Get to Know Christy Streeter
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Christy Streeter, dean of health, education and public services, first joined Butler Community College in 2014 as the director of the Early College Health Sciences Academy. The first Academy began in Rose Hill. Under Streeter’s leadership the Academies expanded to Andover and El Dorado. In 2017, the whole program was named the ACT National Exemplar Winner for the Career and Preparedness Award.
The Early College Academies allow high school juniors and seniors to begin an academic track while still in high school and graduate with a Butler associate degree the same time they graduate from high school. The program has experienced tremendous success. From 2014 to 2018, the Early College Academies enrollment grew from 59 to 201; a 354% increase.
The students Streeter connected with in those early Butler years haven’t forgotten her. On occasion she still gets text messages from graduates who want to update her on their success, like Sarah Veesart Wright from Douglass High School
“Hello Christy! Just wanted to say thank you for everything. I definitely wouldn't be where I am today if I wouldn't have been in the academy and met you! Just wanted to give you a life update: I graduated with a bachelor's in biology and chemistry Summa Cum Lauda and I am on the waitlist for KU med right now. Again, thank you for everything! Happy Holidays!”
“This is what makes my heart sing,” said Streeter with a big smile. It’s the impact we have on our students’ lives that encompass so much of what we all do at Buter.”
Streeter changed positions in 2015 to become the associate dean of health, education and public services. She worked closely alongside her dean Anita Mills, who held a master's in nursing and was recognized as the nurse administrator by the Accreditation Commission for Education Nursing (ACEN) and the Kansas State Board of Nursing (KSBN), a requirement for oversight of Butler’s Nursing Program.
Streeter’s background is unique and what she brings to her faculty and students comes from a foundation of faith and a passion to serve others. She went on her first mission trip when she was 13 and following that summer abroad, she spent many more summers traveling and finding ways to serve others. She taught English in China, she served as a medical leader interpreter in Venezuela, in Bangladesh she helped build a school, and in Zimbabwe she helped build a dam on a river so a village could have a water reservoir. These life experiences serve to provide a foundation for connecting with students from all types of backgrounds.
“I wanted to be a missionary and help people around the world – to give them hope,” Streeter said of her earlier self. She was the first in her family to go to college and, being a woman of faith, she was drawn to the field of Theology. She enrolled at Life Bible College (now known as Life Pacific University). As a junior there, she was offered a teaching fellowship in China, which she enthusiastically accepted.
That trip was life changing in more ways than one. Two years later, she returned to the states very ill and was unable to finish her degree in person at Life Bible College. They didn’t offer online learning options either. But she was determined to get her degree.
“So, I completed my degree through Life Christian University, which did offer those options and it was affiliated with my church, Streeter explained. “I earned my bachelor’s in 2000 and my master’s in 2003. My faith dictated my degrees.”
Life Bible College/Life Pacific University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and by The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Life Christian University is accredited by The Accrediting Commission International, Inc. (ACI).
After receiving her degrees, Streeter continued to explore the world working in several career fields including mental health and K-12 education. She worked as a worship pastor and as an emergency dispatcher. Then, she took a job at Cloud County Community College and higher education was in her blood. Before starting at Butler, she also worked at the Kansas State University Salina campus.
When the dean position for her division was vacated, Streeter found herself with another opportunity and a decision.
“I wanted to continue my growth as a leader and saw the dean’s position as an avenue to continue to help students and the amazing instructors in this division,” Streeter said.
Following a national search and thorough interview process, Streeter was named dean of the division. Her qualifications and experience met the position’s needs. The health, education and public services division is led by an administrative team made up of the dean and the associate dean. While Mills was dean, she oversaw the nursing and allied health departments because she is a masters level nurse. Since Streeter is not a nurse, the associate dean of the division has oversight of the nursing and allied health departments and is a masters level nurse.
We take our accreditations and our compliance with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the ACEN and the KSBN very seriously,” said Lori Winningham, vice president of academics. “We have a strong nursing program because we adhere directly to those standards and expectations. That’s a long-standing culture at Butler and in part why admission to our program is so competitive.”
Streeter, as a member of the Butler family, works hard to support the students and employees within her division. She brings a spirit of teamwork that’s recognized by others at Butler as well as in the community. In 2019, Streeter was named a Women in Business Honoree by the Wichita Business Journal.
“As a dean, Christy Streeter is very kind, compassionate, caring, ethical, intelligent, and articulate. She has worked hard to maintain the integrity of her division,” said Mel Whiteside, colleague and dean of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) division. “She is the best person for the dean role.”
As dean, she can also be found teaching students about study skills and test taking techniques. It is not unlike her to listen to students’ stories and walk with them to places on campus where they can find support, places like the Disability Services office, testing center and financial aid office. Duties not in her job description, but in her desire to assist students.
This desire is core to who Streeter is. She believes we are all called to make a difference in this world and has put her belief into action multiple times; like sharing her home with more than 100 foster children in the past 16 years. It’s a keen sense of caring that comes from the heart and, fortunately for Butler students, it’s Streeter’s way of helping the Butler family.
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