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[ 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
<![CDATA[ College Application Week expanded to 57 Missouri high schools]]>A new program aimed at increasing access to higher education will assist students at 57 Missouri high schools with the college application process. Missouri College Application Week, sponsored by the Department of Higher Education, is set for Oct. 20-24.

Volunteers with college advising and admissions experience will work one-on-one with students to help them complete applications for higher education institutions they are interested in attending. The goal of the program is to increase the number of applications submitted by Missouri students - especially low-income students and those who would be the first in their families to attend college.

"During College Application Week the spotlight is on helping students who aspire to go to college but are intimidated by the application process or feel overwhelmed by the choices available to them," said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education. "The program also helps students better understand the benefits of higher education and the importance of making college plans now."  

The expanded program follows a successful pilot project at 26 high schools in 2013. More than 2,000 students submitted approximately 3,600 applications to 259 higher education institutions. Organizers hope to double those numbers this year.

Participating high schools provide time and resources during the school day for all seniors interested in completing college applications. In addition, many of the high schools host assemblies and offer individual college advising to provide students with information about higher education opportunities.

"By 2018, approximately 60 percent of all jobs in Missouri will require some form of postsecondary education," Russell said. "Currently only about 46 percent of working age Missourians have a college degree or certificate. We want that number to be closer to 60 percent by 2025 to ensure that our state has the educated workforce needed to sustain a strong economy."

For more information about Missouri College Application Week, visit dhe.mo.gov/ppc/students/CollegeApplicationWeek.php.

 High schools participating in Missouri College Application Week include:

Central Missouri:

Eldon High School

Moberly High School

Warrensburg High School

 Kansas City area:

African-Centered Prep Academy

Center High School

Central Academy of Excellence

East High School

Fort Osage High School

North Kansas City High School

Northeast High School

Paseo Academy

Raytown High School

Raytown South High School

Ruskin Senior High School

Southwest Early College Campus

Van Horn High School

Winnetonka High School

 Northeast Missouri:

South Shelby High School, Shelbina 

 South Central Missouri:

Dixon High School

Lebanon High School

Rolla High School

Salem High School

St. Clair High School

St. James High School

Sullivan High School

West Plains High School

 Southeast Missouri:

Cape Girardeau Central High

Caruthersville High School

Central High School, New Madrid

Charleston High School

Dexter High School

Hayti High School

Jackson Senior High School

Kennett High School

Malden High School

Poplar Bluff High School

Potosi High School

Scott County Central High School

Senath-Hornersville Senior High School

Sikeston Senior High School

South Iron R-I High School

 Southwest Missouri

Hillcrest High School, Springfield

Parkview High School, Springfield

 St. Louis area:

Bayless High School

Carnahan School of the Future

Gateway STEM High School

Hancock High School

Hazelwood East High School

Jennings High School

McCluer High School

McCluer South-Berkeley High School

Normandy High School

Pattonville High School

Ritenour High School

Riverview Gardens High School

Roosevelt High School

Soldan International Studies

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EDUCATIONWed, 08 Oct 2014 16:14:36 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri's student loan default rate declines, remains below national average]]>The percentage of Missourians defaulting on their student loans is declining and remains well below the national average.

Recent figures released by the U.S. Department of Education show that Missouri’s three-year default rate dropped 0.5 percent, from 13.1 percent in 2010 to 12.6 percent in 2011.

The national student loan default rate also decreased – from 14.7 percent to 13.7 percent – during the same time period.

“We are pleased to see Missouri’s default rate on the decline,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education. “Efforts to help students make smart financial decisions clearly are paying off.”

Russell pointed to the Missouri Department of Higher Education’s Default Prevention Grant Program as one way the department is working to reduce student loan default rates and promote choices that can help lead students to a more secure financial future.

The default prevention grants provide funding to higher education institutions for student-focused financial literacy programs.

 “Missouri institutions are using these grants to educate student borrowers about the importance of minimizing their debt, following a budget and repaying their loans,” Russell said.

Nearly one quarter of the institutions participating in the grant program during 2011 had a default rate at or below 10 percent; more than 40 percent had a default rate below 15 percent.

The information released by the U.S. Department of Education reported default rates for borrowers whose first loan repayment came due between Oct. 1, 2010, and Sept. 30, 2011, and who defaulted on their loans before Sept. 30, 2013. Nationally, more than 4.7 million borrowers began student loan repayment during that time.

Missouri’s student loan default rate was lower than most surrounding states, including Arkansas (15.8 percent), Illinois (13.1 percent), Iowa (17.3 percent), Kentucky (17.5 percent) and Oklahoma (15.7 percent). Only two neighboring states posted lower default rates – Kansas (11.1 percent) and Nebraska (7.7 percent). Nearly 99,000 Missourians were repaying student loans during the reporting period. Just over 12,500 borrowers defaulted on their loans.

In addition to the Default Prevention Grant Program, the Missouri Department of Higher Education promotes financial literacy through publications and presentations for students and their families. For more information about the department’s programs, visit http://dhe.mo.gov/ppc/studentloans/financialliteracy.php.

 

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EDUCATIONFri, 03 Oct 2014 11:24:39 CST
<![CDATA[ Improving Teacher Quality Grant letters due Oct. 24, applications due Dec. 31]]>The Missouri Department of Higher Education is accepting grant proposals for projects that provide teachers and administrators with professional development aimed at increasing student academic achievement in science and math.

A letter of intent to apply for the Cycle 13 Improving Teacher Quality Grant is due by Oct. 24. The completed application is due Dec. 31. The request for proposals can be obtained on the department's website at http://dhe.mo.gov/ppc/grants/teacherquality.php.

The purpose of the grant program is to increase the academic achievement of students by helping schools and districts improve K-12 teacher and administrator quality.

For Cycle 13, approximately $650,000 will be available for new projects. Grant amounts generally range from $70,000 to $300,000 per project, depending on the number of participants and the extent and quality of the professional development provided by each project. Cycle 13 funds will be used to improve math, science and literacy achievement in high-need school districts, targeting all grade levels, kindergarten through grade 12.

The grant program is funded by and operates under the federal legislation known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It is the largest federal initiative that supports professional development projects for teachers and principals, with a focus on high-need school districts and higher education institutions. The legislation provides funds for state education agencies, local education agencies and state agencies for higher education.

A technical workshop for potential grant applicants will be held Oct. 24 in Jefferson City. For more information and to register for the workshop, contact the grant administrator, Liz Valentine, at elizabeth.valentine@dhe.mo.gov or go to http://dhe.mo.gov/ppc/grants/documents/TechnicalAssistanceWorkshop.pdf.

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EDUCATIONMon, 29 Sep 2014 09:35:04 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri launching new program to help more students earn two-year degrees]]>Missouri’s newest program to increase the number of students earning a college degree will be launched statewide Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Jefferson City. More than 100 higher education officials from colleges and universities across the state are expected to attend the rollout of the Missouri Reverse Transfer program.

After a successful year-long pilot project, the program is being expanded to include all public colleges and universities and participating independent higher education institutions in Missouri. During the pilot project, 50 students received associate degrees.

The program allows students who have earned at least 15 transferable credit hours at a qualifying two-year college and have transferred to a four-year college or university to transfer hours back to the two-year college to receive an associate degree.

“Earning an associate degree can provide students with more job opportunities and higher pay and pave the way for continuing their education,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education.

Legislation calling for Missouri to create a reverse transfer program was approved by the General Assembly in 2012. A steering committee of officials from higher education institutions in the state worked together to create the program and conduct the pilot, which paired up two- and four-year colleges and universities.

Speakers for the rollout event include Rep. Mike Thompson, one of the sponsors of the legislation that established the Missouri Reverse Transfer program, and Russell. Several students who earned associate degrees during the pilot program also will attend the event.

“Establishing the Reverse Transfer program required unprecedented collaboration among the state’s two- and four-year colleges and universities,” Russell said. “This type of collaboration benefits Missouri students and our higher education system.”

 Colleges and universities that were paired up for the pilot program include:

·         Columbia College and Moberly Area Community College

·         Missouri State University and Missouri State University–West Plains

·         Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College

·         Missouri Western State University and Metropolitan Community College

·         Missouri Western State University and North Central Missouri College

·         Northwest Missouri State University and Metropolitan Community College

·         University of Missouri (Columbia) and Moberly Area Community College

·         University of Missouri–St. Louis and St. Louis Community College

The Reverse Transfer program is one way the Department of Higher Education is working to help increase the percentage of Missourians with a degree. The department has set a goal – Missouri’s Big Goal for Higher Education, which calls for 60 percent of the adult working-age population to have a two- or four-year degree or professional certificate by the year 2025.

For more information about the Missouri Reverse Transfer program, visit http://dhe.mo.gov/MOReverseTransfer.php.

 

####

 Note to media: The Missouri Reverse Transfer program launch will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. If you would like to attend the event, please contact Liz Coleman at liz.coleman@dhe.mo.gov or 573-522-1463.

 

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EDUCATIONFri, 12 Sep 2014 14:12:56 CST
<![CDATA[ Grants aim to reduce Missouri's student loan default rates]]>More than 30 colleges and universities in Missouri will receive grants totaling over $820,000 to promote financial literacy and help prevent students from defaulting on their student loans.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education awarded funds to 31 schools through the Default Prevention Grant Program. Now in its 14th year, the program provides grants to higher education institutions to launch initiatives designed to help students live within their means, make smart choices about money management and create a plan for a secure financial future. The maximum grant amount is $25,000 per year.

 “This grant equips financial aid officers with extra tools to help students understand how important it is to make it through college without overextending themselves financially,” said Marilyn Landrum, a student assistance officer at the department.  “We know college is more important today than ever before, and the rising costs of higher education make the default prevention program imperative to the future.”

 Due to the efforts of participating institutions and the department, Missouri’s student loan default rate remains below the national average. The state’s default rate is 13.1 percent, compared to the national average of 14.7 percent.

 The department also provides default prevention training, which is available to all higher education institutions in Missouri.

To learn more about default prevention or to schedule a training, visit http://dhe.mo.gov/ppc/studentloans/defaultprevgrant.php, or contact Marilyn Landrum at Marilyn.Landrum@dhe.mo.gov or Sarah Schedler at Sarah.Schedler@dhe.mo.gov.

The following higher education institutions received a default prevention grant for the 2014-2015 academic year:

  • Avila University
  • Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center
  • Columbia College
  • Cox College
  • Drury University
  • East Central College
  • Eden Theological Seminary
  • Elaine Steven Beauty College
  • Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
  • Franklin Technology Center
  • Harris-Stowe State University
  • Jefferson College
  • Kirksville Area Technical College
  • Lincoln University
  • Metropolitan Community College
  • Mineral Area College
  • Missouri Southern State University
  • Missouri State University
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Missouri Valley College
  • Missouri Western State University
  • Moberly Area Community College
  • Nazarene Theological Seminary
  • North Central Missouri College
  • Southeast Missouri State University
  • State Fair Community College
  • State Technical College of Missouri
  • St. Charles Community College
  • Stephens College
  • University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Webster University
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EDUCATIONTue, 05 Aug 2014 13:47:55 CST
<![CDATA[ Bright Flight Scholarship to be fully funded for Missouri's top-scoring students]]>Missouri’s Bright Flight Scholarship will be fully funded for the state’s top-scoring students this year for the first time since the 2009-2010 academic year.

 

Students receiving the Missouri Higher Education Academic Scholarship, commonly known as Bright Flight, will see a $500 increase in the scholarship amount for the 2014-2015 academic year. Students who score in the top 3 percent on the ACT or SAT test are eligible to receive $3,000 – the maximum scholarship amount – to attend a qualifying Missouri college or university.

 

The scholarship awards vary from year to year based on funding approved by the Missouri General Assembly. Last year’s scholarship award was $2,500.

 

To qualify for the scholarship, a student must be a Missouri resident, earn a composite ACT score of 31 or higher or a score of 800 in both critical reading and math on the SAT, and enroll at an approved postsecondary school for the academic year immediately following high school graduation.

Although the scholarship is being fully funded this year for the top tier of students, funds are not available for students scoring in the top 4th and 5th percentiles on the ACT and SAT. Legislation approved in 2007 expanded the scholarship to include students in the top 4th and 5th percentiles, but revisions enacted in 2010 require the top 3 percent to receive the full scholarship amount before funding those in the top 4th and 5th percentile. Funding still remains inadequate to make awards to these additional students.

 

Approximately 6,100 students are expected to receive the Bright Flight Scholarship this fall. Students can renew the scholarship annually for up to 10 semesters or until they receive a bachelor’s degree if they meet eligibility requirements that include maintaining a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.

 

The Bright Flight Scholarship program was established in 1986 to encourage top-ranking high school seniors to continue their education in Missouri.

 

For more information about the Bright Flight Scholarship, visit http://dhe.mo.gov/ppc/grants/brightflight.php.

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EDUCATIONFri, 11 Jul 2014 10:49:41 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri's college 'transfer library' surpasses required 25 courses]]>Six more courses have been added to Missouri's new "transfer course library" to assist students with the transfer of specific courses at all public colleges and universities in the state.

The additional courses, approved last week by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education, brings the current number of courses in the library to 26, surpassing the minimum 25 courses required by legislation approved in 2012. The board plans to continue expanding the library as new courses are approved.

The library will help thousands of students who transfer college credit each year by simplifying the transfer process. Higher education officials say it also could improve college completion rates.

"The transfer library will make it easier for students to transfer credit they have earned from one college to another," said Rusty Monhollon, assistant commissioner for academic affairs at the Missouri Department of Higher Education. "Making the transfer process more effective and efficient is one way we are working to increase degree completion in our state."

The Missouri Legislature directed the board to establish by July 1 a library of at least 25 lower-division courses that transfer as equivalents at all public two- and four-year institutions and participating private colleges and universities.

Nearly 10,000 undergraduate students transferred credit from one Missouri postsecondary institution to another in 2011. The transfer library will help students save time and money by ensuring that specific courses can be transferred on a one-to-one basis among higher education institutions in the state. The library also will help students make more informed choices about the courses they take as they work toward a degree.

In the coming months, department officials will develop policies and procedures for the submission and review of additional courses for the library. An electronic database will be created to provide information about the library to students.

The six new courses added to the transfer library include:

  • Biology lecture for non-majors
  • Biology laboratory for non-majors
  • French I
  • French II
  • Spanish I
  • Spanish II

The following courses were previously approved for inclusion in the library:

  • American government
  • American history I
  • American history II
  • Anthropology
  • Art appreciation
  • Astronomy
  • Calculus I
  • College algebra
  • Drawing I
  • Introduction to sociology
  • Introduction to statistics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Music appreciation
  • Oral communication
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Public speaking
  • Western civilization
  • World religions
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EDUCATIONFri, 13 Jun 2014 17:08:55 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri higher education leaders to gather for annual forum]]>Board members, presidents and chancellors from colleges and universities across Missouri will gather Thursday, June 5, for the Third Annual Governing Board Forum at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education hosts the annual event, which provides an opportunity for higher education leaders to discuss local, state and national issues facing postsecondary institutions.

The day-long conference will feature two nationally recognized postsecondary education experts. Teresa Lubbers, Indiana commissioner of higher education and chair of the State Higher Education Executive Officers, will discuss strategies to increase college completion, improve productivity and ensure academic quality.

Dr. Sally Clausen, former Louisiana commissioner of higher education and president of the Louisiana State University System, is currently the executive director of the Ingram Center for Public Trusteeship and Governance at the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities. She will address the challenges and opportunities that come with governing Missouri’s higher education institutions.

Breakout discussion sessions will cover higher education finance, overcoming barriers to degree completion and linking higher education with Missouri’s economic and workforce needs.

Bringing local governing board members together to discuss topics of mutual interest contributes to a stronger and more cohesive system of higher education, according to Dalton Wright, chair of Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

“Many colleges and universities face similar challenges,” Wright said. “Our annual forum gives governing board members and higher education leaders an opportunity to step back from their own institutions to take a broader look at how important issues are being addressed across Missouri and in other parts of the country.”

Local higher education governing boards provide fiscal oversight, allocate financial resources, approve policies and programs, and hire chief executive officers at Missouri’s public two- and four- year colleges and universities. Board members at four-year institutions are appointed by the governor. Community college boards are elected by voters within each community college district.

Supporting sponsors for the Governing Board Forum include the Missouri Community College Association and the Council on Public Higher Education.

 

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EDUCATIONMon, 02 Jun 2014 15:57:17 CST