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OTC and Drury Combine to Create New Degree Program

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/otcanddrur_3394.mp3

Two local universities joined forces today to create a new academic program in Christian County. KSMU's Kristian Kriner reports.

Ozarks Technical Community College and Drury University combined efforts to start a four-year bachelor's degree program for students in Christian County.

OTC already has the Richwood Valley Campus in Ozark for students there.

Now, students will be able to attend Drury on the Richwood Campus.

Students can earn their Associate's degree for business from OTC and then in two more years obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Studies from Drury.

Hal Higdon, president of OTC, says this new program will help students outside of Springfield get the education they need.

"Drury coming in is so important because if you think about it right now. If you take the first two years of a business degree then when you finish your options are driving to Springfield, whether it is Missouri State, Evangel or Drury. Well, now if I'm from Clever or I'm from Nixa or from Ozark, I just get to stay in the same building for four years and that is a big deal," Higdon said.

The Organizational Studies degree can be used in several different career choices such as advertising, psychology, or law.

Todd Parnell, president of Drury, says the program will help advance the economy in the Ozarks.

"It's great for our region because it's going to help economic development. We're going to have a more skilled workforce. We're going to be able to attract more qualified and good businesses to come to town and everything's good about it. Everything's good," Parnell said.

Classes for the new degree program will start this fall.

For KSMU News, I'm Kristian Kriner.