Evolving Academic Directions for Future Careers

Setting the academic course

Drawing from a century of responding to the educational and workforce needs of the community, state and beyond, Missouri State University is creating an enterprising plan for the next decade of success. MSU will celebrate an entrepreneurial spirit within academics. And it will generate an environment of innovation and efficiencies across campus.

Teaching beyond the classroom

Research, creative works and service are vital to the educational process. They also contribute to the richness and essential benefits of society. Faculty support at Missouri State is crucial to ensure engaged, impactful research, scholarly activity and beneficial service to the community.


Community demands, workforce trends and opportunities to share resources will fuel intentional partnerships across academic and industry platforms. These agreements will result in educational and research access for a broader population of students and faculty.

Professional doctorate

Olivia attended a regional university in Missouri and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After she graduated, she moved to Springfield to work as a children's service worker for the Missouri Department of Social Services, children’s division.

Responsive. Accessible. Interdisciplinary. Collaborative. Agile.

These are the characteristics of Missouri State’s academic programs. They will respond to the landscape of a new economy. Robust academic offerings that support higher career salaries as well as societal needs will be at the forefront. They will prepare. They will connect.

Students will benefit from the essential foundation of a strong liberal arts and STEM-based education. They will experience the power of public affairs and become engaged citizens who make worthy contributions to their communities. And they will learn the value of cross-discipline collaborations that fuel entrepreneurial and data-driven careers of today and the future.

Citizen Bears

A Missouri State education is grounded in its public affairs mission. Course work defines and emphasizes ethical leadership, community engagement and cultural competence.

Lifelong Student

Abby earned an art history degree from Missouri State. When she graduated, she joined the university’s “Lifelong Student” program. A small annual subscription allows Abby to take classes at the university at no cost or at a substantially reduced cost.

Traditional and high-tech modalities to coexist

COVID-19 expanded education: How we teach. How students learn. How we connect.

Delivery of academic programs will be matched with content and student access needs. It will be characterized by person-centered, high-touch approaches. The flexibility of modalities and pathways will consider access, convenience and adaptable time structures.

Contemporary instructional delivery will be the standard. Faculty will be supported and optimally prepared to use the latest technologies in their discipline.

Cutting-edge technologies used in areas of study will ensure student competencies when entering their career field.

Programs will lean into high impact learning experiences that reinforce curricula and provide relevant exposure to emerging career fields that align with the university’s mission.

Industry growth

Emerging careers. Promotions. Job loss. The list goes on, but all relate to an attainable solution. Students and graduates can build on their educational and experiential background by adding academic credentials. In response to the ebb and flow of the economy or the desire to change careers, stacking easily attainable academic credentials lends to furthering education across one’s lifespan.

Focused hiring

John Williams is a biotechnology research specialist in the Darr College of Agriculture. Originally from the Kansas City area, John came to MSU as a member of a faculty cohort cluster hire. He and other members of the cohort joined Missouri State to strengthen its focus on sustainability and STEM programs. Members of his cohort hold faculty appointments across campus.

Key performance indicators

Key performance indicators

  • Number of professional doctoral programs
  • Number or percentage growth of students completing UG certificate programs
  • Number of percentage growth of completion of graduate certificates
  • Certificate as a pathway to a graduate degree
  • Process to evaluate new academic programs from a market value perspective in partnership with EAB
  • Roadmap to interdisciplinary programs/hires