Message from Chancellor Shirley Lawler to Faculty and Staff
Welcome to October!
I hope your semester is going well as we wrap up our seventh week—we’re almost halfway through the fall of 2019. We have had a very smooth start to this academic year.
We are delighted to report that fall enrollment is up. A total of 1,963 students are enrolled this fall at Missouri State-West Plains, resulting in a 5% increase over fall 2018. Last year, 1,875 students were enrolled at the close of business on the 20th day of the semester. At a time when enrollment trends at two-year colleges in Missouri and across the nation are falling, it was good to see an increase in our numbers. This year’s enrollment figures showed several positives:
- Online enrollment continues to increase. Last fall 957 students took classes via the internet. This fall, 1,110 students were enrolled in online classes.
- The number of high school students taking dual credit classes rose from 607 last fall to 735 this fall.
- Enrollment of non-degree seeking students went from 29 in fall 2018 to 80 this year.
Thanks to everyone for working together on our recruitment and retention initiatives. Our enrollment seems to be stabilizing, but we will need to continue our efforts to retain our current students and achieve some growth in new students.
We will soon be able to increase enrollment in our Associate of Science in Nursing degree program thanks to a “$300,000 commitment from Ozarks Medical Center (OMC). The commitment will be paid in $100,000 installments each year for the next three years as outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) approved by officials from OMC and Missouri State University. The funds will be used to help underwrite the cost of expanding the university’s nursing program to include an online LPN-to-RN bridge program for an additional 30 students, as well as a second cohort of the regular track RN program for 25 additional students. The expanded programs are contingent on approval from the Missouri State Board of Nursing at its Nov. 6 meeting. If approved, the new programs will begin with the 2020 spring semester. We are very appreciative of OMC’s continuing commitment to our program, our university, and this region. As a result of their generosity, Missouri State-West Plains is positioned to better meet the increasing need for trained nurses in this area for years to come.
We will celebrate the opening of the new amphitheater with a Fall Festival Kickoff event on the evening of Oct. 15. This free event will feature food, music, and activities for all ages. The is located just west of the Smith-London Centennial Bell Tower and is an exciting addition to our campus and the community. We have already made good use of the outdoor space with a faculty and staff gathering, a student organization event, and a Grizzly tailgate party. The fall festival at the amphitheater will give our campus and the surrounding communities the opportunity to experience this new outdoor venue first hand. We hope to see a great turnout from faculty and staff and their families. Remind our students that the first 100 students will get $10 in Grizz bucks to use at the food trucks.
Please join us for the many events happening on this campus in the coming weeks, including…
Items of Note
- Oct. 11: Title IX mandatory training sessions will be held 10:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Melton Hall Room 112. There will be a video available if you are unable to attend, but attendance is preferred if your schedule allows.
- Oct. 11-12: Come out and support the Lady Grizzlies at the Grizzly Invitational Volleyball Tournament. Game times for the Grizzlies are 2 and 6 p.m. each day. Prior to the 6 p.m. game on Oct. 12, Grizzly Volleyball standout Patricia Figueiredo will be inducted into the Grizzly Athletics Hall of Fame.
- Oct. 15: Join us at the Fall Festival from 5 to 7 p.m. at the new amphitheater.
- Oct. 22: The Imaginary Theatre Company’s presentation of “The Ant and the Grasshopper” will start at 7 p.m. in the civic center theater.
- Oct. 28-Nov. 1: Ask Week is coming up soon, and it is a key initiative in our retention effort. All faculty and staff are encouraged to remind students about ASK Week and Early Registration, Nov. 4 to Nov.15.
- Check out the Web Master Calendar for a full listing of upcoming events.
Always remember, what you do each day for students does make a difference.