Missouri Department of Higher Education http://dhe.mo.gov/news/rss.xml Official news releases issued by the Missouri Department of Higher Education. en-us <![CDATA[ New math report recommends alternatives to algebra for some college degrees]]>Many students would benefit from taking mathematics courses aligned to their specific field of study instead of college algebra, according to a new report from the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

 

Higher education officials say courses such as statistics and quantitative reasoning would be better suited for degrees that are not directly related to math or science – degrees in history, English, business and other disciplines.

 

“College algebra is a barrier to higher education for a number of students, and it is not always the ‘right’ mathematics for every student,” said Rusty Monhollon, the department’s assistant commissioner for academic affairs. “Some students will attempt college algebra several times before passing the course, spending extra time and money on a class that may not benefit them as much as another type of mathematics course.”

 

Monhollon said students are more likely to take algebra even though some colleges and universities offer other rigorous courses that fulfill the math requirement for a number of degrees. Students often don’t take alternative math courses because they are concerned the credit won’t meet the math requirement at another college, should they decide to transfer to a different school.

 

The report recommends that more colleges and universities enter into articulation agreements that would ensure specific math courses will meet the institutions’ general education requirements for certain degrees.

 

“Students working toward a degree in science, technology, engineering or math need a strong foundation in algebra, but providing options that are more relevant to each student’s academic and vocational pursuits will improve math education at Missouri’s college and universities,” Monhollon said.

 

The report was developed by the department and the Missouri Mathematics Pathways Task Force, a group of 30 math faculty members from the state’s public colleges and universities. The report includes a number of recommendations to help students successfully complete college-level math courses and, ultimately, earn a degree.

 

The report recommends that the state’s high schools and colleges work more closely to align the content of their math classes to better prepare high school graduates for college math courses. It also supports the department’s recommendation that students take four years of math in high school to improve their academic performance in college-level math.

 

Missouri was one of six states selected in 2014 to participate in a grant-funded project to develop alternative mathematics “pathways.” The project is sponsored by Complete College America, a national organization working to increase the number of Americans earning a degree or professional certificate, and the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas-Austin.

 

The task force was appointed following Missouri’s first Mathematics Summit in September 2014. The summit brought together college math faculty and administrators to discuss postsecondary math requirements and the types of courses necessary to provide students with the skills they need. The department will host a second Mathematics Summit in September 2015 to focus on the implementation of recommendations included in the report.

 

For more information about Missouri’s Math Pathways Task Force, visit dhe.mo.gov/AAU-Initiatives-MathPathways.php.

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EDUCATIONThu, 09 Jul 2015 11:15:02 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri higher education board strengthens policy for dual credit classes]]>Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education has revised the state’s policy for dual credit programs that give students an opportunity to earn college credit while attending high school.

Higher education officials say the changes strengthen Missouri’s guidelines for dual credit classes to ensure they offer high-quality, college-level instruction. The classes, taught by instructors approved by the college or university that provides the classes, count for both high school and college credit.

Dual credit classes are offered by 33 Missouri colleges and universities at about 600 high schools in the state. More than 40,000 students enroll in the classes each year.

“Dual credit programs can help students successfully transition from high school to college and allow them to save time and money as they work toward a degree,” said Rusty Monhollon, assistant commission for academic affairs at the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

The changes to the dual credit policy include stricter guidelines for instructors teaching the classes. In most cases, instructors must have a degree relevant to the subject they are teaching that is at least one level above the level at which they teach.

The new guidelines also align the state’s dual credit policy with national guidelines established by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships and the Higher Learning Commission.

“One of the primary purposes of the revised policy is to ensure that higher education institutions across the state deliver quality, college-level instruction in innovative ways that will help prepare more students to succeed in college,” Monhollon said.

David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education, said dual credit programs are an important tool to help the state achieve its goal of increasing educational attainment.

“By 2018, nearly 60 percent of jobs in Missouri will require a two- or four-year degree or professional certificate,” Russell said. “Missouri has set a goal for 60 percent of working-age adults to have a degree or certificate by 2025. A comprehensive dual credit program for college-bound students can help us reach our goal.”

The revised policy also establishes an Early College Advisory Board that will assist the department with monitoring Missouri’s dual credit programs to assure the integrity of the programs. The board will be comprised of 13 members representing public and private two- and four-year colleges and universities that offer dual credit programs and one at-large member.

The policy was developed by officials from the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and public and private colleges and universities in Missouri. The new policy will become effective Jan.1, 2016.

For more information about Missouri’s dual credit policy, visit dhe.mo.gov/cota/dualcredit.php.

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EDUCATIONTue, 09 Jun 2015 09:33:08 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education David Russell announces retirement]]>Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education David Russell announced his plans to retire during a meeting of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education Wednesday, June 3 in Springfield.

His retirement will become effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Russell became commissioner of higher education in July 2010, following a 19-year career with the University of Missouri System, where he served as a senior associate vice president and chief of staff.

As commissioner, Russell provided leadership for Missouri's higher education system, which serves  more than 450,000 students at 13 public four-year universities, 13 public two-year colleges, one two-year technical college, 25 independent colleges  and universities and more than 150 proprietary career schools.

 "David Russell has been an effective advocate for higher education in Missouri and nationwide," said Betty Sims, chair of the coordinating board. "He has worked tirelessly to expand opportunities for students and promote the importance of higher education to our state."

Sims said the coordinating board will immediately begin a search for Russell's successor.

Russell's policies and initiatives in the areas of student retention, time-to-degree, degree or certificate completion and greater collaboration among Missouri's colleges and universities raised the national profile of Missouri higher education. He supported efforts to make a college education more attainable and affordable for students across the state and launched programs to encourage high school students to start earlier to complete college admissions forms and apply for financial aid.

Russell challenged higher education institutions to be more aggressive in reducing the need for remedial education, improving student retention, developing alternative pathways to mathematics instruction and supporting college completion in less time and with less student debt. He asked the state's colleges and universities to work closely with Missouri's public school districts to help students successfully transition from high school to college.

To save students time and money, he urged institutions and school districts to forge innovative partnerships with the business community to give students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in high-demand, high-skill fields and earn a high school diploma at the same time they are completing requirements for an associate degree.

In December 2014, the coordinating board and the Missouri Department of Higher Education started work on a new coordinated plan, "Preparing Missourians to Succeed: A Blueprint for Higher Education." The first phase of the project will conclude this week when the last of nine regional public hearings are conducted in Springfield and Cape Girardeau. Members of the coordinating board are expected to approve the new plan in December. More information about the development of the new coordinated plan for higher education is located at http://dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php.

 "Leaders in government, business, education and communities large and small recognize that Missouri's future depends on its ability to produce knowledgeable and skilled citizens," Russell said. "It has been a privilege to serve with so many dedicated public servants who share a commitment to providing a bright future through education opportunity for all."

 Prior to his tenure at the University of Missouri, Russell served in the United States Army as a commissioned officer, retiring in 1991 as a lieutenant colonel after a 22-year career, including assignments in infantry, personnel management and public affairs.

 

 

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EDUCATIONWed, 03 Jun 2015 15:15:01 CST
<![CDATA[ Cape Girardeau public hearing to focus on improving college completion rates]]>Ideas for improving Missouri’s college completion rates will be the focus of a public hearing about the state’s higher education system June 4 in Cape Girardeau.

The hearing, hosted by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Southeast Missouri State University. The hearing is the last in a series of nine hearings being held across the state to gather information for a new coordinated plan for higher education in Missouri.

“Completing a degree or certificate is essential for students to fully benefit from their investment in higher education,” said David Russell, Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education. “We must improve college completion rates if we are to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need for the jobs of the future.”

By 2018, nearly 60 percent of the jobs in Missouri will require a two- or four-year degree or professional certificate. Currently, about 49 percent of Missourians have earned a degree or certificate.

Missouri’s college completion rates have remained flat in recent years. In 2013, about 55.3 percent of college students complete a bachelor’s degree in six years, compared to 54.4 percent in 2009. About 37.7 percent of students completed an associate degree in three years or transferred to a four-year university in 2013 compared to 38.5 percent in 2009.

The public hearing also will include panel discussions about higher education challenges in rural Missouri and preparing the state’s next generation of teachers. Panelists include administrators from a number of colleges, universities and school districts including Southeast Missouri State University, Mineral Area College, Three Rivers Community College, Cape Girardeau Public Schools and Scott Country Central School District.

A steering committee of 36 leaders in business and industry, education, and government is working with the coordinating board to identify issues and develop recommendations for improving the state’s higher education system.

The public is invited to testify at the hearing. Public comments also can be posted on the Department of Higher Education’s website at: dhe.mo.gov/blueprintcomments.php.

More information about the public hearings is available at dhe.mo.gov/documents/PublicHearings.pdf.

The new plan, “Preparing Missourians to Succeed:  A Blueprint for Higher Education,” will be presented to the coordinating board for approval in December. For additional information about the development of the plan, including a list of steering committee members and major areas of interest, visit dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php.

 

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EDUCATIONFri, 29 May 2015 13:26:28 CST
<![CDATA[ Springfield public hearing to focus on funding Missouri's colleges and universities]]>One of the nation’s leading experts on higher education’s financial challenges and solutions will discuss funding for Missouri colleges and universities during a public hearing June 3 in Springfield.

 

The hearing, hosted by Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education, will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Ozarks Technical Community College. The hearing is the eighth in a series of nine hearings being held throughout the state to gather information for a new coordinated plan for higher education in Missouri.

 

Dennis Jones, president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, will talk about alternative funding models for higher education being tried across the country and lead a discussion about making college more affordable in Missouri.

 

“Adequate funding for our colleges and universities is a major factor in meeting the state’s higher education needs,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education. “We must consider innovative ways to provide the resources our colleges and universities need to support our efforts to increase the number of Missourians with a degree or certificate.”

 

By 2018, nearly 60 percent of the jobs in Missouri will require a two- or four-year degree or professional certificate. Currently, about 49 percent of Missouri residents have earned a degree or certificate.

 

Following Jones’ presentation, a panel of administrators from four of the state’s colleges and universities will continue the funding discussion. Panel members include Dr. Brian Burnett, chief financial officer at the University of Missouri System; Marla Moody, vice chancellor for finance at Ozarks Technical Community College; Dr. Ron Slepitza, president of Avila University; and Clif Smart, president of Missouri State University.

 

While Missouri’s public colleges and universities have received modest funding increases in recent years, the state currently ranks 44th nationwide in higher education funding on a per-student basis. Missouri spends less on higher education per student than every surrounding state.

 

A steering committee of 36 leaders in education, business and industry, and government is working with the coordinating board to identify issues and develop recommendations for improving the state’s higher education system.

 

The public is invited to testify at the hearing. Public comments also can be posted on the Department of Higher Education’s website at: dhe.mo.gov/blueprintcomments.php.

 

The public hearings will wrap up in Cape Girardeau on June 4 at Southeast Missouri State University. The final hearing will focus on strategies to increase college completion, higher education challenges in the rural setting and preparing the next generation of teachers.

 

The new plan, “Preparing Missourians to Succeed:  A Blueprint for Higher Education,” will be presented to the coordinating board for approval in December. For additional information about the development of the plan, including a list of steering committee members and major areas of interest, visit dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php.

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EDUCATIONThu, 28 May 2015 16:51:58 CST
<![CDATA[ College application program to be expanded statewide]]>A program to help more Missouri high school seniors navigate the college application process will be expanded statewide this fall. Apply Missouri 2015, set for September and October, will be open to all high schools in the state.

 

Initially called Missouri College Application Week, the program was offered at a limited number of schools in 2013 and 2014.

 

The program, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Higher Education, promotes the benefits of higher education and helps students submit applications to colleges, universities and other postsecondary schools they are interested in attending. While the program is available to all seniors at participating high schools, it will focus on assisting low-income students and those who would be the first in their families to attend college – students who may be unfamiliar with the college application process.

 

“Higher education contributes to a good quality of life and a strong economy,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education. “Apply Missouri will help students explore a variety of options for education beyond high school and submit applications to schools that are a good fit for them.”

 

Department officials say the college application process establishes important communication channels between students, guidance counselors and higher education institutions. Colleges communicate with students who submit applications in the fall an average of five times, providing information about degree programs, grant and scholarship opportunities, housing options and other details that can help students plan for higher education.

 

High schools that host an Apply Missouri event are required to provide time and resources during the school day for all seniors interested in submitting an application to one or more higher education institutions. Schools also are encouraged to host assemblies, college fairs, contests and other activities that emphasize the importance of higher education.

 

The Department of Higher Education will provide training and materials to help schools plan an Apply Missouri event.

 

By 2018, approximately 60 percent of all jobs in Missouri will require some form of higher education – a professional certificate or a two- or four-year degree. Currently only about 49 percent of working age Missourians have a college degree or certificate.

 

In 2013, more than 2,000 students at 26 high schools submitted applications during the College Application Week pilot project. Nearly 2,900 students at 55 high schools submitted applications the following year.

 

The Missouri College Advising Corps assisted with the launch of College Application Week and will be participating in this year's Apply Missouri program. The advising corps is a group of recent college graduates who work in specific Missouri high schools with a large percentage of students who are less likely to attend college.

 

For more information about Apply Missouri 2015, visit dhe.mo.gov/ppc/applymissouri.php.

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EDUCATIONThu, 23 Apr 2015 15:29:38 CST
<![CDATA[ Kansas City public hearing on higher education to focus on STEM and health professions]]>How to increase the number of students earning degrees in science, technology, engineering, math and health professions will be the focus of a public hearing April 10 in Kansas City.

The hearing, hosted by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Metropolitan Community College’s Penn Valley Health and Science Institute. The meeting is the seventh in a series of nine hearings being held across the state to gather information for a new blueprint for higher education in Missouri.

The hearing will include a panel made up of several of the state’s top health care providers and higher education institutions – Metropolitan Community College, Children’s Mercy Hospital and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Medical School in Kansas City; the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Nursing; and the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Health Professions. Panel members will discuss the challenges involved in educating health professionals to meet the public’s needs.

A second panel will focus on ways to address the shortage of students studying science, technology, engineering and math. Panelists will include speakers from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, the Kansas City STEM Coalition and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“Missouri has a great need for professionals working in STEM and health care fields,” said David Russell, Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education. “We must work to increase the number of students earning degrees in these high-demand areas.”

A third panel will discuss higher education programs offered by proprietary schools – private career and technical schools.

The Coordinating Board for Higher Education has appointed a steering committee of 36 experts and thought leaders to assist the board in identifying issues and developing recommendations for the state’s higher education system. The members represent business and industry, education and government. Missouri’s last plan for higher education was adopted in 2008.

The public is invited to testify at the hearing. Public comments also can be posted on the Department of Higher Education’s website at: dhe.mo.gov/blueprintcomments.php.

The committee will wrap up the public hearing schedule in June when it travels to Springfield and Cape Girardeau. For more information about the meetings, visit dhe.mo.gov/documents/PublicHearings.pdf.

The new plan, “Preparing Missourians to Succeed:  A Blueprint for Higher Education,” will be presented to the coordinating board for approval in December.

More information about the public hearing is available at dhe.mo.gov/documents/Hearingagenda-KansasCity.pdf.

For additional information about the development of the plan, visit dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php.

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EDUCATIONTue, 07 Apr 2015 12:04:22 CST
<![CDATA[ St. Joseph public hearing to focus on career education, technology needs, options for earning a degree]]>Changes in the way students are earning college degrees, including online courses, competency-based education and innovation campus programs, will be the focus of a public hearing April 9 in St. Joseph.

The hearing, hosted by Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education, will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Heartland Foundation’s emPowerU facility. The meeting is the sixth in a series of nine hearings being held throughout the state to gather information for a new blueprint for higher education in Missouri.

A panel of education leaders will discuss the changing ways higher education is being delivered across the state.  Online degree programs, competency-based education that allows students to learn at their own pace, and innovation campuses that enable students to earn college credit and work experience while still in high school, are providing more options for higher education than ever before.

“To move forward, higher education must evolve to meet the needs of students and the workplace,” said David Russell, Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education. “Developing new ways to provide postsecondary education will give more Missourians an opportunity to achieve their higher education goals.”

The hearing also will include a panel discussion about the technology infrastructure necessary to support the educational needs of students and the ability of colleges and universities to deliver quality programs to every community in Missouri. A third panel will look at the changes occurring in career and technical education to prepare students for the jobs of the future.

The Coordinating Board for Higher Education has appointed a steering committee of 36 leaders in business and industry, education and government to assist the department in identifying issues and developing recommendations for the state’s higher education system. Missouri’s last higher education plan was adopted in 2008.

The public is invited to testify at the hearing. Public comment also can be submitted on the Department of Higher Education’s website at: dhe.mo.gov/blueprintcomments.php.

Future public hearings are planned for April 10 in Kansas City, June 3 in Springfield and June 4 in Cape Girardeau. For more information about the meetings, visit dhe.mo.gov/documents/PublicHearings.pdf.

The new plan, “Preparing Missourians to Succeed:  A Blueprint for Higher Education,” will be presented to the coordinating board for approval in December.

More information about the public hearing in St. Joseph is available at dhe.mo.gov/documents/Hearingagenda-St.Joseph.pdf.

 For additional information about the development of the plan, visit dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php.

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EDUCATIONTue, 07 Apr 2015 11:37:59 CST
<![CDATA[ International Education Day at the Capitol set for March 31]]>Hundreds of international and study-abroad students will gather in Jefferson City for International Education Day  at the Capitol Tuesday, March 31. More than 300 students and their advisers from colleges and universities across Missouri’s are expected to attend the day-long event.

International Education Day is hosted annually by the Study Missouri Consortium, a group 40 of colleges and universities in Missouri working together to promote international education and highlight the importance of cultural exchange.

During the event, students will have an opportunity to witness Missouri’s legislative process, tour the Capitol, meet with state lawmakers and share their experiences with other international students.

“International Education Day gives students a chance to see our government up close and meet other students from around the world who chose to study in our state,” said Karla McCollum, chair of the Study Missouri Consortium.

Missouri ranks 12th in the nation in the number of international students enrolled in the state’s colleges and universities. During the 2013-14 academic year, 18,200 international students attended college in Missouri, according to the Institute of International Education. Nearly 5,000 Missouri students studied abroad.

The Study Missouri Consortium sponsors a photo contest each year as part of International Education Day. The winning photos taken by international and study-abroad students will be on display in the Capitol rotunda.

For more information about the Study Missouri Consortium, visit www.studymissouri.net/.

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EDUCATIONFri, 27 Mar 2015 14:35:54 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri can fully fund A+ Scholarship for Spring 2015 semester]]>The Missouri Department of Higher Education announced Friday that there will be sufficient funds available to fully fund the A+ Scholarship Program for the Spring 2015 semester.

 

Department officials notified colleges and high schools in December that students participating in the program for the Spring 2015 semester might have to cover the cost of tuition and general fees for one credit hour to avoid exceeding available program funds. Department officials said they would reassess the situation after reimbursements for the Fall 2014 semester were made and unused funds were returned to the department.

 

 “The A+ Scholarship helps make higher education possible for thousands of Missouri students, so we are pleased that there are sufficient funds remaining in the A+ Scholarship Program to fully reimburse eligible students for tuition and general fees for the Spring 2015 semester,” said David Russell, Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education.

 

 Because the A+ Scholarship is a reimbursement program, final funding numbers are not available until after a semester is completed and all reimbursements to students have been made. Once final expenditures for the Fall 2014 semester became available, department officials determined that there will be enough funds remaining in the program to reimburse all tuition and general fees for the Spring 2015 semester.

 

Returned funds also have an impact on the amount of funding available for the A+ Program. Funds previously distributed to higher education institutions are returned to the program when students drop classes or become ineligible for the program. The funds that are returned can be redistributed to other, eligible students.

 

About 14,000 Missouri students are expected to receive funding through the A+ Program during the 2014-2015 school year, compared to 12,500 students during the 2013-2014 school year.

 

While full funding is available for the current semester, long term program funding will continue to be a concern.

 

 “We will continue to monitor projected demand and the proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget as it moves through the Missouri General Assembly to determine the level of funding available for the 2015-2016 school year,” Russell said.

 

To participate in the A+ Program, students must meet a number of qualifications:

·         Attend a designated A+ high school for three consecutive years immediately prior to graduation

·         Earn a 2.5 grade point average

·         Have at least a 95 percent attendance record for grades 9-12

·         Perform at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring

·         Maintain a record of good citizenship

 

Beginning with the high school senior class of 2015, students also must score proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end-of-course exam or higher level end-of-course math exam or earn a qualifying score on the Compass test or ACT test.

 

Students with questions about the A+ Program should contact their high school counselor or school financial aid adviser.

 

For more information about the A+ Program, visit dhe.mo.gov/ppc/grants/aplusscholarship.php.

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EDUCATIONFri, 20 Mar 2015 17:00:52 CST
<![CDATA[ Liberal arts education and student financial aid will be focus of Kirksville public hearing]]>The value of liberal arts education and the impact of Missouri’s student financial aid programs will be the focus of a public hearing March 16 at Truman State University in Kirksville.

 

The meeting is the fifth in a series of nine hearings being held across the state to hear testimony and gather information to be used in developing a new coordinated plan for Missouri higher education.

 

The Coordinating Board for Higher Education has appointed a steering committee of 36 individuals from every region of the state to assist the board and the Department of Higher Education to identify issues and develop recommendations. The members represent business and industry, education and government. Missouri’s last plan was adopted in 2008.

 

The March 16 hearing in Kirksville will include speakers from several of Missouri’s largest companies, including Boeing, Cerner, Shelter Insurance, Monsanto and Wells Fargo, who will participate in the panel discussion, “The Value of a Liberal Arts Education to a 21st Century Economy.”

 

“We look forward to hearing from some of the top companies in Missouri about the role higher education should play in developing a knowledgeable and highly skilled work force for tomorrow’s economy,” said David Russell, Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education.

 

The hearing also will include testimony from student financial aid experts who will discuss the role of Missouri’s financial aid programs in helping students complete a college degree or certificate.

 

Missouri awarded $107 million in state financial aid to more than 72,000 students during fiscal year 2014. While state funding for financial aid has increased in recent years, several of Missouri’s largest programs are not fully funded, resulting in smaller awards to students.

 

“Increasing access to college is an essential part of our new plan for higher education, and the role of state financial aid is an important part of the conversation,” Russell said.

 

The public is invited to testify at the hearing. Public comment also can be submitted on the Department of Higher Education’s website at: dhe.mo.gov/blueprintcomments.php.

 

Future public hearings are planned in St. Joseph and Kansas City in April and Springfield and Cape Girardeau in June. For more information about the meetings, visit dhe.mo.gov/documents/PublicHearings.pdf.

 

The new plan, “Preparing Missourians to Succeed:  A Blueprint for Higher Education,” will be presented to the coordinating board for approval in December.

 

More information about the March public hearing is available at dhe.mo.gov/documents/Hearingagenda-Kirksville.pdf. For additional information about the development of the plan, visit dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php.

 

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EDUCATIONThu, 05 Mar 2015 18:07:53 CST
<![CDATA[ Free events planned to help students apply for financial aid for college]]>Students and their parents will have an opportunity to receive help with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at one of 88 FAFSA Frenzy events this year.

Completing the FAFSA is often the first step students must take to apply for financial aid for college.

Now in its 12th year, Missouri’s FAFSA Frenzy will include events in 40 counties throughout the state during January, February and March. Financial aid professionals, high school counselors and other volunteers provide free assistance and answer questions during the events.

The program is sponsored annually by the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

“We are pleased to be able to help students with the sometimes daunting task of applying for financial aid,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education. “We don’t want the FAFSA to be a barrier for anyone wanting to attend college. FAFSA Frenzy events are designed to assist families with an important part of the college-planning process.”

Students can receive assistance at any of the FAFSA Frenzy events, no matter where they live, attend school or plan to attend college. The events are open to all students, including high school seniors, current college students and non-traditional students.  

Students must fill out a FAFSA every year to be eligible for most types of federal and state aid, including grants, scholarships and loans, as well as financial assistance offered by colleges and universities. The application should be completed as early as possible. April 1 is the deadline to qualify for the state’s Access Missouri grant program, while a number of higher education institutions have earlier financial aid deadlines.

Many FAFSA Frenzy events will be held Sunday, Feb. 22, with an inclement weather back-up date of Sunday, March 1. The events are often located at high schools and on college campuses. Information about all dates and locations can be found at dhe.mo.gov/ppc/ffsites.php or by visiting the Department of Higher Education website at dhe.mo.gov and clicking on the FAFSA Frenzy banner.

Students and families do not need to have their federal income taxes filed for 2014 in order to participate in a FAFSA Frenzy event or complete the FAFSA themselves.

Participants are asked to bring:

·   2014 W-2 forms.

·   Copies of their 2014 tax forms, if completed. If students or their parents have not yet filed their 2014 returns before they attend a FAFSA Frenzy event, they should be sure to bring any statements of interest earned in 2014, 1099 forms, and other forms required to complete their tax forms. This will allow students and their parents to submit their FAFSA online during the event. Once tax returns are filed, students can submit corrections to their FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool should be available to help submit corrections accurately within a few weeks after the tax file date.

·   Student PIN and parent PIN. Students and parents may apply for PINs at www.pin.ed.gov before attending a FAFSA Frenzy event. 

More than $150 billion is provided by the U.S. Department of Education to help students with their financial need to attend higher education. Missouri awarded more than $107 million in state financial aid during 2014.

In 2014, nearly 1,700 Missouri students received help during FAFSA Frenzy events. Volunteers have assisted more than 12,000 Missouri students since the program began in 2004.

Students attending Missouri FAFSA Frenzy events this year will have a chance to win one of sixteen $500 scholarships that can be used for enrollment at a Missouri higher education institution during the Fall 2015 term.

Scholarship funds are being provided by the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority and the Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel.

For more information about the FAFSA Frenzy program, visit dhe.mo.gov/ppc/fafsa_completion.php.

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EDUCATIONWed, 28 Jan 2015 23:11:20 CST
<![CDATA[ Public hearings continue for Missouri's new higher education plan]]>The Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education will hold its next public hearing for the development of a new coordinated plan for the state’s higher education system Jan. 29 in Jefferson City.

 

The hearing will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Harry S Truman State Office Building, Room HST 490-492.

The focus of the January hearing will be “State government and higher education: Issues and remedies.” Speakers will include members of the Missouri General Assembly and directors of the state departments of Elementary and Secondary Education, Economic Development, Health, Social Services and Corrections.

The public is invited to offer testimony from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Testimony also can be submitted on the Department of Higher Education’s website at dhe.mo.gov/blueprintcomments.php.

A statewide steering committee of members representing business and industry, education and government are working with the Department of Higher Education to develop the plan. Nine public hearings are being held throughout the state to gather input from Missourians about the state’s higher education system.

 “We look forward to hearing from business leaders, elected officials, educators and the public as we develop a blueprint that supports higher education opportunities in Missouri,” said Betty Sims, chair of the coordinating board. “Higher education is essential if our young people are to have ample opportunities to succeed in life.”

The plan will be presented to the coordinating board for approval in December 2015.

State law calls for the coordinating board to create a plan based on a number of factors that impact the state’s colleges and universities including population and enrollment trends, workforce development, the delivery of effective and efficient education programs and collaboration among institutions. The last coordinated plan was adopted in 2008.

The first two public hearings were held in December in O’Fallon and St. Louis.

Additional public meetings are planned for:

·         February – Columbia

·         March – Kirksville

·         April – St. Joseph and Kansas City

·         June – Springfield and Cape Girardeau

More information about the development of the plan and the hearings is available at dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php.

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EDUCATIONFri, 23 Jan 2015 17:58:14 CST
<![CDATA[ Work to begin on new coordinated plan for Missouri higher education]]>The Coordinating Board for Higher Education will launch an ambitious initiative to devise a new blueprint for higher education at its next public meeting Dec. 10 on the campus of St. Charles Community College.

 

The CBHE will approve a resolution calling for the new plan. The board also will approve a slate of nominees to serve on a steering committee. The committee will be charged with developing broad themes and recommendations for responding to the state’s current and future needs for higher education.  

The department will spend the next year developing the plan: Preparing Missourians to Succeed: A Blueprint for Higher Education. A final plan will be presented to the board for approval in December 2015.

“Higher education in Missouri is quickly evolving to meet the needs of our state and its students,” said Dalton Wright, chair of the coordinating board. “It is vital that we have a plan in place that reflects today’s higher education environment,  makes good use of our available resources and produces the highly-skilled graduates needed to sustain economic growth.”

The steering committee is composed of distinguished private citizens, as well as representatives from commerce, industry, government and education. The Missouri Department of Higher Education will assist the steering committee in gathering information from the public during a series of nine public hearings held at locations throughout the state. The first two hearings will be held Dec. 11 in O’Fallon and St. Louis.

The public also can submit written comments at dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php.

The plan will focus on four areas of special interest to the CBHE:

  • Accessibility: Improve college readiness and making higher education opportunities available to all students across the state. 
  • Affordability: Keep the cost of higher education within reach for Missouri families.
  • Quality: Ensure that students acquire the knowledge and skills they need for a rapidly changing world and workplace and that higher education institutions have the resources necessary to provide quality educational opportunities.
  • Completion: Help students to stay the course to finish a certificate or degree program.

 “We look forward to hearing from business leaders, elected officials, educators and the public as we develop a blueprint that supports higher education opportunities in Missouri,” said Betty Sims, vice chair of the coordinating board. “Higher education is essential if our young people are to have ample opportunities to succeed in life.”

State law calls for the coordinating board to design a coordinated plan for higher education in Missouri. The current plan, Imperatives for Change, was adopted in 2008.

The Dec. 11 meetings will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Component Bar Company, Midwest Machine Tool Training Center (MMTTC), 3855 Corporate Centre Drive, O’Fallon, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, 1 Metropolitan Square, Suite 1300, St. Louis.

Additional public meetings are planned for:

  • January – Jefferson City
  • February – Columbia
  •  March – Kirksville
  •  April – St. Joseph and Kansas City
  • June – Springfield and Cape Girardeau

The times, dates and locations of the meetings will be available at dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php as they are finalized.

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EDUCATIONThu, 04 Dec 2014 14:22:49 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri sees 5 percent increase in international students]]>The number of international students studying in Missouri increased by more than 5 percent during the 2013-2014 academic year.

The increase allowed Missouri to maintain its rank of 12th in the nation for the number of foreign students enrolled at the state's colleges and universities. Missouri ranked 16th in 2010.

A new report from the Institute of International Education shows Missouri’s international enrollment grew by nearly 1,000 students – from 17,300 students in 2012-2013, to 18,205 students. Nationwide, the number of international students increased 8 percent, a record high according to the Open Doors Report.

“We are proud that more international students are choosing Missouri as their destination for higher education,” said Karla McCollum, chair of the Study Missouri Consortium and admissions director at North Central Missouri College in Trenton. “The international student population on our campuses increases cultural awareness and helps foster a global view.”

The Study Missouri Consortium is a group of more than 40 colleges and universities that promotes the state’s diverse academic opportunities to students in other countries and study abroad opportunities for Missouri students.

“The increase in international students coming to Missouri demonstrates the quality and appeal of degree programs offered at colleges and universities throughout the state,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education.  

Students from China made up the largest percentage of international students studying in Missouri with 34.4 percent. Other countries with large numbers of students in the state include India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Brazil.

Missouri universities enrolling the largest number of international students are: University of Missouri-Columbia, 2,576; Washington University, 2,449; Missouri State University, 1,635; University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1,415; and  the Missouri University of Science and Technology, 1,371.

The report also examined the economic impact of international education. Foreign students are estimated to have contributed approximately $509.3 million to Missouri’s economy, an increase from $452 million during the 2012-2013 academic year.

According to the report, the number of Missouri students studying abroad decreased, from 4,938 in 2012-2013 to 4,497 students in 2013-2014.

For more information about the Open Doors Report visit http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors. More information about the Study Missouri Consortium can be found at http://studymissouri.net/.

 

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EDUCATIONTue, 18 Nov 2014 17:03:01 CST