Partners for Progress

O'Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center
The O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center houses nursing, nurse anesthesiology, occupational therapy and physician assistant programs.

As a metropolitan university, Missouri State strives to be a community player, combining resources, looking for efficient and effective solutions, and improving the quality of life for the citizens of Missouri. Through partnerships with organizations and other universities, we have enhanced the economic vitality of the region and state, especially over the last five years.

Revitalizing downtown Springfield

What do innovation, design, entrepreneurship and the arts have in common? Each of these elements leads to a dynamic and creative community. Missouri State University developed a vision in 2005 of an urban innovation park in Springfield, and IDEA Commons is the product of that vision. It’s been a constant work in progress, and the growth has been substantial.

IDEA Commons thrives with creative talent and is structured to:

  • Develop a sense of place that will be attractive to young talent
  • Revitalize the downtown neighborhood with a combination of renovation of current properties as well as new construction
  • Expand opportunities for business development and commercializing research
  • Develop university partnerships with entrepreneurs
  • Attract and retain creative, innovative and entrepreneurial human capital
  • Promote economic development through new job opportunities

An old MFA milling facility was given a major makeover to become the new face for innovation: Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center. Here Missouri State students gain hands-on experience, and corporate partners make huge strides working on environmentally friendly projects with an applied research emphasis on biomaterials, nanotechnology, carbon-based electronics, biomedical instrument development and energy.

In 2013, the art and design department fully moved into a block of nearly 100 year old buildings named Brick City. Bringing this creative collective into a previously derelict area of town gave new energy to the space.

The Plaster Free Enterprise Center is the hub for entrepreneurship and economic growth in IDEA Commons. The eFactory, the business incubator and one stop shop for successful start-ups, is serving as the key to keeping young talent in Springfield. The eFactory is even reaching out to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs by partnering with the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Professional Studies, or GO CAPS, for an immersive business experience. 

Now as you conduct business in downtown Springfield, you can feel the collective thrum of energy from all the change.

  • 'A place for grains to a place for brains'

    The Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center is the marriage of university and corporate research. What was once a dilapidated MFA Feed Mill in downtown Springfield is now the home of leading-edge research and state-of-the-art technology.

  • Keeping local talent

    The primary component of the Plaster Free Enterprise Center is The eFactory, a tech-focused entrepreneurship center. Here, a collective of out-of-the-box thinkers grows and thrives through shared resources and opportunities.

  • Art movement

    The set of buildings known as Brick City houses the art and design department, but it also serves as inspiration for the students in those disciplines. Brick City also has two galleries that participate in Springfield’s monthly Art Walk.

Allen Kunkel

Associate VP for research and economic development
"Having the GO CAPS students at The eFactory has been tremendous for everyone involved. I’m excited by how the students boast about the experience and seeing the professional skills they’ve developed."
Forrest Hull
Forrest Hull presents his entrepreneurial venture, Digerati, at 1 Million Cups in The eFactory.

Community partnerships

Missouri State is a community within a great community. We make every effort to find ways to give back through engagement and service-learning but also through sharing resources.  Many become opportunities for our students to grow in their own expertise as well.

The MSU Care Clinic, which opened in fall 2015, is a prime example of us serving through a strong community partnership, while also giving hands-on training for students within health sciences degree programs. This facility provides expanded health care access for low-income, uninsured patients who are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.

We’ve also partnered with local nonprofit organizations who are doing great work to improve the community and world. Through formal memorandums of understanding – like with Convoy of Hope – and by providing countless hours of service time, the university is living a life with a mission.

International partnerships

On a large scale, Missouri State University has established partnerships with organizations around the world in order to enhance global awareness and cross-cultural understanding. In turn, it has provided an opportunity for the university community to become fully engaged members of a global society, including study away opportunities and exchange programs. We have built partnerships with those who visit us here as well as those who hope to become more global participants.

The International Leadership and Training Center is in response to a need identified among international students and professionals for more practical experience to go along with academic instruction. This desire for leadership and professional development, workforce training and language instruction is growing as more and more nations and people become engaged on an international level.

In September 2012, the Foreign Language Institute was established, with first classes beginning in spring 2013. It is a Missouri State University-led partnership with Drury University, Evangel University, Ozarks Technical Community College and Southwest Baptist University. The institute expands opportunities for students at all partner schools and in the broader community to learn languages, particularly those identified as critical or less commonly taught, such as Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Russian.

Partnerships with regional universities

When we see a need for a new program, we evaluate whether we have the resources to put behind it, and there are many considerations. Sometimes to better serve Missouri State students, we’ve developed partnerships with other universities in program areas we weren’t currently able to offer.

Two of the most outstanding programs have been a cooperative engineering degree with Missouri University of Science & Technology and the pharmacy program through the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

In May 2012, the first graduates of the civil and electrical cooperative engineering program graduated with 100 percent post-graduation career placement. We interpret that as a ringing endorsement that southwest Missouri was indeed hungry for more engineers, and we were able to meet that need. This is a sign of a successful partnership.

These are just two examples of cooperative programs, but many other seamless pathway agreements have been forged over the years. These arrangements allow our students to get the education and the customized experience they desire.

  • No sinking here

    The cooperative engineering program with Missouri University of Science & Technology met a demand in the Springfield market. Many students from the program participate in the concrete canoe competition each spring.

  • Building upon success

    We work cooperatively with other universities to develop programs for our students. By doing so, we are able to more quickly and efficiently begin offering courses in these high-demand fields, thus preparing our students for the workforce.

  • Working together

    We’ve worked to establish seamless transitions for our students who are coming from other area universities. These agreements make the transfer simpler on both sides because what we value over anything else is the success of our students.

Marian Lyford

Pharmacy student
"One of the reasons UMKC partnered with Missouri State in this way is because southwest Missouri is considered a medically underserved population, so I’d like to stay in the area and serve more rural patients."