The primary purposes of the Certified School Strategic Initiative (CSSI) are to serve as an additional information resource regarding program outcomes at schools certified to operate by the Department of Higher Education and to highlight laudable instructional program performance at those schools.



The Coordinating Board for Higher Education’s coordinated plan, Preparing Missourians to Succeed: A Blueprint for Higher Education, includes five broad goals designed to address the state’s higher education needs. Department staff were tasked with identifying initiatives in each functional area that would contribute to the success of the coordinated plan. In consultation with the Proprietary School Advisory Committee (PSAC), MDHE staff determined Missouri’s certified schools may have the most visibility within the strategic plan under Goal 3: Quality – Missouri will produce graduates with high-quality postsecondary degrees and certificates that are valuable and relevant to individuals, employers, communities and the state.


Invitations to discuss a strategic framework to address this goal were sent to leaders of Missouri’s certified schools. Twenty representatives from 17 different institutions attended the June 29, 2018, meeting in Jefferson City. A summary of the initial meeting is available here.


Steering Committee

The initial group determined the need for a steering committee to guide the development of a pilot project. Volunteers were solicited from certified schools, and a CSSI Steering Committee was established. The Steering Committee has met twice to establish the parameters of the project.  Summaries from those meetings are available for review:


October 3, 2018

November 28, 2018


At the October 2018 meeting, the Steering Committee identified three program areas for the pilot project: Licensed Practical Nurse, Certified Nurse Assistant, and Information Technology (leading to a recognized industry certification). During the November 2018 meeting, the Steering Committee selected benchmarks for each program.  Based on that discussion, MDHE staff developed an application template.


Representatives of certified schools are invited to review the summary of the November 2018 Steering Committee meeting and the Draft CSSI Application Template (PDF or Excel).


Please provide feedback to Please indicate “Certified School Strategic Initiative” on the subject line, and please submit your feedback to the MDHE by January 31, 2019.


Next Steps

The Steering Committe will review feedback from the school community and will work with MDHE staff on appropriate revisions and an implementation date for pilot program submission.