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Missouri State And UMR Form Partnership Offering Engineering Degrees

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/missourist_2089.mp3

Students interested in engineering will soon be able to earn a degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla through courses offered in Springfield at Missouri State University. Mike Smith talked with Missouri State President Mike Nietzel and has this report:

UMR, MISSOURI STATE FORM PARTNERSHIP TO OFFER ENGINEERING DEGREES

ROLLA, Mo. -- Plans to offer two engineering degrees from the University of Missouri-Rolla on the Missouri State University campus in Springfield advanced with the signing today of an agreement that outlines how the two universities will work together to deliver the programs.

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt joined leaders from UMR, MSU and the University of Missouri today (Monday, Aug. 21) for a signing ceremony on the UMR campus. The agreement allows UMR to offer bachelor's degrees in civil and electrical engineering at MSU. Community leaders from Rolla and Springfield, along with area legislators, also attended the event.

The plan calls for UMR and MSU to collaborate on developing the programs but notes that additional funding from the state will be needed to fund a market study, develop a system to deliver laboratory-based courses online, and renovate existing labs at MSU. The agreement also notes that ongoing state funding will be needed to support the program.

"This collaboration between UMR and Missouri State University provides a wonderful opportunity to expand the offerings of one of the nation's premier technological universities to better meet the needs of Missourians," said University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd. "Working together, UMR and Missouri State are ensuring broader student access to two engineering disciplines that are among the most critical to the social and economic future of our state and nation."

"We believe this is a significant event, both for students and economic development in the Ozarks," said Dr. Michael T. Nietzel, president of Missouri State University.

"The engineering degree will meet a significant unmet need in Springfield and the surrounding area," Nietzel said. "We will be an enthusiastic partner with the University of Missouri, specifically the University of Missouri-Rolla, in offering this degree program in Springfield."

"We're looking forward to working with Dr. Nietzel and our other partners at Missouri State University in this joint venture," said UMR Chancellor John F. Carney III. "We're excited to be able to provide greater access to these academic programs."

Under the terms of the agreement signed today, a significant portion of the coursework will be offered on the MSU campus. Courses will be taught by MSU and UMR faculty, depending on the subject matter. Some classes will be delivered online from UMR, and some of the upper-level courses will require students to travel to Rolla.

The degree programs will be the same as UMR offers on its Rolla campus. They will be designed to meet the standards of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). All UMR engineering programs are ABET-accredited.

The degrees will be from UMR, but the diplomas will read, "in cooperation with Missouri State University." Tuition rates will be set at UMR's rates for major courses and at MSU's rates for pre-engineering and elective courses currently offered.

A date for beginning the program has not yet been determined. It will depend on the availability of funding to complete the market study, laboratory renovations and development of an online delivery system as well as ongoing funding to support the program.