The initial posting about the costs to establish graduate programs at MSSU is not quite accurate. MSSU will be offering "cooperative" graduate programs with SMSU, UMKC, CMSU and others much as they already do via videoconferencing. Actually, MSSU will be the model for very cost-effective cooperative graduate programs among state institutions in Missouri and the costs will be shared. Degrees will be from both the sponsoring graduate institution and MSSU.
For example, currently UMKC offers a graduate nursing program on the MSSU campus in Webster Hall via interactive videoconferencing over MOREnet Internet lines at no additional costs to MSSU or UMKC for the line usage. The faculty member is at UMKC in a classroom with students there, and students in Joplin and St. Joseph attend via a real-time Internet video and may pose questions or otherwise participate as if in the classroom in KC. MSSU has similar programs for a masters in criminal justice with UMKC and MSW, MBA & MSE programs with SMSU. Faculty with terminal degrees or other qualifications at MSSU -- approximately 100 faculty have doctorates -- may be originators of courses in the cooperative programs that may be broadcast to other institutions. Of course, traditional in classroom classes may be taught at MSSU as well as the delivery mode described above.
It can only be good for the citizens of the greater Joplin area to have more graduate programs available. They will be cost efficient for Missouri and the partipating cooperative institutions. A "win win" if you will!
Instituions such as Grinnell in Iowa are private liberal arts colleges. They do not typically have the student populations or broad range of programs as exist at MSSU.
These remarks are my opinion only, and I am not speaking on behalf of MSSU. Updated: 2003-07-16 03:13:29Updated: 2003-07-16 04:42:11Updated: 2003-07-17 11:10:15
Missouri Southern has now dropped the name "college" and has become a university. In reading the article published in the Joplin Independent, I did not see mentioned the cost associated with the president's goals of adding a graduate program throughout the university's departments. This graduate program will serve the people of the area but will compete with well established programs at Pittsburg State University but more so with Southwest Missouri State University, which has a very strong and competitive graduate program. In addition, to be competitive at the master's level MSSU will need to obtain funds for offering graduate assistantships, and to be a respected graduate institution, MSSU will need to hire faculty with a terminal degree for their respective discipline. They will also need to offer faculty incentives for doing research, e.g., university grants, a graduate office and a research office with dean or deans and staff. All very costly. A number of departments that have the Ph.D. as the terrminal degree for the decipline, have master's faculty teaching. Will these faculty be allowed to guide a student through a master's degree? Hopefully not. The addition of assistantships, faculty, incentives, dean(s) and staff will cost the university a large sum of money. In a time of budget cuts and a bleak future of funding, MSSU will struggle to provide quality graduate programs, at least initially. It is my opinion that Missouri Southern would have done well to remain a college, increase the quality and standards, and compete at the level of other high quality and respected colleges such as Scripps, Claremont, Carleton, Grinnell and others. Updated: 2003-07-17 11:43:15
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