Academic Programs

The responsibility for implementing the mission and five themes of the university rests with the campuses at Springfield, West Plains and Mountain Grove.

On the Springfield Campus, the primary responsibility is that of the faculty, staff, and administrators in the six colleges of Arts and Letters, Business Administration, Education, Health and Human Services, Humanities and Public Affairs, and Natural and Applied Sciences which house the academic departments; the University College, which has responsibility for administering the honors program, academic advising for undeclared students, and general education; the Graduate College; the College of Continuing Education and the Extended University; Library Services; the Writing Center; Institutional Research; and the Center for Assessment and Instructional Support.

These groups must contribute to the university mission, guided by the vision of what Southwest Missouri State University is to become over the next six years, the first of the 21st Century, capitalizing on university strengths; addressing responsibilities to the needs and expectations of the citizenry and their elected and appointed representatives and officials; and functioning within the economic, political, cultural, natural, technical, religious, and social environments.

It is understood that the primary responsibility for developing educated persons rests with the faculty, supported by the staff and administration. Missouri State University faculty members must be able to expect that steps will be taken to measure effectiveness and to ensure that their careers at Missouri State University will be intellectually and economically rewarding in order that the commitment and quality of the faculty be maintained at the highest level.

Implementing the statewide mission in public affairs

In the previous five-year plan, Welcoming the 21st Century, Southwest Missouri State University expressed its intent to obtain a statewide mission in public affairs and to successfully implement that statewide mission. Thanks to the entire campus community, the Southwest Missouri State University alumni and the citizens of southwest Missouri, the university accomplished these goals.

During this six-year plan, Southwest Missouri State University will continue to implement the statewide mission in public affairs through the General Education Program, the Citizenship and Service Learning Program, the Public Affairs Convocation Series, the Public Affairs Grants Program, and other programs initiated during the previous plan. During the next six years (2000-06), these additional initiatives will be considered and/or enhanced:

Missouri Campus Compact - In accordance with its statewide mission in public affairs, Southwest Missouri State University will seek to develop and be the initial host site of Missouri Campus Compact, a statewide chapter of Campus Compact. A Missouri Campus Compact will create and expand community service and service-learning opportunities for students through the academic enterprise and co-curricular programs, and advocate for public policies that encourage and support student community service. While Southwest Missouri State University will host the Missouri Campus Compact, membership will be open to the presidents of all accredited institutions of higher education in the State of Missouri upon subscription to the provisions of the by-laws.

Public Affairs Academy - The Missouri Public Affairs Academy will join the Missouri Scholars Academy and the Missouri Fine Arts Academy as a focused summer enrichment opportunity designed to nurture the state's future leaders in the common vocation of citizenship. Academy students will participate in a variety of events and curricula designed to enhance their civic skills, knowledge and dispositions. Academy presenters will include university faculty, state legislators, state executive office-holders, and local government and community leaders. Academy participants will be rising juniors and seniors nominated by their high school principals. The one-week pilot Missouri Public Affairs Academy was completed in June 2000 and served students from the southwest counties in Missouri. Expansion of the program to three weeks and expansion of the service to all of Missouri's counties are specific, early objectives of the program.

Leader-in-Residence - Southwest Missouri State University proposes to sponsor a Leader-in-Residence program in which a national or international luminary will be housed at Missouri State University for a certain period of time during which he or she will conduct a body of work of significant promise in public affairs. The leader will be an already accomplished figure who will work on a significant project and share opportunities and responsibilities with members of the campus community. The leader might be an individual in transition from one type or level of involvement to another type or level of involvement as, for instance, might be the case with the cessation of public service, a change in leadership at a significant level, or the conclusion of a major project.

Southwest Missouri State University Journal of Public Affairs - One of the ways Southwest Missouri State University "voices" public affairs is through the annual Southwest Missouri State University Journal of Public Affairs. The Journal is copyrighted, indexed in PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) and is cataloged by Library of Congress reference number. With the growing interest in the publication, the editorial board believes that the journal should expand to a semi-annual publication sometime during the six-year plan.

Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains Campus - Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains will continue to support the public affairs mission through activities and initiatives developed by students, faculty and staff, and coordinated by the Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains Public Affairs Advisory Committee. The objectives of that committee are to: engage the campus community in a continuing discussion of public affairs; support activities that craft a common civic life to benefit all; encourage the campus community's finest aspirations; open the doors of the university to the communities and peoples served by listening and serving; and monitor and assess activities supported in whole or in part by a public affairs grant.

Implementing the five themes

An inventory of current and proposed academic programs that are related to the five theme areas of the university reveals the following:

Professional Education - Southwest Missouri State University's programs in professional education continue to be large, both in terms of the number of programs preparing professional educators and in terms of the number of students served. Significant organizational and curricular revisions have been made over the past five years to help meet the growing challenges of education, as well as to satisfy new teacher certification requirements. Included in these changes have been establishing a campuswide Professional Education Unit (PEU), reorganizing the College of Education to include a School of Teacher Education, and enhancing the Institute for School Improvement. Additional changes will increase the participation of all colleges in professional education.

Health - As a result of completing the initiatives outlined in the previous five-year plan, Southwest Missouri State University now has a full complement of accredited graduate-level health programs. The university is now a partner in providing the health resources for the region and beyond. Southwest Missouri State University will continue to initiate selected additional health programs, many offered cooperatively with other institutions to make better use of limited resources. In addition, the university will take steps to meet the total health needs of the entire campus community: students, faculty, and staff.

Business and Economic Development - The University continues to be in a strong position with regard to its programs that contribute to the business and economic development theme. These programs range from those that specifically support the business area to a number of well-defined disciplinary programs and activities offered across the academic campus that indirectly enhance this theme through professional occupational training, including basic and applied research. There is an increased emphasis on international business programs as well as on programs based on new technologies, such as e-Business. Future programs will be proposed which, for the most part, will be collaborative in nature in recognition of the tremendous needs for business knowledge and skills on the part of students in many disciplines.

Creative Arts - The creative arts theme takes advantage of Southwest Missouri State University's heritage in all art forms: performing arts, visual arts, creative writing, etc., many of which are among the best in the region. New programs will take advantage of the unique location of the university, where partnerships with the community and region will provide a wealth of educational opportunities for students.

Science and the Environment - This theme, which has been added for the new six-year plan, takes full advantage of Southwest Missouri State University's unique setting in the Ozarks to focus on the global environment, both natural and cultural. Few new academic programs are anticipated to support this theme. Rather, Southwest Missouri State University will use a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to address this fundamental 21st Century issue.

Academic philosophy

The focus of the Southwest Missouri State University mission is to develop educated persons who have an understanding of themselves and the diverse social and natural world in which they live, who are creative people of vision, and who are capable of making informed and meaningful decisions. Furthermore, these educated people will be literate in the broadest sense; have an appreciation of the responsibility of lifelong citizenship and an awareness of global issues; seek solutions to problems by means of a broad base of knowledge as well as in-depth mastery of at least one specific academic discipline; and have the skills and motivation to continue to learn after leaving the university, thus being prepared for both lifelong learning and lifelong productivity. In order to achieve this, it is essential that the faculty, staff, and administrators of Southwest Missouri State University serve as role models and leaders.

As with most university systems, the evaluation and reward mechanism for faculty has historically treated the three traditional components of performance — teaching, research/scholarship, and service — as unrelated functions. The mission of the university, with its rededicated emphasis upon student learning as its primary purpose, and with a statewide mission in public affairs, acknowledges that teaching, research/scholarship, and service are to be regarded as integrated, complementary activities.

In order to have sufficient dialogue to properly incorporate this philosophy into the university's evaluation system, the university has developed a Faculty Roles and Rewards Program to financially acknowledge those faculty who meet these expectations. Over the next six years, the university will monitor, evaluate and revise the Roles and Rewards Program to ensure it is accomplishing its desired effect — to reward faculty who excel in teaching, research/scholarship, and service. This process will begin with a faculty committee appointed by the president during the 2000-01 academic year.

Academic departments, schools, and colleges support both the individual and collective efforts of faculty in fulfilling their obligations to the university and the public they serve. These units have several important responsibilities.

In light of the focused themes of the university, changes in student needs, and the ever-present responsibility to the taxpayers of the state, it is imperative that departments and colleges critically examine the curriculum they offer — both individual courses and major programs of study. Annual program outcome measures described in Chart R will be a key tool to assist in the examination. Courses will be offered because of their relevance to student educational needs. Courses, and majors, will continue to be eliminated or modified if they do not meet those needs. Any remaining programs that are not appropriate for a selective admissions university will be phased out. Programs that are consistent with the university mission and that address statewide concerns will be developed, subject to resource constraints.

Campuses, departments, schools and colleges will review their offerings in light of providing efficient, effective learning experiences for Southwest Missouri State University students. Unnecessary offering of duplicate sections, frequent offering of low enrollment courses, and inefficient use of facilities and resources will be avoided. A variety of instructional technologies, both within and outside the classroom, will be incorporated by departments to improve efficiency, enhance student learning, and expand accessibility.

Consistent with its practice of continuous planning and evaluation, Southwest Missouri State University will explore participation in the Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Under AQIP, Southwest Missouri State University would be evaluated based on 10 relatively complex criteria. The on-going assessment and self-evaluation involved with AQIP would replace the standard 10-year evaluation by NCA as the criteria by which Southwest Missouri State University would gain continuing accreditation.

To achieve the university's stated goal of increased partnerships, Southwest Missouri State University campuses, departments, schools and colleges will pursue and promote cooperative and collaborative programs and learning experiences. Such undertakings will be multifaceted and include the following:

  • partnerships with K-12 schools to enhance both faculty and student interactions and to develop a seamless K-16 system using distance learning, pre-college programs, and expanded advanced placement opportunities
  • joint offerings, particularly at the graduate level, between higher education institutions
  • courses and programs developed collaboratively between campuses, colleges, schools and departments within the Southwest Missouri State University System, including interdisciplinary courses, particularly in general education and in graduate education
  • joint ventures with business and industry to provide improved opportunities for student learning experiences, including bringing successful business people to campus for guest lectures and presentations
  • expanded articulation agreements, educational ventures, and partnerships with other community colleges, particularly Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC)
  • international linkages to prepare graduates to be citizens of the world - work to bring accomplished artists, scientists, and other professionals to the university on a regular basis

GreenhouseIt must be recognized that in an effort to support lifelong learning and to be of service to the community, it will be necessary to provide and promote nontraditional learning experiences. The Center for Continuing and Professional Education will use its expanded facilities to offer additional non-credit opportunities for people in the metropolitan community served by the university.

Eighteen master's degree programs, 16 undergraduate programs, and a cooperative doctorate were added during the first five-year plan on the Springfield Campus, as were five new Associate of Applied Science degrees with eight areas of emphases/areas of specialization at Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains. While this six-year plan does not contemplate the same rate of growth as the previous five-year plan, the university does plan to add associate degree options at Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains and a few targeted bachelor's and master's degree programs, as well as one doctorate, on the Springfield Campus. All new programs have and will respond to documented needs in southwest Missouri.

International education

The purpose of existing and/or new international education programs and requirements will be to ensure that Southwest Missouri State University graduates have an awareness of and sensitivity to global issues and how those issues affect their ability to work and live in the global society.

Currently, Southwest Missouri State University enrolls students from more than 80 countries, offers a joint MBA with the Madras School of Social Work in India, has partnerships with Qingdao University and Liaoning Teachers University in the People's Republic of China, and the University College administers the very active Study Away Programs which include the Missouri London Program, Australia Exchange, France Exchange, Germany Exchange, Mexico Exchange, the International Student Exchange Program, the National Student Exchange, the Spanish-Language Program, and the French-Language Program. In addition, Missouri State University professors offer a variety of options for students to participate in short-term study tours (2-5 weeks). Past tours have included Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, the People's Republic of China, Israel, Greece, the United Kingdom and Italy.

These international programs are becoming increasingly important in aiding students in better understanding the world in which they live and the global issues that they will confront in the future. In order for students to have a greater understanding and appreciation for their role in the world community, Southwest Missouri State University will explore the feasibility/desirability of requiring that students have academic experience with a foreign language or foreign culture before graduating.

Academic unit structure

Academic programs in the Southwest Missouri State University System are organized around campuses, colleges, schools and departments. The most common academic units are departments and colleges. However, schools are becoming increasingly important organizational units for three reasons. First, schools are often organized in response to requirements of accrediting agencies, for example the School of Accountancy in the College of Business Administration and the School of Social Work in the College of Health and Human Services. Second, schools are established in those cases where the traditional academic departments have grown too large and/or diverse to be managed effectively. Finally, schools may be organized to achieve a synergistic affect by organizing two or more academic departments into a focused framework to achieve a clearly defined mission.

During the period covered under this plan, Southwest Missouri State University will implement one school, the School of Teacher Education, and consider establishing two new additional schools: a School of Communications and a College of Agriculture. In considering development of these schools, the university will strictly limit increasing the bureaucracy and creating new administrative positions to staff the schools. For example, in the proposed College of Agriculture, the Dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences would also serve as the head of the School.

School of Teacher Education - The past several years have been characterized by a growing awareness and concern about key issues in professional education at both the state and national level. In April 2000 the Southwest Missouri State University Board of Governors approved a reorganization of the College of Education that will "reinvent teacher education" at Southwest Missouri State University and respond to those issues and concerns. The reorganization plan, which became effective July 1, 2000, includes the following: reorganizing academic units whose mission is to prepare teachers in the College of Education into one coherent organization: a School of Teacher Education; migrate, where appropriate, faculty in secondary education into the departments of their discipline to help strengthen communication and involvement of faculty outside the College of Education; reorganize student services within the College of Education; appoint a dean from one of the discipline colleges to chair the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee of the Professional Education Unit (PEU) to increase involvement of deans outside the College of Education; and begin reviewing and revising the teacher preparation curricula and environment to provide meaningful, attractive programs.

School of Communications - The proposed School of Communications would house two new departments created from the present department of communication and mass media: department of communication and department of mass media and journalism. The departments would cooperate in many areas (recruiting, special events, publicity, fund-raising efforts, interdisciplinary programs, etc.). In other ways, the two departments would function autonomously. The reorganization to a School of Communications would allow the nearly 40 full-time faculty and staff to better serve the more than 700 majors. The new organization would more easily identify the three distinct disciplinary areas: communication, journalism, and media. And the new School of Communications would provide important benefits for accreditation purposes, especially for journalism.

College of Agriculture - The proposed College of Agriculture would house two existing academic departments: the department of agriculture and the department of fruit science. The purpose of forming the new school is to acknowledge the crucial role that agriculture plays in southwest Missouri's economy; to elevate the status and increase awareness of the many agriculture programs at Southwest Missouri State University; to more effectively and efficiently utilize existing resources by improved coordination of facilities such as the Agriculture Research and Demonstration Center in Springfield and the State Fruit Experiment Station at Mountain Grove; to increase the competitiveness of Southwest Missouri State University agriculture programs in competing for external funding from industry, state and federal agencies; and to expand and improve academic programs such as the Master in Plant Science degree. These enhancements will position Southwest Missouri State University as a leader in metropolitan agriculture.

Instructional technology and equipment

During the previous five-year plan, the university achieved its goal of hiring a chief information officer/associate vice president for information technology and in providing a computer and network access for every faculty member. During this six-year plan, the challenge will be replacing and updating those technologies in a timely fashion. Given the inherent obsolescence of information technology, instructional technology, and academic research equipment in the 21st Century, the university intends to provide ongoing funding for replacement equipment instead of viewing equipment purchases as one-time expenses.

On the Springfield Campus, the success of these ventures will be measured by comparing course and program offerings against the base school year 1999-2000, by surveying faculty and departments on their use of new instructional tools and methodologies, by asking employers to assess the value of instructional programs, and by annually reporting joint, cooperative ventures.

Funding for results

With finite resources, it will be necessary for almost all new programs to be funded, at least in part, by reallocations within the individual colleges as older programs are eliminated or consolidated. Some resource reallocation among the colleges will be done, using Funding for Results (FFR) strategies and more analytical techniques for determining resource needs. FFR will be administered by the office of academic affairs to provide development and/or reward monies to academic units to encourage and enable them to undertake specific projects that further enhance their teaching and learning efforts, consistent with the aims of the six-year plan of the university.

The success of these undertakings can, in large part, be measured by the successes of the individual campuses, faculty, departments, schools and colleges in meeting their obligations. In addition, the use of FFR and analytical resource allocation techniques and the availability of additional faculty development funds can clearly be demonstrated. An additional goal is to assist in the development of statewide achievement tests, which then can be administered on the Southwest Missouri State University campus before the end of the decade.

Undergraduate education

Even with the increased emphasis upon graduate education, Southwest Missouri State University will continue to be centrally focused on the baccalaureate experience, the essence of which is to develop educated persons.

Sixteen new undergraduate programs in targeted areas supporting the themes of the university have resulted from implementation of the first five-year plan. For example, in creative arts, programs were added in electronic arts and musical theatre. In business and economic development, a major in logistics and transportation was added. A program in sports medicine and athletic training contributes to the theme of health. A new major in crime and society complements the public affairs mission. An important focus of the next six years will be strengthening the infrastructure that supports all programs at Southwest Missouri State University. A limited number of new undergraduate programs have been proposed for the coming six years, including a Bachelor of Science in e-Business and a Bachelor of Science in Education in dance. (See Chart E)

General education

After an extended period of discussion and planning, Southwest Missouri State University-Springfield implemented a new General Education Program in the fall of 1997. Compared to the previous general education requirements, the new program has:

  • fewer course options (less than 100 now compared to approximately 350 before)
  • a more precise and clearly defined set of goals and objectives
  • a more prescriptive organization of the general education categories
  • a junior level capstone class linked explicitly with the university's public affairs mission

Consistent with Southwest Missouri State University's mission in public affairs, the overriding aim of this new program is "to develop people capable of making thoughtful choices that lead to creative and productive lives and to responsible participation in society." The basic required courses include an Introduction to University Life class designed to help students make a successful transition from high school to the university, as well as courses in computer literacy, public speaking, writing, mathematics, and lifetime wellness. Three "areas of inquiry" — the Natural World, Culture and Society, and Self-Understanding — are subdivided to ensure an exposure to a variety of different perspectives. The public affairs component consists of courses in American history, American democracy and citizenship, and the capstone class titled Public Affairs Issues for the 21st Century.

The latter class is a unique feature of the general education curriculum. With a 60-hour prerequisite, this variable topics class is designed to fulfill two main purposes: to integrate the general education experiences of the students in a writing and discussion intensive format; and to apply the students' general education understandings in an interdisciplinary study of a major public affairs issue facing the nation and/or world community. In order to ensure an adequate number of capstone course offerings, faculty from all disciplines have been encouraged to collaborate in the development and teaching of this key general education class.

Although the general education curriculum is likely to experience only modest changes over the next several years, it may be necessary to adapt the program so it is in compliance with impending changes in statewide transfer policies. In a related development, Missouri State University recently initiated an intensive effort to make the transfer process as student-friendly as possible. General education articulation sheets are being developed to assist students who might transfer to Southwest Missouri State University without completing an Associate of Arts degree. To assist those students who do complete an A.A. degree, collaborative program-to-program articulation handbooks are being developed with Southwest Missouri State University's major feeder institutions.

Additional changes in the General Education Program may also be made in response to the results of program level assessment. Now that the new General Education Program has been in effect for several years, a schedule of on-going assessment activities will be implemented. Every three years, beginning with the 2000-01 academic year, each course in the general education curriculum will be re-examined by the committee on general education and intercollegiate programs to determine whether or not it is meeting an appropriate set of the general education aims and goals. Other assessment related activities include a general education assessment exam required of all students prior to their graduation; a series of surveys, including the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP); and various course-embedded approaches. As a result of these on-going assessments, courses, and possibly components of programs will be revised at the direction of the committee. An expected outcome of the assessment-based review process is the improvement of student scores on the general education exit exam relative to national averages.

Honors college

The Southwest Missouri State University Honors College was created by action of the Faculty Senate in 1985. The program provides for high-achieving students the opportunity to pursue an enhanced, advanced course of study, which leads to recognition of the student's achievement upon graduation. The intent of the program is to attract more high-achieving students to Missouri State University, and it has succeeded in that attempt. At the writing of the university's last five-year plan in 1995, the membership of the Honors College stood at 480 students. By the fall of 1999, the number had grown to 708.

The criteria for selection to the Honors College has remained the same: a minimum ACT composite of 27 and upper 10 percent of the graduating class. The membership's performance while at Missouri State University remains admirable. The 1999-2000 membership had an average ACT composite of 30.0, with an average grade point average of 3.76. Of the 708 members, 83 enjoy a perfect 4.0 GPA.

With the changing admissions standards of the university, it may be necessary to examine the criteria for selection to the Honors College and the number of students participating in the program. The Honors College will continue to rely heavily on a strong and aggressive scholarship program to help in its recruitment for incoming students. Special amenities, such as Scholars House, will be key to attracting and retaining Honors College students.

The Honors College plans to promote the completion of departmental distinction among the members and among the faculty of the university. This will require more students' involvement in honors courses in their departments of major and the completion of a senior honors project. The membership already is required to complete an honors capstone course in general education (GEP 397), which is a key to the university's emphasis in public affairs.

Southwest Missouri State University's Honors College graduates have a distinguished history of placements in graduate schools, professional schools, and Fortune 500 companies. It is the desire of the Honors College to continue that history. To that end the Honors College staff and faculty will mentor student members to prepare them for the rigors of the applications for such honors as Fulbright, Rhodes, Truman and Wilson Scholarships; and the National Science Foundation.

Graduate education

Southwest Missouri State University is a master's level institution that is committed to providing the programs and scholarship base that make Southwest Missouri State University the center for graduate education in the region that it serves. The decade of the 1990s was a time of unparalleled growth in graduate education at Southwest Missouri State University. The number of graduate programs, enrollment and the graduate-student percentage of student body all doubled during this period. There was especially dramatic growth with the implementation of the first five-year plan (1995-2000) when Southwest Missouri State University increased in number of programs (from 21 in fall 1995 to 39 in fall 1999) and number of students (from 1,873 in fall 1995 to 2,962 in fall 1999), thus becoming Missouri's third largest public provider of graduate education by 1999-2000. Through these changes, the university earned its "master's institution" status from the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

Program expansion was most extensive in health as the university sought to serve the needs of the region. Significant strides were undertaken to increase access for students by delivery of graduate programs and courses to distant locations. So, as the 20th Century ended, the institutional image of Southwest Missouri State University as a provider of quality, accessible graduate education was strong. While focusing on the graduate education needs of the region and in concert with the demands of a global society, the university also provides graduate education opportunities for students beyond the region.

The master's degree is increasingly recognized as a valued and essential step in a variety of careers. There also is a market-driven student demand for master's degree preparation in vocations such as teacher education, health care and other professions requiring licensure, and managerial qualifications. Southwest Missouri State University currently serves these needs through 38 master's programs and one specialist's degree that support the institutional themes. These master's degree programs vary in focus, including traditional academic master's degrees, professional master's degrees, and applied master's degrees.

The next six years will be a time of maturing, refining, and strengthening existing programs. The university anticipates adding only a small number of selected programs that are required for Sputhwest Missouri State University to meet its mission as the graduate education center for the region. The proposed new programs can be found on Chart F. Southwest Missouri State University intends to be at the forefront in enabling graduates to meet licensure demands, for example with the Doctorate of Audiology.

Southwest Missouri State University's goal is for graduate enrollment to remain strong and reach a plateau of 3,100-3,300 students, which includes an estimated enrollment of 2,630 graduate students on the Springfield Campus and an estimated 570-770 graduate students enrolled in distance learning programs. This enrollment will require university recognition of the workload differences inherent in graduate education and a commitment of resources to several key initiatives, including strengthening infrastructure that supports faculty scholarship and the recruitment and retention of high-quality graduate students.

Graduate faculty scholarship will be enhanced in the period from 2000-06 by increasing support for grant writing, expanding library holdings and access, continued expansion of internal grant and sabbatical opportunities, and enhanced allocation for faculty travel.

One measure of growth will be the attraction, retention, and graduation of a more diverse and highly-qualified graduate student body. This will be accomplished through the following:

  • recruiting nationally and internationally, in addition to locally and regionally
  • recruiting high-quality students who demonstrate excellence on a variety of indicators
  • freeing more faculty time to direct the scholarly activities of graduate students
  • providing more support for graduate student research
  • providing more opportunities for graduate students to present the results of their scholarly activities at national meetings
  • offering graduate scholarships and fellowships
  • improving facilities and adequate space for graduate education
  • increasing the stipend for graduate assistantships at a rate at least equal to the cost-of-living
  • expanding the use of distance learning technologies

Societal needs in postbaccalaureate education require innovations in programming that couple enhanced access for students with efficiency in use of both university and student resources. Accelerated master's programming will be expanded, thereby reducing duplication for goal-oriented students who recognize early the workplace demand for a master's. Several graduate certificate programs will be introduced during the period 2000-06. Although not as extensive as master's degree programs, graduate credit certificate programs provide students with a focused, coherent group of courses designed to develop significant expertise in a particular area of study. These certificate programs help address the market demand for greater flexibility and interdisciplinary opportunities at the graduate level. Where possible, graduate certificate programs will be developed so they can be integrated with a degree program or be a formal option within the program. Other graduate certificates will be independent of current master's programs, and some will be post-master's work.

Graduate programs will continue to infuse technology into the curriculum in ways that can enhance learning and improve the capabilities of graduate students to be lifelong learners. Access to graduate education will be expanded by providing more distance learning opportunities. Partnership arrangements with other institutions, health providers, and business will be established as Southwest Missouri State University seeks to provide a broader base of graduate programming while at the same time conserving resources.


Student's GraduatingSouthwest Missouri State University recognizes the importance of scholarship as an integral part of the academic environment that facilitates the educational process. Missouri State University is committed to using Ernest Boyer's classifications of scholarship to enhance the professorate at Southwest Missouri State University. The rationale for all scholarly endeavors is to advance knowledge and creativity, to foster and maintain an attitude of inquiry, to meet the needs of society, and to contribute to student learning. The four classifications are the scholarship of discovery, the scholarship of integration, the scholarship of application of knowledge, and the scholarship of teaching.

The scholarship of discovery is an integral part of the academic environment. The scholarship of integration is closely related to the scholarship of discovery. Interdisciplinary differences are valued, and integration is broadly understood to include both the interpretation of data and ability to fit that data into a larger intellectual context. Research activities involve faculty and students in the discovery, interpretation, and dissemination of new knowledge; application of this knowledge to societal problems; and examination of that information within the context of the culture, including the development of methodology to improve inquiry, teaching, and professional practice.

Because of the crucial role of the scholarship of discovery and integration, the university provides and expects to be measured by research opportunities for undergraduate, as well as graduate, students. Students should expect to see faculty involved in research, and students should be active participants in faculty research projects. Additionally, students should expect faculty guidance in formulating their own research endeavors. Since Southwest Missouri State University is a graduate institution, research and integration should be a fundamental component of graduate education.

The scholarship of application of knowledge focuses on the application of new knowledge to societal issues, and examination of that information within the context of one's specific discipline, as well as the culture at-large. Missouri State University students should expect to see faculty involved in a variety of projects that both apply and contribute to human knowledge.

Research and creative activities often begin with the individual, and unique faculty projects are a fundamental aspect of the research environment. However, activities at Southwest Missouri State University-Mountain Grove, the Agriculture Research and Demonstration Center, the Bull Shoals Field Station, and the various research centers on the Springfield Campus allow opportunities to address larger, more interdisciplinary problems that focus on needs in public affairs, professional education, health, business and economic development, creative arts, and science and the environment. These Southwest Missouri State University centers contribute to the educational process by involving students in research and field experiences, bringing faculty together on projects, and extending the university presence into the metropolitan region and the community beyond. Southwest Missouri State University will seek to extend institutional support for research. In this increasingly complex and technological society, scholars are expected to seek external funding for their projects.

Excellence in teaching is critical to the development of educated persons, and it is essential to the university mission. The scholarship of teaching, the last of Boyer's classifications, involves being knowledgeable in one's field. Furthermore, as Boyer points out, "Teaching is also a dynamic endeavor involving all the analogies, metaphors, and images that build bridges between the teacher's understanding and the student's learning. Pedagogical procedures must be carefully planned, continuously examined, and related directly to the subject taught…Good teaching means not only transmitting knowledge, but transforming and extending it as well…In the end, inspired teaching keeps the flame of scholarship alive."

To extend institutional support for the scholarship of teaching and learning, Southwest Missouri State University will establish an Academic Development Center (ADC). Over the next six years, the university will establish and maintain a comprehensive instructional support center for faculty. Many initiatives in faculty development are already under way. To enhance the value of these initiatives, as well as expand the number of initiatives, it is proposed that the ADC be formed to promote, coordinate, and provide leadership to the development of a comprehensive, coordinated faculty development program. In the spring of 2000, the university became a part of the Carnegie Foundation Teaching Academy Campus Program to further the value of not only the scholarship of teaching and learning, but also the scholarship of discovery, the scholarship of integration, and the scholarship of application of knowledge.

Lifelong learning and continuing education programs

As a metropolitan university and in keeping with the university's view of educated persons as lifelong learners, Southwest Missouri State University recognizes that an important part of its mission is to provide programming and support services which address the special needs of adult and nontraditional learners. This is true on all of the Southwest Missouri State University campuses.

Through the College of Continuing Education and the Extended University on the Springfield Campus, a wide range of programs have been developed to carry out this charge, including a large Evening College with more than 450 sections from more than 30 academic disciplines, enrolling more than 9,700 students each semester. In addition, a special Adult Student Services Office provides pre-admission advising services, merit scholarships especially for adult students, adult re-entry seminars and orientation programs, and admission/registration options tailored to the needs of working and nontraditional students.

Through the university's lifelong learning and continuing education programs, adult and nontraditional students can take advantage of a wide range of conferences, workshops, and other professional development programs offered on a non-credit basis. Specialized programs of this type are provided by the Center for Continuing and Professional Education for health care professionals, psychologists, counselors, nursing home administrators, law enforcement officers, business professionals, employees needing computer training, and many others. Similarly, the Management Development Institute in the College of Business Administration offers a variety of seminars, short courses, on-site custom programs, and certificate programs aimed at supervisory, mid-management, and executive-level business professionals and the Institute for School Improvement responds to the professional development needs of the region's elementary and secondary teachers and administrators.

During the six-year period covered by the plan, it is expected that several major societal and educational trends will continue to gather force, significantly changing the landscape for the university's effort to address the educational needs of adult and nontraditional students. Those trends will include increased competition among educational providers, convenience and ease of access for adult students, programs tailored to individual needs, and quality of content. Through the explosive development of technology-based and technology-enhanced instruction, adult learners will have a vast array of educational learning opportunities at their disposal. These programs will be professionally produced and packaged, tailored to the individual needs of adult learners, and available to students on an "anytime/anyplace" basis. New organizational entities will emerge as major players in the adult and continuing education market, create their own credentialing systems and a competitive environment previously unseen by traditional higher education institutions.

To address these challenges, Southwest Missouri State University will take initiatives on a variety of fronts. Southwest Missouri State University will be an active participant in the Missouri Learners Network administered by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education. In addition, the university will strive to find ways to strengthen and enhance the special advantages afforded an adult student who chooses to become part of a community of learners. Expanded efforts will be made to develop for-credit certificate programs and other programmatic structures which will provide focused learning opportunities, as well as a credential, of direct benefit to adult students who need their educational experiences to contribute directly to career and professional development goals. A concerted effort will also be made to continue to adapt academic and administrative policies and procedures so that they accommodate adult lifestyles and "make sense" to adult learners. Part of this effort will include the improvement of the accessibility of adult student support services on campus so that they are provided in locations and through delivery modes which are convenient for working adults. And finally, the College of Continuing Education and the Extended University will make a concerted effort to initiate additional collaborative efforts with other academic units on campus so that appropriate academic programs can be more effectively marketed and delivered to adult and nontraditional students.

Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains provides non-credit/customized training and certificate courses in its seven-county service area through its Center for Business and Industry Training. These programs are designed based on needs assessment and many are developed in partnership with area business and industry. The delivery of these programs is enhanced by the GrizzNet interactive video network and mobile computer laboratory.

Academic centers and institutes

Southwest Missouri State University hosts a number of centers and institutes which contribute to the educational process by involving students in research and field experiences, bringing faculty together on projects, and extending the university presence into the metropolitan region and the community at-large. Guidelines exist for establishing centers and institutes, including an approval process through the Board of Governors. Generally, centers and institutes are funded totally or in large part through grants from state and federal agencies, as well as private gifts.

In 1999-2000, Southwest Missouri State University had the following externally supported centers and institutes: Center for Research and Service, Center for Archaeological Research, Center for Social Science and Public Policy Research, Center for Industrial Productivity, Center for Resource Planning and Management, Center for Scientific Research and Education, Midwest Viticulture and Enology Center, Center for Arts in the Schools, Center for Business and Economic Development, Area Health Education Center, Institute for School Improvement, and Management Development Institute. Other institutes will be considered during the six years of the plan, including the proposed Ozarks Public Health Institute and the Rural Law Enforcement Institute.


The Southwest Missouri State University libraries also operate as a system, providing the necessary support for the academic programs on all campuses for all degree programs. The greatest challenge facing the library system is keeping pace with the extensive growth in master's degree programs and students. Included in the Missouri State University library system are the Duane G. Meyer Library, the Music Library and the Greenwood Laboratory School Library on the Springfield Campus; the Garnett Library on the West Plains Campus; and the Paul Evans Library on the Mountain Grove Campus. The libraries are coordinated in their standards, practices, and development.

The MOBIUS statewide academic library consortium will significantly improve access to materials throughout Missouri when fully implemented in the next several years. When implemented, the Common Library Platform will create a "virtual catalog" of the approximately 14 million bibliographic records in the libraries of Missouri's colleges and universities. Cooperative collection development planning should become possible for participants in the consortium when all 50 members are brought online. The Southwest Missouri State University libraries intend to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains

The mission of Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains is to provide quality educational opportunities to the citizens of south central Missouri. Three associate degrees are conferred by Southwest Missouri State University-WP: the Associate of Arts, the Associate of Science, and the Associate of Applied Science. Four principal mission-oriented divisions are organized to deliver a range of programs and services that strive to meet the diverse needs of the seven-county service area. Credit and non-credit academic programs are offered through the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Technology and Career Education, while regional outreach programs are administered by the University/Community Programs Division. Helping students to achieve their educational and career objectives is the primary focus of the Division of Student Services. Four support divisions, business services, computer services, development, and university communications, enable the delivery of campus programs and services.

Vital mission enhancement funding was appropriated during the previous five-year plan to initiate new academic program offerings in technology to support industrial expansion in light manufacturing. This expansion has stimulated vital economic development within the service region, which is among the most economically challenged areas in Missouri. Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains has worked closely with community advisory boards to review all programs and assess potential needs for new business/industry-focused degree programs/emphasis areas and for certificate training in technical skills development.

Seven stated goals support the Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains mission. These goals, developed through a 15-month discussion involving students, faculty, staff, and community members, stimulated a series of new initiatives that are proposed for implementation over the next six years. The details of these initiatives are included in the Southwest Missouri State University's Daring to Excel: A Long-Range Vision and Five-Year Plan (2005-2010). The seven goals are to:

  • educate students for constructive citizenship, meaningful careers and lifelong learning through the delivery of accredited and affordable programs
  • cultivate educational, technological, cultural and economic development
  • foster an environment that enables individual student learning and success
  • operate as an integral entity within the Missouri State University System
  • engage constituencies in a continuing conversation that stimulates innovation, progress and excellence
  • practice good stewardship of resources
  • assess institutional effectiveness and plan for the future

Chart E: Springfield campus - undergraduate program expansion plan *


Program Added



Student Number

One-Time Cost

On-Going Program Cost
Fall 2000            
Fall 2001 B.A., Art History Creative Arts Arts & Letters 25 $100,000 $10,000
Fall 2002 B.S., e-Business Business & Economic Development

Business Administration

150   $509,000
Fall 2003 B.S. Ed., Dance Professional Education Arts & Letters 30   $130,000
Fall 2004            
Fall 2005            
Fall 2006            

*Implementation of the new programs listed is dependent upon gaining approval through the regular on-campus process, gaining approval from the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, and obtaining additional funding specifically for the new programs.

Chart F: Springfield campus — graduate program expansion plan *


Program Added



Student Number

Fall 2000 M.S. Ed., Instructional Technology Professional Education Education 15 $50,000
Fall 2001 M. Arts in Teaching Professional Education Education 30 $60,000
(grant-funded first 4 years)
Fall 2002 Audiology Doctorate (AuD) Health Health & Human Services 15 $230,000
Ed.S., Guidance and Counseling Professional Education Education 50 $138,000
Fall 2003 M.S., Agricultural Economics (partner with other Missouri public universities) Business & Economic Development Natural & Applied Sciences 15 $110,000
Fall 2004 M.S., Public Archaeology Public Affairs/Science & Environment Humanities & Public Affairs 20 $137,000
Fall 2005
Post Professional M.S., Physical Therapy Health Health & Human Services 10 $100,000
Fall 2006 Ph.D., Public Administration (partner with the University of Missouri system) Public Affairs Humanities & Public Affairs 6 $80,000

*Implementation of the new programs listed is dependent upon gaining approval through the regular on-campus process, gaining approval from the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, and obtaining additional funding specifically for the new programs.

Chart G: West Plains campus—associate degree program expansion plan *





On-Going Cost
Fall 2000        
Fall 2001
A.A.S. Business Agri-Business


A.A.S. Child Development   $86,000
A.A.S. Law Enforcement   $17,000
A.A.   Child Development $20,000
A.A.   Elementary Education $17,000
A.A. Courses at GrizzNet Site Houston $22,000
Fall 2002 A.A.S. Allied Health   $5,000
A.A.S. Allied Health Medical Office Management $40,000
A.A.   Agri-Business $17,000
A.A.   Criminal Justice $10,000
A.A. Courses at GrizzNet Site Ava $22,000
Fall 2003 A.A.S. Allied Health Medical Lab Technology $53,000
A.A.S. Industrial Technology Electronics $140,000
A.A.S. Construction Technology   $40,000
A.A.S. Mass Communication   $86,000
A.A. Courses at GrizzNet Site Gainesville $22,000
Fall 2004 A.A.S. Allied Health Surgical Technology $53,000
A.A.S. Allied Health Radiology Technology $53,000
A.A. Courses at GrizzNet Site Alton $22,000
Fall 2005        
Fall 2006        

*Implementation of the new programs listed is dependent upon gaining approval through the regular on-campus process, gaining approval from the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, and obtaining additional funding specifically for the new programs.