Doane President Dr. Roger Hughes addresses employees of Crete Public Schools behind a wooden podium with the Crete High School cardinal head logo. CPS Superintendent Dr. Joshua McDowell walks offstage through a doorway. Behind Hughes is a red curtain.
Doane President Dr. Roger Hughes addresses Crete Public Schools employees in the auditorium of Crete High School on the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 9. He and Dr. Joshua McDowell, CPS superintendent, shared news of a new 25% tuition discount available to CPS employees through a partnership between the two institutions.

Starting this fall, employees of Crete Public Schools (CPS) are able to receive a Doane education at a 25% discount. The discount can be applied toward any of the university’s graduate programs, including the Doctorate of Education, as well as bachelor’s degrees or professional certificates available from the university’s Lincoln campus or online. 

"For years, Crete Public Schools has given so many opportunities to our students through student teaching, job shadowing, volunteering and jobs after graduation. This partnership allows us to give back to the district and to the Crete and Saline County communities both our institutions serve,” said Dr. Tim Frey, Doane’s dean of the College of Education.

Crete Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Josh McDowell gestures as he speaks with district employees in front of the red curtain in Crete High School's auditorium.
Dr. Joshua McDowell, CPS superintendent, shares news of several partnerships established between Doane and the district, including a new 25% tuition discount available to all CPS employees.

A fall 2022 conversation between Doane President Dr. Roger Hughes and Dr. Joshua McDowell, CPS superintendent, sparked the idea for the discount, during a back-to-school picnic held annually at the university alongside community partners.

“As a two-time graduate of Doane, I know first-hand the impact my degrees have had on my career and my life. It’s incredible to go from having a single conversation with Dr. Hughes to creating a partnership that offers such a life-changing opportunity to the district I now serve,” McDowell said. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2003 and his Master of Education in Educational Leadership in 2008, both through Doane.

“For all our employees, encouraging them to pursue new degrees has a one-two effect of not only opening new professional development opportunities to them, but shows the students we serve the value of continuing their own education,” McDowell said.

Dr. Roger Hughes reaches into the inside pocket of his grey suit jacket for his cell phone, to take a photo of Doane alumni who are employees of Crete Public Schools standing in the Crete High School auditorium.
Dr. Roger Hughes reaches into his jacket for his cell phone, to take a photo of the Doane alumni who are employed by Crete Public Schools. Hughes asked alumni to stand — and more than a third of the CPS employees attending the event in Crete High School's auditorium rose. 

Hughes and McDowell brought Frey onboard to continue discussions through the fall. A survey with CPS employees determined how many were currently Doane students and how many would be interested in pursuing a degree through the university at a discounted rate. Education programs were of interest, but also bachelor’s degrees, particularly Doane’s hybrid or online programs.

Throughout the winter, the two institutions worked together to create the agreement, and finalized the breakdown of the tuition discount — with 10% covered by CPS and 15% covered by Doane, for the total 25% tuition discount — in spring.

After running the agreement through Doane leadership and the CPS School Board, it was approved over the summer and made available for the 2023-24 academic year.

Doane degree programs eligible for the CPS tuition discount are:

The tuition discount also applies toward Doane’s two online Professional Certificates, the Principles of Agribusiness and Software Development.