As Missouri State University moves forward toward achieving the goals of its 2011-16 long-range plan, it acknowledges a certain set of assumptions about the future. What follows provides not only the environmental assumptions of that view of the future, but the desired characteristics that may result.
- Springfield and the surrounding region will continue significant population growth.
- In 25 years, Springfield is predicted to have: significantly more diversity, a population of 250,000 and an MSA approaching 650,000-700,000.
- Springfield will continue to grow and be a regional center for health care and industry.
- Meanwhile, Missouri will have only very modest population growth.
- Missouri will have a higher percentage of high school graduates attend and attain a certificate, two-year, four-year or graduate degree.
- A significantly larger percentage of new job creation will require some college and the fraction requiring a graduate degree will expand.
- Health care, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and education will continue to be major factors in the economic development of Springfield and southwest Missouri.
- Missouri State will experience modest growth, approaching 27,000 within 10 years — about 24,000 on the Springfield campus and 3,000 on the West Plains campus.
- The student body will look more like the world.
- The trend for students to start college in two-year institutions will continue upward.
- Full-time residential students will have continued to shrink as a proportion of our student body.
- The number of working adults taking courses and seeking degrees will increase, with a heavy reliance on technology for delivery.
- Changes in the state scholarship programs will affect enrollment, most notable will be an increased emphasis on needs-based financial aid.
- An increasing proportion of student credit hours will be generated by graduate programs.
- There will be an increase in selected baccalaureate and master’s degrees.
- There will be an increase in doctoral programs, initially clinical doctorates and ultimately a limited number of PhD programs.
- At best, state funding will remain static.
- Out of necessity, the cap on tuition will be modified or eliminated.
- As a result, the percentage of funding from the state will continue to decline, reaching the 20-25 percent level.
- The importance of growing other sources of revenue (private funding, federal earmarks, sponsored grants/programs) will continue to increase.
- It is possible there will be significant changes in the way in which students are charged — for example, increased use of differential tuition by academic programs.
- Interdisciplinary work will be more prevalent and important.
- Interactive technologies will be fully integrated into how we teach and learn — wireless, mobile, voice-activated, remote access and delivery.
- Opportunities for internationalization will continue to expand.
- There will be a continued need for specialized spaces for instruction, including laboratories.
- Campus and/or students will become wireless.
- The current method of lecturing will be replaced, at least in part, with alternative teaching methods.
- The four-year model of a college degree will move to a differentiated time frame; examples include the following:
- Three years of classroom instruction and one year of practicum
- Three-year degrees/five-year degrees
- The “contract education” model will be used more often.
- Developing educational partnerships of all kinds will continue to be important.
- There will be changes in higher education in terms of governance, consolidation, elimination — details unclear, but will look different than 2012. One result could be a larger Missouri State System including other existing institutions.
- Public-private partnerships will be numerous and necessary.