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[ Missouri selected for national program focused on increasing college completion]]>Missouri has been chosen to participate in a national program that aims to increase completion rates at the state’s two- and four-year colleges and universities. The program focuses on competency-based education and credit for prior learning, which can reduce the amount of time required to earn a degree.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education and the Missouri Community College Association were selected by the Council for Adult Experiential Learning for its Competency-Based Education Jumpstart Program. The two Missouri agencies will be working collaboratively with higher education institutions in the state to implement the program.

Competency-based education allows students to learn at their own pace based on their mastery of the knowledge and skills needed for a degree. Credit for prior learning programs award college credit based on students’ knowledge and skills, including experience acquired during military service.

The Jumpstart Program will provide training for staff working to establish the knowledge and skill levels students must demonstrate to earn a degree. The work includes the development of new ways to assess student learning at the college level.

 Colleges and universities in Missouri are in the early stages of developing competency-based education programs.  The programs focus on adult and nontraditional students, including veterans, who have gained knowledge and skills through prior employment and military service. Students demonstrate their learning through a variety of assessments and often can move on to advanced courses more rapidly as they work toward a degree.

“Competency-based education is one way Missouri can help students complete a postsecondary degree and create the educated workforce we need,” said David Russell, commissioner of higher education. “By 2018, nearly 60 percent of the jobs in our state will require a two- or four-year degree or professional certificate.”

Currently, students participating in two programs at Missouri community colleges – MoHealthWINs and MoManufacturing WINs – can earn college credit through competency-based education and credit for prior learning. The Jumpstart Program will provide further support for the MoWINs programs, which offer low-cost training for high-demand health care and manufacturing industries.

"The Jumpstart training will provide an excellent opportunity to ensure that the work our community colleges are doing in MoHealthWINs and MoManufacturingWINs has a lasting impact," said Zora Mulligan, director of the Missouri Community College Association.

Missouri will begin the Jumpstart Program training this fall. 






EDUCATIONFri, 18 Apr 2014 09:06:01 CST
<![CDATA[ International Education Day at the Capitol set for April 2]]>More than 400 international and study-abroad students and their advisers from Missouri’s colleges and universities are expected to gather in Jefferson City April 2 for International Education Day at the Capitol.

The event is hosted annually by the Study Missouri Consortium, a group of more than 40 of the state’s postsecondary institutions working together to promote international education and highlight the importance of cultural exchange.

The day-long event is designed to give students an opportunity to witness Missouri’s legislative process and share their experiences with other international students. Tours of the Capitol and visits with state lawmakers are also planned.

“Many international students are very interested in learning about our government and our way of life,” said Britta Wright, chair of the Study Missouri consortium and one of the organizers of the event. “International Education Day also gives the students a chance to talk with each other about the things they are seeing and doing in the United States.”

International Education Day has attracted students from as many as 70 countries in previous years. Missouri students who have studied abroad also participate in the event.

During the 2012-2013 school year, more than 17,300 international students attended a Missouri college or university, and more than 5,000 Missouri students studied abroad, according to the Institute of International Education.

Missouri ranks 12th in the nation in the number of international students enrolled in the state’s colleges and universities.

The Study Missouri Consortium hosts a photo contest as part of International Education Day. Winning photos from international and study-abroad students will be on display in the Capitol Rotunda during the event.

For more information about International Education Day, contact Wright at blwright@ccis.edu.


EDUCATIONTue, 01 Apr 2014 13:38:49 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri receives national recognition for work on 'reverse transfer' program]]>Missouri’s efforts to establish a  “reverse transfer” program to help more students earn an associate degree has been recognized by the Lumina Foundation, a national organization working to increase the number of Americans with high-quality college degrees and professional certificates.

The Missouri Reverse Transfer Program creates a statewide policy that allows a student to transfer college credit from a four-year university to a two-year college the student has attended in order to complete requirements for an associate degree.

The program is currently being piloted at 11 colleges and universities in the state.

“Missouri is a leader in this work,” Holly Zanville, strategy director for the Lumina Foundation, wrote in a letter to the Missouri Department of Higher Education. “Your project’s careful planning, development of a reasonable timeline, positive policy environment and institutional roll-out steps are well-conceived and show great promise for a successful statewide reverse transfer program.”

Higher-education officials say the reverse transfer program is designed to assist students who have earned a significant number of college credits but have not received an associate or bachelor degree. Through the program, students who have completed the required community college credits can qualify for an associate degree after they have transferred to a four-year college or university or if they are not currently attending college.

Students must have at least 15 hours of credit from a two-year college to be eligible to receive an associate degree from that institution.

Legislation approved by the Missouri General Assembly in 2012 called for the state to develop a reverse transfer policy for Missouri’s two- and four-year colleges and universities. A committee comprised of officials from the higher-education institutions and the Missouri Department of Higher Education began work on a policy that would meet the needs of students and the institutions.

A statewide technology and communication system to streamline the sharing of grade transcripts also had to be developed.

Two-year and four-year colleges and universities were paired up for the pilot project in 2013. The partnering institutions are:

·         Columbia College and Moberly Area Community College

·         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 pilot project will conclude in June. Plans are being made to expand the program to all public two- and four-year colleges and universities and participating private colleges in Missouri this fall.

“Through the reverse transfer program, Missouri’s two-year and four-year institutions are working to improve college completion rates in the state and award students the degrees they have earned,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education. “These degrees can help open doors to more career opportunities, higher paying jobs and a better quality of life.”

For more information about the Missouri Reverse Transfer Program, visit www.dhe.mo.gov/MissouriReverseTransferforstudents.php.



EDUCATIONWed, 12 Mar 2014 14:39:19 CST
<![CDATA[ State higher education board approves 16 more courses for 'transfer library']]>The Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education has approved 16 courses for a new statewide “transfer course library” that will assist students with the transfer of selected courses for credit at public colleges and universities in the state. The higher education board’s action brings to 20 the number of approved courses in the transfer library.

Thousands of students in Missouri transfer college credit every year. In 2011, nearly 10,000 undergraduate students transferred credit from one public postsecondary institution in the state to another.

Higher education officials say the library will make the transfer process easier for more students and could help improve college completion rates. The avoidance of duplication will save transfer students time and money.

 “We want to make it easier for students to transfer credits they have earned at one college or university to any other public institution and have those credits count toward a degree,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education. “Missouri’s growing transfer library of courses can help students earn degrees by making sure that some basic entry level courses need not be taken twice just because the student transferred to a new institution.”

The library is being developed by the Department of Higher Education in cooperation with the state’s public four-year and two-year institutions. The library listing will provide information about courses that transfer on a one-to-one equivalent basis among all public colleges and universities in Missouri. For example, a student who has successfully completed American history at one college can receive credit for American history when transferring to another college in the state.

State legislation approved in 2012 called on the department to create a transfer library of 25 courses by July 1. The board approved the first four courses for the library in September 2013.

The department is currently working with higher education institutions in the state to identify five additional courses for board approval by mid-summer. The department plans to eventually increase the library beyond the minimum 25 courses required by state law.

An electronic database is currently being developed to make the library easily accessible for students.

The new courses approved for the transfer library are:

·         American government

·         American history I

·         American history II

·         Anthropology

·         Art appreciation

·         Astronomy

·         Calculus I

·         Drawing I

·         Introduction to statistics

·         Music appreciation

·         Oral communication

·         Philosophy

·         Psychology

·         Public speaking

·         Western civilization

·         World religions

The four courses approved in September 2013 are:

·         Microeconomics

·         Macroeconomics

·         College algebra

·         Sociology

EDUCATIONFri, 07 Feb 2014 11:42:16 CST
<![CDATA[ College Application Week to be expanded this year to more Missouri high schools]]>The Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education voted Thursday to expand College Application Week following the event’s successful pilot program last October.

More than 2,000 students submitted 3,600 applications to higher education institutions during the event at 26 high schools in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas and the south central part of the state.

Missouri hopes to double the number of high schools participating this year.

“Encouraging students to explore their options for higher education and apply to college is an important step in helping more Missourians earn a postsecondary degree,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education. “We look forward to reaching out to more students by expanding College Application Week to additional schools throughout the state.”

While the event was open to all seniors at participating high schools, the focus was to increase the number of college applications submitted by low-income students and students who would be the first in their family to attend college.

The high schools provided time and resources during the school day for the event. A number of activities, including assemblies and college tours, promoted the importance of completing a higher education program and earning a two- or four-year degree or professional certificate.

College Application Week was sponsored by the Missouri Department of Higher Education with assistance from the Missouri College Advising Corps, a group of recent graduates working in high schools with a large percentage of students who are less likely to attend college. Advisers worked one-on-one with students to help them complete college application forms.

Missouri was one of more than two dozen states sponsoring College Application Week activities last fall.

EDUCATIONFri, 07 Feb 2014 15:23:29 CST
<![CDATA[ Free events offer students help with financial aid application]]>Missouri students and their families will have more opportunity this year to get help filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid – an important first step in applying for financial aid for college.

Missouri’s FAFSA Frenzy, sponsored annually by the state Department of Higher Education, is being expanded to 81 events in 44 counties during January, February and March. Professional assistance with filling out the form is provided free of charge.

“FAFSA Frenzy can assist families with the sometimes daunting process of applying for financial aid to help with the cost of higher education,” said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education. “For most students, completing a FAFSA is a vital part of the college planning process.”

In 2013, more than 1,400 students participated in 57 FAFSA Frenzy events across the state. In the past decade, more than 10,000 Missouri students received assistance during the events.

Most FAFSA Frenzy events are held at high schools and colleges. Students and their families can receive help at any location in the state, no matter where a student attends high school or plans to go to college.

A majority of the events this year will be held Sunday, Feb. 9. 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 must fill out a FAFSA every year to be eligible for most types of federal and state financial aid, including grants, loans and scholarships. Many colleges and universities also use the application to determine eligibility for their financial assistance and scholarship programs. 

The FAFSA should be completed as early as possible. April 1 is the deadline to qualify for the state’s Access Missouri grant program, while most colleges and universities have earlier financial-aid deadlines.

Students and families do not need to have their federal income taxes filed for 2013 in order to participate in a FAFSA Frenzy event or complete the FAFSA themselves.

Participants are asked to bring:

·         2013 W-2 forms.

·         Copies of their 2013 tax forms, if they are ready. If students or their parents have not yet filed 2013 returns before they attend a FAFSA Frenzy event, they should be sure to bring any statements of interest earned in 2013, any 1099 forms, and any other forms required to complete their tax returns. This will allow students and their parents to submit FAFSA online during the event. Once tax returns are filed, students can then 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. 

Students who attend a FAFSA Frenzy event will be entered into a statewide drawing to win a scholarship that can be used for enrollment in a Missouri higher education program for the fall 2014 term. Scholarship funds are being provided by the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority and the Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel.

Events to help students plan and pay for college are one way Missouri is working to achieve its goal for 60 percent of the adults in the state to have a two- or four- year degree or high-quality professional certificate by 2025. Currently, about 46 percent of Missourians ages 25 to 64 hold a postsecondary certificate or college degree.


EDUCATIONWed, 22 Jan 2014 16:12:14 CST
<![CDATA[ New report ranks Missouri 12th in number of international students]]>A new report released this week ranks Missouri 12th in the nation in the number of international students enrolled at the state’s colleges and universities.

More than 17,300 international students – an increase of 7.7 percent – chose Missouri as their destination for higher education during the 2012-2013 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors 2013 report. The state previously ranked 13th nationwide in the number of international students.

The number of Missouri students studying abroad also increased, from 4,650 to 4,938.

“International education fosters an exchange of cultural experiences and ideas on our campuses and in our communities that is crucial in our global society,” said Britta Wright, chair of Study Missouri and director of international student services at Columbia College. “We are pleased to see an increasing number of foreign students coming to Missouri for higher education opportunities as well as more Missourians studying in other countries.”

Study Missouri is a consortium 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.

More than one-third of international students studying in Missouri are from China. Other countries with the highest number of students in the state are India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan.

Missouri universities enrolling the largest numbers of international students are:  University of Missouri-Columbia, 2,490 students; Washington University, 2,235 students; Missouri State University, 1,482 students; University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1,287 students; and Lindenwood University, 1,245 students.

The report also examines the economic impact of international education. Total expenditures by foreign students in Missouri were estimated at more than $452 million during the 2012-2013 academic year.



EDUCATIONWed, 13 Nov 2013 08:36:00 CST
<![CDATA[ Seven colleges receive grants to expand nursing education programs]]> 

Seven Missouri colleges and universities have been selected to receive grants of up to $150,000 to expand their nursing education programs. A total of $1 million was awarded by the Department of Higher Education and the Missouri Board of Nursing, which provided funding for the grants.


The goal of the grant program is to increase the number of nurses in Missouri, especially in areas where a shortage of health care professionals exists. The funds will be used to add faculty and create new programs that will allow more students to study nursing.

"The Missouri Board of Nursing is to be commended for providing the funds to make these nursing education grants possible," said Commissioner of Higher Education David Russell. "The latest round of grants will help prepare more well-trained nurses to meet Missouri's growing health care needs."

The 2013 grant recipients are:

  • Avila University, Kansas City
  • Maryville University, St. Louis
  • St. Charles Community College
  • Truman State University, Kirksville
  • University of Missouri-Columbia
  • University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • William Jewell College, Liberty

Grant amounts range from about $118,000 to $150,000. The recipients were selected by the Missouri Board of Nursing and the Department of Higher Education through a competitive application process.

The funds can be used to:

  • Add faculty positions in nursing education programs
  • Recruit and retain highly qualified faculty for nursing education programs
  • Develop accelerated graduate nursing programs
  • Provide scholarships or training to develop faculty who will commit to teach in a Missouri school of nursing for at least three years
  • Develop new clinical partnerships for training new nurses
  • Expand the use of technology to support nursing education programs

The nursing education grant initiative is in the final year of a three-year program.

For more information about how each institution plans to use its grant, visit dhe.mo.gov/NursingGrantRecipients2013.php.



EDUCATIONFri, 01 Nov 2013 16:28:53 CST
<![CDATA[ College Application Week to be piloted in 26 Missouri high schools]]>Twenty-six Missouri high schools are set to participate next week in a pilot program aimed at helping students successfully navigate the college application process.

Missouri College Application Week, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Higher Education with assistance from the Missouri College Advising Corps, will run Oct. 21-25 at high schools in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas and the south central part of the state. More than 5,000 high school seniors will have an opportunity to participate in the event.

Volunteers will be available to work on-on-one with students to complete college application forms. The primary goal of the program is to increase the number of college applications from low-income students and students who would be the first in their families to attend college.

"A college degree contributes to a good quality of life and a strong economy," said David Russell, commissioner of higher education. "We believe this program will help provide students with information about college preparedness and the application process."

The department plans to expand the program next year.

During Missouri College Application Week, participating high schools provide time and resources during the school day for all seniors interested in completing college applications. Students will be assisted by advisers from the Missouri College Advising Corps, a group of recent college graduates who work in high schools with a large percentage of students who are less likely to attend college.

College Application Week is part of the American College Application Campaign, supported by the American Council on Education and modeled after an approach first developed in North Carolina. Missouri will join 24 other states that currently host College Application Week events each fall.

Russell said increasing access to college is an important part of Missouri's Big Goal, an effort to raise the percentage of working-age adults with a college degree or professional certificate to 60 percent by the year 2025. Currently, 46 percent of adults in Missouri hold a professional certificate or degree.

High schools participating in Missouri College Application Week are:

Kansas City area:

  • Central High School
  • East High School
  • North Kansas City High School
  • Northeast High School
  • Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts Schools
  • Raytown High School
  • Raytown South High School
  • Ruskin Senior High School
  • Southwest Early College Campus
  • Van Horn High School
  • Winnetonka High School

St. Louis area:

  • Bayless High School
  • Gateway Institute of Technology
  • Hancock High School
  • Jennings High School
  • McCluer High School
  • South-Berkeley High School
  • Normandy High School
  • Ritenour High School
  • Riverview Gardens High School
  • Soldan International Studies High School

South Central Missouri:

  • Potosi High School
  • Salem High School
  • St. Clair High School
  • St. James High School
  • Sullivan High School

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

EDUCATIONThu, 17 Oct 2013 17:13:33 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri Department of Higher Education to Host Completion Academy]]>St. Louis  - The Missouri Department of Higher Education will host the Missouri Completion Academy Sept. 10 - 11 in St. Louis in conjunction with Complete College America. CCA is a national non-profit dedicated to increasing the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees, and to close attainment gaps for traditionally under-represented groups.

Missouri is only the fourth state in the nation to work with CCA to invite public colleges and universities to attend a completion academy. Teams from nine state colleges and universities will participate. They were selected to attend based on self-assessments submitted to the Department of Higher Education in June.

The institutions selected to participate are East Central College, Harris-Stowe State University, Jefferson College, Lincoln University, Metropolitan Community College, Moberly Area Community College, Northwest Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri State University and St. Louis Community College.

The intensive two-day academy provides each institutional team with a trained facilitator and six experts who help the teams adopt strategies to improve graduation rates.

Students encounter many obstacles to completing their certificate and degree requirements. Participating college and university teams will learn how to improve success for students who must take remedial coursework, how to create schedules that help students fit coursework into busy lives and how to incentivize students to complete their requirements, among other strategies.

Commissioner of Higher Education David Russell says the academy will improve the state's graduation rate, which is a critical component of the state's big goal for higher education.

"Currently, 46 percent of Missourians have a degree or certificate that leads to employment," Russell said. "The goal is to increase that number to 60 percent of Missourians by 2025. We know that many students enroll in college but never finish their requirements. The academy will address the reasons they drop out and help institutions draft policies that improve outcomes for students."

Complete College America is sending staff to the academy, including Michael Baumgartner, originally from central Missouri. Baumgartner says in just 10 years, six of 10 new jobs will require a college education, but currently, only half of all students who enter college graduate within six years.

"Complete College America chose Missouri to be the site of our fourth institution-based academy because it has shown significant progress in addressing obstacles to degree attainment, including limits on tuition increases and awarding state funding based on performance measures," said Baumgartner. "It is clear that Missouri is committed to helping students successfully complete post-secondary education and  prepare them for employment and productivity."

EDUCATIONFri, 06 Sep 2013 16:05:31 CST
<![CDATA[ Governor Nixon appoints Douglas Kennedy to Coordinating Board for Higher Education]]>Jefferson City - Governor Jay Nixon has appointed Douglas R. Kennedy of Poplar Bluff to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

Kennedy, an attorney, is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Memphis Law School.  He said a major motivation for serving on the Coordinating Board for Higher Education is to keep college affordable for students from all income levels.

"When I was a student at Mizzou, tuition was $250 a semester," Kennedy said.  "By working a summer job, students could pay their own way. That's impossible now. Students are taking on huge debts to get a college education."

Kennedy currently has two sons in college. "My wallet is very thin right now," he said. "Fortunately I am able to help my sons, but not all students have that benefit or can scrape together the grants and scholarships to attend college."

Kennedy has been active in scouting and other philanthropic organizations. He also raises cattle and plays bass in a bluegrass band.

Commissioner of Higher Education David Russell said Kennedy's student-centered focus on affordability will be an asset to the Coordinating Board.

"Access to higher education is a key component of the state's big goal of increasing the number of Missourians with a college degree or certificate to 60 percent of the population by 2025," Russell said. "We welcome Mr. Kennedy's able assistance as we strive to serve all students of the state."

Kennedy joins board members Dalton Wright (chair, Conway); Brian Fogle (Springfield); Carolyn Mahoney (Jefferson City); Lowell Kruse (St. Joseph); and Betty Sims (Ladue).

EDUCATIONTue, 03 Sep 2013 15:43:45 CST
<![CDATA[ Research universities are economic engines for the state]]>Jefferson City - Missouri universities generated 172 patent applications, 11 start-up businesses and 306 new inventions in 2012. Washington University and the four campuses of the University of Missouri together have generated almost $40 million in cumulative royalties and licensing income since 2010, according to a new report by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

The four campuses of the University of Missouri System generated $6.7 million in adjusted gross income from licenses and royalties, nine startups, 33 patents and 74 patent applications in 2012.

Washington University earned $5 million in adjusted gross income, created two start-up businesses, received 22 patents and filed 98 new patent applications during that period.

The AUTM report helps measure the economic impact research institutions have on their communities and states. Nationally, the number of new startups increased 5 percent, and the number of licenses and options executed increased strongly by 5 and 8 percent respectively, for a total of 6,372 new technologies starting development at higher education institutions.

David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education, said the research and development that take place on college and university campuses have an economic impact on the state.

"Colleges and universities are generating new patents, cutting edge technologies and productive intellectual properties," said Russell.  "As a state, we get a huge return on our investment in higher education."



EDUCATIONFri, 09 Aug 2013 13:22:02 CST
<![CDATA[ Grants Get Results: Better Financial Decisions, Fewer Loan Defaults]]>Jefferson City - The Default Prevention Grant Program of the Missouri Department of Higher Education has awarded $885,724 to 34 institutions of higher education to promote financial literacy among their students.

Now in its 13th year, the Default Prevention Grant Program has enabled colleges and universities to launch default prevention programs on their campuses, with notable results. Vigorous financial literacy programs helped Missouri keep student loan default rates below the national average.

  • U.S. student loan default rate - 9.1 percent*
  • Missouri student loan default rate - 8.6 percent*

The grants are awarded through a competitive application process. The maximum grant amount per year is $25,000. With these funds, the institutions launch financial literacy initiatives to help students live within their means, make smart choices about money management and plan for a secure financial future.

The schools are free to invent their own programs, tailored to the needs of their student body. Webster University, for example, provides financial counseling in the evening, when busy undergraduate students are generally out of class. Eden Theological Seminary, whose enrollment is largely graduate students with families, provides shopping and recipe tips for wholesome, inexpensive meals.

Institutions do not have to participate in the Default Prevention Grant Program to receive MDHE default prevention training. To schedule training, go to the MDHE website to complete a speaking event form, or contact Marilyn Landrum at marilyn.landrum@dhe.mo.gov and Sarah Schedler at sarah.schedler@dhe.mo.gov .

2014 Default Prevention Grant recipients are:


Aquinas Institute of Theology

Avila University

Bryan University

Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center

Columbia College

Concordia Seminary

Cox College

East Central College

Eden Theological Seminary

Fontbonne University

Forest Institute of Professional Psychology

Franklin Technology Center

Harris-Stowe State University

Jefferson College

Kirksville Area Technical Center

Lincoln University

Linn State Technical College

Metropolitan Community College

Mineral Area College

Missouri Southern State University

Missouri State University

Missouri State University-West Plains

Missouri University of Science & Technology

Missouri Valley College

Missouri Western State University

Moberly Area Community College

North Central Missouri College

Southeast Missouri State University

St. Charles Community College

State Fair Community College

Stephens College

University of Missouri-Columbia

Webster University

Wentworth Military Academy

*Most recent two-year official rates for loans that went into repayment in 2010


EDUCATIONThu, 08 Aug 2013 09:03:39 CST
<![CDATA[ New Advisory Board will Aid Higher Education Outreach]]>Jefferson City - The Missouri Department of Higher Education is accepting nominations for its new College Access Advisory Committee. The committee will advise the agency about outreach tools to improve Missouri's college-attainment rates and help minority, low-income or other underrepresented populations to attend and succeed in college.

Nominations to the committee are sought from among college access professionals, financial aid officers, high school guidance counselors and other education professionals with experience in their respective fields. The nomination form is available on the MDHE website, www.dhe.mo.gov. Nominations will be reviewed beginning in August. The 16- to 24-member committee is expected to meet twice a year. The first meeting will be scheduled in the fall.

Missouri has set a goal of raising the percentage of Missourians with a degree or high quality certificate from 46 percent to 60 percent of the population by 2025. It is expected that more than 60 percent of jobs will require some form of postsecondary preparation by 2018.

Improving opportunities for minorities, low-income and other underrepresented groups to obtain a college degree provides additional earning power for the graduates, reduces cycles of generational poverty and benefits the state's economy. But underrepresented groups face hurdles that more mainstream and affluent populations typically do not encounter.

Commissioner of Higher Education David Russell said that without additional support and guidance, students may be unaware of application deadlines, financial aid opportunities and the need for appropriate academic preparation.

"The Department of Higher Education strives to create a college-going culture in Missouri," Russell said. "If the state is to fulfill its potential for economic growth, we must invest in our human capital by preparing youths and working adults with the knowledge and skills they need to be fulfilled and productive citizens. This advisory committee will help guide our outreach efforts to instill in Missourians a greater appreciation for the value of postsecondary education and the need to start planning early."

EDUCATIONThu, 20 Jun 2013 08:37:37 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri among Top Ten in Increasing Percent of Population with College Degrees]]>Jefferson City - Missouri ranks sixth in the nation in the increase in the number of residents with college degrees, according to a new report issued today by the Lumina Foundation, an independent non-profit devoted to increasing Americans' success in higher education.

In 2008, 34.9 percent of working age Missourians had a college degree or other postsecondary credential. That number rose to 36.4 percent in 2011, the most recent year such figures are available.

Compared to college attainment rates in other states, though, Missouri still has a long way to go. The top state is Massachusetts, where 50.8 percent of the population has a college degree. West Virginia is last in the nation, with 27.8 percent. The national average is 38.7 percent of the population.

Dewayne Matthews, vice president of policy and strategy for the Lumina Foundation, told a group of higher education leaders in Jefferson City on Monday that increasing the college attainment rate is essential for the economic wellbeing of the state and nation.

During the recent recession, the economy actually added 200,000 jobs that require a bachelor's degree or higher, while eliminating 5.6 million jobs that only require a high school diploma or less. "The recession accelerated long term declines in middle-skilled, middle-wage jobs," Matthews said.

The Lumina Foundation estimates that by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require some form of postsecondary education. "Yet, degree attainment rates in the U.S. have been flat for the last 30 years," Matthews said. "Our young people have lower college attainment rates than the baby boom generation, and this has led to the decline of the U.S. to 13th among developed nations."

Matthews told the higher education leaders that state policies that allow students to progress through college efficiently are contributing to Missouri's rate of college attainment. Those policies include articulation agreements that ensure credits earned at one institution will transfer to others, and a soon-to-be implemented core library of courses that will transfer to all public higher education institutions in the state.

Matthews said funding models that reward institutions for improving completion rates are good policy incentives. The Missouri legislature adopted a performance funding model for public higher education institutions for the 2014 fiscal year.

Missouri benefitted from a tuition freeze at public colleges and universities, negotiated by Gov. Nixon in 2010 and 2011, that kept college affordable and boosted enrollment. Missouri has compiled the lowest rate of tuition growth in the nation during the last three years, making higher education in Missouri a good value.

Matthews noted that 755,000 Missourians have attended college but don't have a degree. The Lumina Foundation provided Missouri with a grant to implement "reverse transfer" in the state. Reverse transfer helps students who have earned enough credits for an associate's degree obtain that degree even if they have transferred to a four-year institution or stopped out of college altogether.

Western Governors University, a private, non-profit institution, will open a branch in Missouri this year. WGU-Missouri addresses the needs of working adults by awarding them credit for competencies they have learned on the job so they can progress toward a degree based on what they know rather than time spent in class. This "competency-based" approach to education will also improve Missouri's rate of degree attainment, Matthews said.

Although positive progress is being taken to increase the percentage of degree holders in the working population, Commissioner of Higher Education David Russell said that more Missourians must be convinced of the importance of post-secondary education or risk being left behind economically.

 "As a state, we must recognize that the jobs of the future require higher education," Russell said. "And we must commit to providing the resources needed so all students are equipped to succeed in a knowledge-based economy."

EDUCATIONThu, 13 Jun 2013 14:45:09 CST