During this plan, the University will pursue the following strategies for improving its distance learning efforts:
- All Missouri State campuses will expand and strengthen their distance education offerings consistent with market opportunities, while exploring efficiencies through information-sharing and collaboration. Collaborative examples include server and software sharing as well as a single 24/7 help desk to serve the needs of online students on all campuses.
- Each campus will establish fees for online courses depending on factors such as the basic fees charged for regular campus-based courses, market competition and opportunities, costs for support services, and an overall business plan for distance education. Undergraduate and graduate fees will be determined independently and may differ from program to program.
- System-wide policies and incentives will encourage and recognize faculty and administrators who teach via distance education delivery systems.
- Each Missouri State campus should have a committee that creates and oversees policies that promote distance education. Committees should share information and explore distance education policy issues with one another regularly. These committees should cooperate in evaluating course management software options as well as other methods of distance education delivery, including OPT and NPR.
- Maintaining and improving the quality of distance education courses and teaching should be an ongoing priority. Each Missouri State campus should implement training programs for faculty/staff who develop and/or teach distance education courses, as well as for those who wish to use technology in on-campus courses. Other initiatives that should be implemented include annual reviews and updates of the assessment procedures used for online courses and instructors, use of trained mentors to assist faculty, and use of more rigorous standards to qualify per course faculty for distance education development and/or instruction. A web-based newsletter on these initiatives should be established.
- As Missouri State’s distance education program continues to grow, the University should employ staff to sustain this growth and assure program quality. Criteria for adding staff should be based on market demand, societal need, faculty interest and support, and the generation of adequate revenues via student credit hours.
- The University should continue to promote K-12 distance education that includes regular K-12 courses; Dual Credit, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses and professional development; and Gifted Student programs through the Missouri Virtual School.
- The University should explore a possible partnership with an Internet provider to offer faster home Internet connections (i.e., DSL, Broadband, direct satellite) at a reduced cost for students, faculty, and staff.
The University expects to achieve the following improvements in its distance learning programs:
- Enrollments in distance education courses offered by the Springfield Campus will increase by 10 percent for each of the first two years of this plan and by 7 percent for the last three years.
- Developing and offering distance education courses will be incorporated as favorable criteria in the Faculty Handbook section on promotion and tenure within the next two years. This provision will appear in college and department promotion and tenure policies.
- Each college will increase the number of distance education courses taught in-load by faculty each year.
- Each Missouri State campus will develop an in-load/overload policy for developing and/or teaching distance education courses that is fair and consistently applied.
- A distance education committee will be established on all Missouri State campuses. These committees will consider ways to cooperate across campuses.
- At least 2 percent of the total full-time faculty will complete appropriate training for distance education delivery during training each of the next five years.
- The Missouri Virtual School program will continue to expand in addressing state K-12 needs for wider curricular offerings and more student enrollments.
- Faculty teaching online will be assisted with appropriate Internet connections wherever they develop/deliver courses.
A new tuition policy: Choice and Predictability in Tuition
Missouri State University is already known as a great educational value. As the cost comparison in Chart II-F shows, our fees are just below the average for public institutions in Missouri. Even so, Missouri State will take additional steps–through its innovative CAP-IT program-to make its cost affordable and predictable for students. CAP-IT has three major components.
Tuition plan options
Different tuition plans are the primary feature of CAP-IT. The following three options, available to degree-seeking undergraduate students, are designed to provide choice and predictability in tuition.
Standard tuition plan Students will be assessed under the fee policy in effect for the current year, and fees will be subject to change from year to year.
Two-year fixed tuition plan Students will pay slightly higher basic fees for the first of any two academic years but will pay the same rate for the subsequent academic year, regardless of increases in the Standard Tuition Plan rates.
Tuition prepayment plan (Two-, Three- or Four-year) Students may make a lump-sum prepayment that will cover basic fees for all courses they take during the period of the plan (excluding summers), regardless of changes in the Standard Tuition Plan rates or the number of credit hours taken.
The University will closely monitor the initial effects (2006-08) of CAP-IT on outcomes such as enrollment, persistence, costs, and the relative popularity of the three options. Adjustments to the plan will be implemented as indicated by this initial assessment. The University will develop a reputation for innovation and fairness with its tuition policy.
Tuition and fees for Missouri, public, four-year or above
|University of Missouri–Columbia
|University of Missouri–St. Louis
|University of Missouri–Rolla
|University of Missouri–Kansas City
|Truman State University
|University Central Missouri State
|Northwest Missouri State University
|Missouri State U
|Southeast Missouri State University
|Missouri Western State University
|Harris-Stowe State University
|Missouri Southern State University
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education
These figures were collected as part of "The Annual Survey of Colleges of the College Board, 2005-2006."
Effective advising and course scheduling
Another important way that students can manage the overall cost of their education is to graduate on schedule. The University will develop specific curricular maps for each undergraduate major. By following these curricular maps and obtaining regular advising, students will be able to graduate in four years from nearly all undergraduate programs at Missouri State.
The University will also continue to develop its several advising and advisor resources, including:
- Advisor Workshops
- The Academic Advising Center
- The Master Advisor Program
New scholarship and financial aid programs
The University has created a number of new scholarship and financial aid programs and has refined the criteria for several of its existing programs. These new programs will be introduced beginning in 2006; others will be considered in response to market opportunities. Across the period of this plan, the net impact of these developments is anticipated to be:
- enhanced ability to compete for high quality students,
- a higher yield of admitted students,
- improved retention and graduation rates, and
- expanded access for students who face substantial hurdles in financing their education.
Through several performance metrics on its Public Scorecard, the University will assess the impact of the following initiatives:
Missouri Outreach Graduate Opportunity Scholarship – This program, offered for the first time in fall 2006, covers three-fourths of the out-of-state fees for full-time graduate students in specific academic programs. To qualify, students must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25.
Continue the tradition – This program, for children and grandchildren of Missouri State graduates, provides a full waiver of out-of-state fees. Students in the above two categories who meet regular admissions requirements will be eligible for this scholarship.
Out-of-State Fee Scholarship – Beginning in fall 2006, this scholarship provides a full waiver of out-of-state fees and is available for entering first-year students who either are in the top 20 percent of their class (or have a 3.70 GPA) or who have an ACT of 24 or higher.
Increased need-based financial support – Beginning with a $350,000 allocation for 2006, the University will increase its need-based grant program by a total of $1 million in order to attract students with strong academic records who have significant financial need.