Fund, a role he has held since 2012.
 
As president, Matt represents the interests of the nineteen private, not-for-profit, accredited colleges and universities in the state of Kansas. The work includes coordinating state and federal government relations on behalf of the sector, directing consortia work around improving college affordability, access, and completion and enhancing the ability of the unique private colleges that dot the Kansas prairie to thrive in a challenging and ever-changing educational landscape.

Before joining KICA, Matt was the Executive Director of Kansas Campus Compact, working to enhance civic and community engagement activities on college campuses throughout Kansas. He previously served as the senior associate for Freedman Consulting in Washington, DC, where he advised non-profit consortiums and large foundations on effective means to achieve policy change. Matt was selected as a 2001 Harry S. Truman Scholar while attending the University of Tulsa where he received degrees in economics and political science. He also received a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Along the path, he also worked with the city of San Diego, California where he felt the surreal experience of watching a city go through three mayors in four months, the last of which named August 25, 2005 as “Matt Lindsey Day” for his work on behalf of downtown public-private partnerships.

Lynette Cross is an Assistant Professor. Lynette Cross is our Assistant Professor of Special Education and brings 14 years of higher education experience to KICA. She has served as an adjunct professor teaching special education courses at Bowling Green University, Lourdes University and Tiffin University in Ohio and most recently she served as the Education Department Chair at Tabor College, having led students who sought PK-12 degrees in education. Her B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education was earned at Tabor college and her M.S. degree in PK-12 School Counseling was from WSU. Lynette is an ABD, Ed.D. Candidate in the Educational Leadership Program at Southwestern College. She has spent 28 years in various roles in education; K-12 General Education teacher, K-12 Special Education Teacher and High school counselor to support the needs of students of all ability levels, in a variety of settings. The KICA special education endorsement program places a strong emphasis on real-world experiences working with children in the field while emphasizing the best practices for teaching students who have high-incidence disabilities. Lynette will bring collaborative methodology to the program to make a positive impact on pre-service educators and in turn facilitate a positive influence in the lives of educators and students.

Russ Graber has been the Curriculum Director for Athletic Training for the Associated Colleges of Central Kansas since 1999 and continues in the same role for KICA.

Jesyca Hope has her BA in communications and musical theater from James Madison University. Graduating in 1997 at the age of 17, she is the youngest graduate in the school's history. For the next decade, Hope had a media career that she loved, with positions in news, community promotions and on-air talent. She loved making real connections with the communities she worked in, helping others work to achieve change. Hope went on to win the Kansas Association of Broadcasters' Broadcaster of the Year award in 2006. Kansas State University accepted her into its communications studies Masters program, where Hope shared her address and oratory skills as an instructor of public speaking and graduated in 2008. In 2015, originated the role of Director of Member Programs, bringing her 20 years of outreach and organizing experience to the team. 

Mark Millikan has been with the organization since 1996, starting as a Communications Manager, he now serves as Director of Office Administration.

Dr. Bev Schottler is a Professor of Special Education and Department Head for the High-Incidence Special Education Program at Kansas Independent College Association (KICA). She began her career as an elementary school teacher and developed an interest in special education while working with students in the third-grade classroom. At the master's degree level, she received an endorsement in special education with an emphasis in learning disabilities and emotional disturbance from Fort Hays State University. After working in the areas of special education and at-risk, Bev completed a doctorate degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from Kansas State University. Bev brings more than 25 years of teaching experience to KICA, working in both regular and special public education classrooms, as well as higher education. Her classes place a strong emphasis on real world experience working with children in the field, while emphasizing the best practices for teaching students who have high-incidence disabilities.

Terri Smidt serves as the Academic Program Assistant for the McPherson office. In that role she provides support and structure for all of KICA’s academic programs and is a principal point of contact between those programs and the registrars for each participating KICA member. A lifetime resident of McPherson, she brings to the organization over 30 years of administrative experience.

Kristi J. Wiess is our Assistant Professor of Special Education and brings 2 years of higher education experience as an Assistant Professor with ACCK, having served students who seek a degree endorsement in high incidence special education. Her B.S. (elementary ed.) & M.S. (special education/Intellectual disabilities) degrees from KSU enabled her to serve 26 years in various special education settings to meet the needs of students from mild to severe in settings from the most restrictive(self-contained) to team teaching in the inclusive setting at K-12 grade levels. The KICA special education endorsement program places a strong emphasis on real-world experiences working with children in the field while emphasizing the best practices for teaching students who have high-incidence disabilities. Kristi will bring a team approach to the program to make a difference in the world of special education.