The Missouri State University campuses are structured to address the special needs of the urban and rural populations they serve. Missouri State University-Springfield is a selective admissions, graduate level teaching and research institution. Missouri State University-West Plains is an open admissions campus serving seven counties in south central Missouri. Missouri State University-Mountain Grove serves Missouri’s fruit industry through operation of the State Fruit Experiment Station. Missouri State Outreach provides learning opportunities through Internet-based instruction, interactive video network, and iCourses. The University also operates various other special facilities, such as the Darr Agricultural Center in southwest Springfield, the Jordan Valley Innovation Center in downtown Springfield, the Bull Shoals Field Station near Forsyth, Baker’s Acres and Observatory near Marshfield, the Missouri State University Graduate Center in Joplin, and the China Branch campus at Liaoning Normal University (LNU) in Dalian, China. In addition, Missouri State has the operations and program offerings of one entire academic department, its Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, located near Washington, D.C. in Fairfax, Virginia.
The Missouri State University-Springfield campus offers a spectrum of educational programs that respond to regional and statewide needs while striving for national and international excellence. Missouri State is an intellectual and creative resource for the Springfield metropolitan area, contributing to its economic development, social health, and cultural vitality through education, research, and professional outreach. The University collaborates with many communities and clientele throughout the region in order to bridge the socio-economic, cultural, and political gaps that exist among them. Missouri State continues to shape its structures and design its policies and practices to enhance its effectiveness as a key institution for the citizens of Missouri.
The Missouri State University-Springfield campus offers bachelor's, master's, specialist in education, and professional doctorate degrees, and is the host site for a cooperative doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with the University of Missouri-Columbia. The Springfield campus offered programs through 45 academic departments organized in seven academic colleges. More than 150 academic programs and options are offered at the undergraduate level, leading to 11 undergraduate degrees.
In the 1990's, mission enhancement funds were provided to Missouri State, enabling the institution to better serve the state’s need for a high-quality undergraduate/graduate institution. As a result, the Springfield campus has become a major graduate education provider, offering more than 50 graduate degree programs and working with the University of Missouri to provide cooperative doctoral level programs. Graduate students comprise more than 15 percent of the campus’ total student population. Even with these changes, undergraduate education remains a priority, and implementation of selective admissions standards will continue, with a sensitivity to the needs of the 24-county service area and the state of Missouri.
Missouri State Outreach Programs
Missouri State Outreach works with academic departments and colleges throughout the University to provide a wide range of credit courses at off-campus sites beyond the Springfield campus, using traditional off-campus instruction and technology-based delivery systems. The academic programs offered undergo the same academic review and scrutiny as academic programs offered in traditional settings. The programs have the administrative and technology infrastructure, faculty support, and student support services necessary to meet the needs of distance learning students. The distance learning strategy involves three major delivery systems: interactive video (BearNet), Internet-based instruction (Missouri State Online), and iCourses.
Missouri State University Downtown
In 1996, Missouri State University and Springfield entered into an agreement to direct future University expansion away from neighborhoods, such as Phelps Grove to the south of campus, and toward the downtown area northwest of campus. That agreement, reflected in the Missouri State Master Plan Visioning Guide and the Vision 2020 Springfield-Greene County Comprehensive Plan, has resulted in the University acquiring and/or leasing increasing amounts of properties in the downtown area. The Missouri State University-Springfield Master Plan Visioning Guide has been formally adopted by the Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission and the Springfield City Council. To ensure orderly development in the downtown area, the University has added a downtown planning element to its Master Plan Visioning Guide.
IDEA Commons is Missouri State’s vision and commitment to create a new type of urban research park that is blended with residential, retail and entertainment facilities, and supported by various university programs. This unique project will bring together Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and Arts (IDEA) and is an example of how the university continues to be engaged in promoting the community’s livability and economic success. IDEA Commons is a geographic area in downtown Springfield that will include locations for spin-off commercialization of technologies and university programs that will create an environment to generate creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship for the benefit of the Springfield region.
The Missouri State University Foundation owns the 81,000-square-foot Kenneth E. Meyer Alumni Center and adjacent parking garage, and Missouri State owns the 62,500-square-foot Jim D. Morris Center for Continuing Education and two nearby surface parking lots. In addition, Missouri State leases approximately 60,000 square feet to support numerous programs, including the Institute for School Improvement and the Department of Art and Design.
The University will continue to invest in new and leased facilities directed by the following objectives:
- To provide outstanding educational opportunities, specifically with regard to metropolitan issues, service learning, and public affairs
- To provide affordable, high-quality space for academic and auxiliary programs
- To ensure that the University can expand as required while, at the same time, fulfilling its obligations outlined in the Phelps Grove agreement with the City of Springfield
- To stimulate the revitalization of downtown Springfield
- To fulfill the University’s metropolitan mission of contributing to the economic development, social health, and cultural vitality of the region
These objectives are based in large part on long-term partnerships with the City of Springfield, the Springfield School District, Ozarks Technical Community College, and many public and private entities that have an impact on the development of Springfield and the region.
The University will continue to assess the feasibility/desirability of locating other programs in downtown Springfield, as well as the possibility of expanding programs already located downtown. Further, the University shares the community’s vision of downtown Springfield as an arts, entertainment and education center, and Missouri State intends to be an active partner in developing and revitalizing Springfield’s center city.
West Plains campus
The West Plains campus is a two-year, open admissions campus with a mission to provide quality educational opportunities to south central Missouri. The West Plains campus has a separate five-year Long Range Plan. Missouri State University-West Plains is structured to meet the needs of a seven-county rural area of south central Missouri within the larger Springfield metropolitan region. Missouri State University-West Plains is mandated to offer one-year certificates, two-year associate degree programs, and credit and noncredit courses. Missouri State University-West Plains also hosts bachelor's and master's degree programs provided by the Springfield campus through both on-site offerings and distance learning technologies.
The West Plains campus has separate accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission and currently offers three associate degrees – Associate of Arts, Associate of Applied Science, and Associate of Science. The campus is integral to the successful implementation of the overall University mission, serves as one major feeder for the Springfield campus, and provides a site for the Springfield campus to offer upper-level and graduate programs.
Missouri State University-West Plains offers courses leading to the Associate of Arts in General Studies at Shannon Hall in Mountain Grove. Missouri State University-West Plains also provides educational opportunities via the BearNet interactive video network; university/community programs; and certificate programs, customized training programs, and noncredit outreach programs based on community needs.
Mountain Grove campus
The major activities on the 190-acre Mountain Grove campus are the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station, the William H. Darr College of Agriculture, and the Center for Grapevine Technology. The Fruit Experiment Station was established in 1899 by the Missouri Legislature. The Station has a statewide mission to: "...experiment with the different kinds of fruits, to wit: Apples, peaches, berries of all kinds, grapes and small fruits of all kinds, and to ascertain the varieties that are the best adapted to this state..." The Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station promotes growth of the Missouri fruit crop industry through basic and applied research and an industry advisory program focused on pomology, enology, viticulture, plant pathology, entomology, molecular genetics, and plant physiology.
Missouri State University-Mountain Grove supports a fruit industry advisory program, including fruit crops, grapes and wine, and consumer education. The advisory program uses traditional on-site advisory classes and workshops coupled with interactive video and Internet-based training. In cooperation with the departments of Biology and Chemistry, the William H. Darr College of Agriculture offers a cooperative master's degree in plant science, as well as undergraduate internships and a limited number of undergraduate classes. The Paul Evans Library of Fruit Science supports the State Fruit Experiment Station, as well as the Plant Science master's program and the Missouri State University-West Plains students.
As one part of the attempt to internationalize its programs, the University operates the Missouri State China Branch campus at Liaoning Normal University (LNU) in Dalian, China. An accredited two-year Associate of Arts degree is offered by the West Plains Campus and the Bachelor of Science degree in General Business is offered by the Springfield campus.