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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Higher Learning Partnership Expanding Degree Opportunities in the Ozarks

Michele Skalicky

In an effort to expand opportunities and allow students to stay close to home, Ozarks Technical Community College and Missouri State University announced a partnership Thursday at OTC’s Table Rock Campus.  This partnership will allow students to be able to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in communications  or English with an emphasis on professional writing at the Hollister campus.

“This is a first for this county to have a public four-year university degree opportunity.  So it’s a big deal for this area that you’ll be able to get a four year degree and won’t have to move out of the area or drive every day to Springfield,” Higdon says.

OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon and MSU President Clif Smart signed the agreement Thursday sealing the partnership between schools at an event on the Table Rock Campus.  Officials from both schools hope this is the beginning of additional degree programs in the future.

“When President Smart became president [of MSU] we strengthened our facilities and agreements together.  Since that time we’ve jointly had a vision that wherever OTC is Missouri State will be also.  So I would say it was a joint vision between President Smart and myself,”  says Higdon.

In addition to the new bachelor’s degree programs offered through its partnership with Missouri State, the campus offers a variety of general education courses as well as adult education and literacy courses.

OTC’s Table Rock Campus opened in 2013. MSU classes will begin at OTC's Table Rock Campus in August of this year and will be available through a combination of seated and online opportunities.