Work to begin on new coordinated plan for Missouri higher education: First public meetings set for Dec. 11 in O’Fallon and St. Louis
The Coordinating Board for Higher Education will launch an ambitious initiative to devise a new blueprint for higher education at its next public meeting Dec. 10 on the campus of St. Charles Community College.
The CBHE will approve a resolution calling for the new plan. The board also will approve a slate of nominees to serve on a steering committee. The committee will be charged with developing broad themes and recommendations for responding to the state’s current and future needs for higher education.
MCC Chancellor Mark James will sit on the steering committee along with other higher education leaders from across the state.
The department will spend the next year developing the plan: Preparing Missourians for Success: A Blueprint for Higher Education. A final plan will be presented to the board for approval in December 2015.
“Higher education in Missouri is quickly evolving to meet the needs of our state and its students,” said Dalton Wright, chair of the coordinating board. “It is vital that we have a plan in place that reflects today’s higher education environment, makes good use of our available resources and produces the highly-skilled graduates needed to sustain economic growth.”
The steering committee is composed of distinguished private citizens, as well as representatives from commerce, industry, government and education. The Missouri Department of Higher Education will assist the steering committee in gathering information from the public during a series of nine public hearings held at locations throughout the state. The first two hearings will be held Dec. 11 in O’Fallon and St. Louis.
The plan will focus on four areas of special interest to the CBHE:
• Accessibility: Improve college readiness and making higher education opportunities available to all students across the state.
• Affordability: Keep the cost of higher education within reach for Missouri families.
• Quality: Ensure that students acquire the knowledge and skills they need for a rapidly changing world and workplace and that higher education institutions have the resources necessary to provide quality educational opportunities.
• Completion: Help students to stay the course to finish a certificate or degree program.
“We look forward to hearing from business leaders, elected officials, educators and the public as we develop a blueprint that supports higher education opportunities in Missouri,” said Betty Sims, vice chair of the coordinating board. “Higher education is essential if our young people are to have ample opportunities to succeed in life.”
State law calls for the coordinating board to design a coordinated plan for higher education in Missouri. The current plan, Imperatives for Change, was adopted in 2008.
The Dec. 11 meetings will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Component Bar Company, 3858 Corporate Center Drive, O’Fallon, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, 1 Metropolitan Square, Suite 1300, St. Louis.
Additional public meetings are planned for:
• January – Jefferson City
• February – Columbia
• March – Kirksville
• April – St. Joseph and Kansas City
• June – Springfield and Cape Girardeau