Education

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia Public Schools is moving forward with a world language center so it can continue offering advanced Japanese and German classes. Low enrollment in those upper-level classes drove the decision to merge them.

“Students then would still be able to pursue a language that they have interest in, but we would be able to consolidate that into a central location,” said Michelle Baumstark, Community Relations Director for CPS.

The plan was presented Monday to the Columbia Board of Education, and the district is moving forward with it. The center will be in one of the existing high schools rather than a new building.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

Last week marked 100 days for MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright. The University of Missouri held an event on Wednesday, Nov. 15 to celebrate the Chancellor and announce new initiatives for student success.

Some of these initiatives are aimed at lowering costs. One is the Border State Scholars award. It will reduce out-of-state tuition by $2,500 for students coming to MU from one of the 8 states that border Missouri. 


State Data Results Show Slight Descrease In Overall Performance for Columbia Public Schools

Nov 15, 2017
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Correction An original version of this article incorrectly referred to Annual Performance Report score as a Missouri Assessment Program score. MAP is one factor used to calculate a district's ARP.

Columbia Public Schools' Annual Performance Report score dropped a couple percentage points compared to last year, according to data from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Last year, the district received an 86.8 percent overall score on the state's annual report card for districts, or APR. The report uses test scores, college and career readiness, attendance, graduation rates and other factors to determine school district accreditation. This year's score was 84.3 percent.

The Jefferson City Public School District continues to host community meetings on diversity.

These series of meetings were in response to an incident in September where a group of high school students posed in a picture that included racist imagery.

University of Missouri

NOTE: This story will be updated

University of Missouri Provost Garnett Stokes will leave the University of Missouri to become the next President of the University of New Mexico.

UNM made the announcement Thursday morning, stating that Stokes will take over the role on March 1, 2018. Stokes had been announced as one of the five finalists for the job last month.

In an email to MU faculty and staff Thursday, MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said that he expects the school to launch a national search immediately, and to identify an interim provost “in the coming weeks.”

A new report from third-party consultants says the Greek system at the University of Missouri is falling short in key areas.

Dyad Strategies, a small consulting group that specializes in Greek life, was hired by the university to compile the report as part of an overhaul of campus life administration earlier this year. According to the report, employees from Dyad visited the school in mid-August to conduct in-person meetings that formed the basis of its conclusions.

The College of the Ozarks has instituted a new required course on patriotism for all freshmen.

The class, Patriotic Education and Fitness, was launched this year and combines civics and ROTC curriculum, says Bryan Cizek , the director of patriotic activities at College of the Ozarks.

Cizek, who teaches the course, says the college has a history of teaching civics and military science. This class adds a fitness component and teaches skills like rappelling.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The University of Missouri has created a committee tasked with finding someone to fill the role of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights, Title IX and ADA.

The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights, Title IX and ADA will be responsible for things like ensuring compliance with all Title IX laws and providing training for the MU community.

University of Missouri

University of Missouri Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Garnett Stokes is one of five finalists for the job of the President of the University of New Mexico. The University announced the finalists in a press release this afternoon.

David Estrada / KBIA

A $21.6 million gift from the Novak family to the University of Missouri School of Journalism will establish what the university calls the world’s first center for communication and marketing-based leadership education.

The Novak Leadership Institute will provide students with hands-on experience in leadership and development, organizational communication, entrepreneurship and service. 

David Novak, the retired chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, says he gave to the university because there is a need to train students to become effective leaders.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

Administrators at the University of Missouri held two town forums on Sept. 12 and 13 to discuss the results of the Campus Climate Survey conducted in 2016. They say the survey reflects room for improvement.

The survey, conducted by the independent agency Rankin & Associates, included responses from nearly 10,000 MU students, faculty and staff. It shows that high percentages of students, faculty and staff at MU have “seriously considered leaving” the university, with more than 40 percent of students considering it in their first and second years each. 

UM System President Mun Choi says the survey shows that the reasons for this are mostly interactions or experiences with peer groups and coworkers. 


Sara Shahriari / KBIA

Intersection is marking the new school year with conversations with three MU professors whose work and teaching styles make then stand out. We learn that parts of Missouri were once on the coast of a huge inland sea, how a veterinarian and toxicologist gets to the bottom of mysterious ailments and how students are learning to understand the global market for fabrics. 


Mizzou Columns
David Chicopham / Flickr

The University of Missouri campus may be opening its doors to families of students affected by Hurricane Harvey, according to an email sent by university officials Monday.

The email sent by Chancellor Alexander Cartwright and Provost Garnett Stokes said families in need of temporary housing may contact Residential Life’s Guest Housing.

In a unanimous vote, the UM System Board of Curators approved plans for the Memorial Stadium South Expansion Project, which is expected to be complete in summer 2019 and cost roughly $98 million, at Friday's meeting.

This approval comes amidst belt-tightening across the institution. This summer, all departments were required to cut their annual budgets by up to 12 percent. Then, Thursday, UM System President Mun Choi announced in an email to faculty and staff that the institution would be hiring outside consultants to find further ways to reduce operating costs.

 

 

University of Missouri officials signed an agreement Thursday that will expand financial aid for lower-income students beginning in 2018.

As part of the Missouri Land Grant Compact, Missouri undergraduates who qualify for the federal Pell Grant program will have all tuition and fees covered. In addition, students who are also enrolled in the Honors College will have all room and board covered.

Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said the awards should have a significant impact on the state.

Initial Numbers Show Higher Enrollment in Columbia Public Schools

Aug 16, 2017
Columbia Public Schools

Enrollment in Columbia Public Schools has increased by 294 students since last year.

Columbia Public Schools released preliminary enrollment numbers on Tuesday, which was the first day of the new school year. Total enrollment for all schools was 18,585, according to a news release from Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark.

The Missouri State Board of Education on Tuesday advanced what’s been characterized as a “skinny” plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Better known as ESSA, the Obama-era reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act replaces the controversial No Child Left Behind Act as the law governing school accountability. Among other things, ESSA outlines how federal Title I dollars should be distributed to schools with large populations of students living in poverty.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media/KBIA

This story is part of the special series United And Divided, which explores the links and rifts between rural and urban America.

Schools in rural school districts often don’t have the budget or the teachers to offer students all of the courses they would like to take. One rural district in a Missouri county decided to offer credit for online classes in an effort to give its students the educational opportunities it can’t otherwise afford.

In Jefferson County in eastern Missouri, the high school, middle school and elementary school that make up the Grandview R-II School District all occupy the same campus.

gavel
Flickr / steakpinball

A parent has sued the Blue Springs School District alleging an unchecked culture of bullying contributed to the suicides of one student and the subsequent suicide of that student's best friend.

The Kansas City Star reported the lawsuit filed last week says the two teenage boys were bullied, harassed and discriminated at one of the middle schools and a high school. The lawsuit filed by Rebecca Lewis accuses the school district of violating anti-bullying laws by downplaying complaints.

Lincoln University / flickr

  Lincoln University in Jefferson City is struggling to respond to a budget gap created by cuts in state and federal appropriations and a history of being mostly forgotten by government officials.

The university is one of two historically black colleges in Missouri. It says it will lose $3.8 million in state and federal funds for the 2017-2018 academic year. In response, Lincoln is cutting 48 positions and reducing employee pay by 0.5 percent. It's also increasing tuition by 2 percent.

Tax Revenue Shortfalls Could Mean More Cuts for MU

Jun 29, 2017
KBIA

It appears the bleeding hasn't stopped.

Just as the UM System Board of Curators passed its budget for fiscal 2018, tax revenue shortfalls could set the stage for more cuts in higher education funding across Missouri.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, said on Wednesday that state revenue growth was below 2 percent instead of the projected 3 percent for fiscal year 2017. That means Missouri is facing a $150 million shortfall heading into fiscal year 2018, which begins Saturday.

MU to Rent Out Vacant Residence Halls, Tackle Declining Enrollment

Jun 22, 2017
KBIA

One way MU can make some money as it struggles with declining enrollment and lagging state support is to rent out empty residence halls to football fans, eclipse watchers and others who come to town to visit.

Sara Shahriari

UM System President Mun Choi announced today that the UM System is focused on saving students money on course materials.

According to Choi, the University will develop a system-wide strategy to encourage use of quality open educational resources – which are free to students. The university will also focus on Auto Access, a program that makes books available online at a lower cost than traditional textbooks.

"Our goal is to move into the future by introducing more open source material so our students can have an outstanding, affordable education," Choi said.

MU Reduces Hours of Student Center, Recreation Center and Unions

Jun 14, 2017
Adam Procter / flickr

During the semester, rising MU sophomore Brett Young liked to work out in the evenings on weekends and late at night during the week.

That's likely to change.

Young, 19, was surprised to learn Tuesday that the MU Student Recreation Complex was one of several facilities that will reduce their hours of operation this fall in a money-saving move by the MU Division of Student Affairs. The MU rec complex will be open eight fewer hours per week when school starts up again.

Joplin city leaders and school officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience campus on Tuesday.

Built near the site of what was the parking lot of the old Saint John’s Regional Medical Center, which was destroyed in a 2011 tornado that killed 161 people, the new medical school was described as a “phoenix rising from the ashes.”

University Village Apartments
Miranda Metheny / KBIA

The University of Missouri will pay $750,000 to settle claims filed after a Columbia firefighter died in a walkway collapse at a university apartment complex.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the settlement finalized Monday comes in a lawsuit filed by the widow of Lt. Bruce Britt. The suit alleged that the university didn't properly maintain the University Village Apartments, where Britt died in February 2014 while evacuating residents. The apartments have since been torn down.

University of Missouri

The University of Missouri plans to close its Washington-based lobbying office by the end of the summer, costing two staff members their jobs.

The cuts are part of the university's system-wide budget reductions announced Friday by president Mun Choi.

Federal disclosure reports show the university system spent $320,000 in 2016 on the Washington lobbying operation.

UM Strategic Communications Workers Laid Off

Jun 1, 2017
University of Connecticut

 

The UM System began a round of administrative layoffs in its University Relations Office on Wednesday, according to reporting by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Kelly Wiemann, assistant director of strategic communications, declined Thursday afternoon to confirm the layoffs, saying she couldn't comment on personnel matters.

There are a lot of fluid decisions happening, Wiemann said, adding that nothing has been legally finalized.

Columbia Public Schools

Columbia Public Schools has found its chief equity officer for the district.

Carla London will be the chief equity officer after serving as the district’s director of student services.

According to Columbia Public Schools, London has also served as the district’s supervisor for student and family advocacy. London also coordinated the Aspiring Scholars program for secondary schools from 2002 to  2006. Before working in the district, London was a middle school teacher in Texas.

Tailor Institute

A Cape Girardeau institute that helps autistic people will remain open despite losing its state funding.

Officials with the Tailor Institute say they were expecting state funding to arrive July 1, but instead were told the funding has been notified.

The institute works with autistic people to develop skills to become independent, particularly in the workplace.

The Southeast Missourian reports the institute operated on an annual $200,000 state grant.

Director Carrie Tracy says the institute's staff was not given an explanation for the funding cut.

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