The University of Missouri and the presidents and chancellors of the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday, Oct. 9, establishing a partnership to provide Internet connectivity access to community college graduates who enroll in courses and degree programs through Mizzou Online.
University of Missouri provost Brian Foster and SCC president Dr. Ron Chesbrough signing the Memorandum of Understanding.
In the agreement, each MCCA community college agrees to furnish, as needed, Internet connectivity through designated campus computer stations as a free and secure access point for Mizzou Online enrollees. Use of these work stations are limited to associate degree graduates of the respective community colleges who enroll in Mizzou Online courses.
“MU is proud of its tradition as a land-grant university of providing bachelor’s degrees and beyond to Missourians who thrive in the fast-changing technology-driven environment of the 21st century,” MU Provost Brian Foster said. “This partnership takes this tradition forward in an important way and reflects these institutions’ opportunity to expand and strengthen options for Missourians.
The purpose of the partnership is to expand the comprehensiveness of distance education courses and degree offerings across Missouri so more citizens may earn associate and bachelor’s degrees while continuing to live and work in each MCCA community college’s service region.
“The use of existing and emerging technology to make higher education more accessible to residents in all regions of our state is a priority of the Missouri Community College Association,” said Ray Cummiskey, president of Jefferson College and chairman of the MCCA Presidents and Chancellors Council. “By partnering with the University of Missouri to encourage degree completion at both the community college and university levels, MCCA is mindful that a high-quality, affordable education should not be a luxury, but available to anyone who desires.
MU will not compete with the respective community colleges when it comes to lower-division general education and prerequisite courses in a student’s major. Students who are deficient in those courses will be encouraged to first complete those at the sending community college.
“Part of our heritage at MU is to serve the state of Missouri by making higher education accessible to citizens across the state,” said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost for eLearning. “Our distance education programs were designed to meet the needs of individual students who face unique situations that prevent them from coming to our campus to study. Mizzou is proud to collaborate with the MCCA institutions to support their graduates who are interested in furthering their college education.”
“Mizzou is pleased to partner with the community colleges of Missouri and assist their graduates in pursuing a bachelor’s degree from Mizzou Online,” said Terry Barnes, assistant to the provost for community college partnerships. “At Mizzou, we have chosen to expand and strengthen our degree programs which provide high-quality accessible opportunities that truly will improve the lives of the citizens in the communities served by these institutions.”
Several active transfer and articulation agreements that facilitate the transfer of community college graduates to Mizzou Online courses and degree programs are already in place. Mizzou Online, which offers more than 90 University of Missouri undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates, served more than 12,600 students last year.
“It is exciting for MU and the institutions of the MCCA to combine resources to better support these students interested in advancing their education,” said Mizzou Online Co-Director Gera Burton. “The exciting outcome is the opportunity these students will have to utilize their degrees to advance professionally.”
Member institutions of the MCCA are Crowder College (Neosho), East Central College (Union), Jefferson College (Hillsboro), Metropolitan Community College (Kansas City), Mineral Area College (Park Hills), Moberly Area Community College (Moberly), North Central Missouri College (Trenton), Ozarks Technical Community College (Springfield), St. Charles Community College (St. Peters), St. Louis Community College (St. Louis), State Fair Community College (Sedalia) and Three Rivers College (Poplar Bluff).
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