Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Friday marked the last day for eleventh and twelfth grade students inside the temporary Joplin High School behind Northpark Mall.

The vacant 90,000 square foot department store was revamped to accommodate upper classmen just 57 days following the May 22, 2011 tornado, which damaged or destroyed many district buildings. Ninth and tenth graders have been attending the former Memorial Middle School.

Locke McAllister, a 17-year-old junior, says the facility at the mall lends itself to a more mature environment.

One in five women is sexually assaulted during college, according to the new White House report "Not Alone.” The report tackles the issue of campus sexual assaults, and it gives guidelines for universities to implement to avoid such attacks. As KSMU’s Julie Greene reports, one of Missouri's senators is devoting a lot of attention to this problem.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Over 2,300 students will graduate from Missouri State University during commencement ceremonies Friday. Two-thirds of those students, on average, will leave with $25,000 in debt.

MSU President Clif Smart says that’s a manageable number for most students going into a professional career.

“The horror stories of people graduating with $300,000 worth of debt – that doesn’t happen here,” Smart says.

But the jobs students obtain after college will determine how scary that debt may be, and how long they’ll be paying it down.

Citizen Scholar Statue
Missouri State University

The Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame is a vehicle in which to showcase the lives of those dedicated to public affairs, says Missouri State University President Clif Smart.

The inaugural induction ceremony, held last week, coincided with the conclusion of MSU’s annual Public Affairs Conference.

Missouri State Seal
Scott Harvey / KSMU

On April 23, five colleges and universities in the Springfield area will kick off a new initiative to help men graduate from college. The initiative, Bridge Springfield – Brother to Brother, is a partnership between Missouri State University, Ozarks Technical Community College, Drury University, Evangel University and Southwest Baptist University.

The kickoff meeting is at 7 p.m. April 23 in Meyer Library.

Francine Pratt, chapter adviser, discusses the goals of Brother to Brother.

As severe weather season heats up, local entities are teaming with Springfield Public Schools to equip every classroom in the district with emergency preparedness kits. KSMU’s Scott Harvey has more.

More than $45,000 was gifted to the Springfield Public Schools Emergency Preparedness Initiative on Thursday during the latest Good Morning, Springfield! session at the American Red Cross Southern Missouri regional headquarters.

For those who have been itching to get outside and take a walk, you're in luck:  Missouri State University's campus has just become the 35thsite of officially recognized walking trails in the Walk Springfield initiative.  A kickoff celebration took place Wednesday as part of National Walking Day. KSMU's Theresa Bettmann attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and has this report.

For the second year in a row, Missouri State University is being honored with the Tree Campus USA award.  As KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann reports, MSU is one of only five campuses throughout Missouri, and the only campus in Springfield to receive this award.   

At various times throughout the year, colleges and universities across the nation invite guest speakers to campus to address students, faculty and community members.

On Thursday night, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell addressed a large crowd inside JQH arena as part of Missouri State University’s Spring Public Affairs Convocation.

Dr. John Jungmann
Springfield Public Schools

By a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Springfield Board of Education has hired Dr. John Jungmann to lead the district.

Jungmann was the top finalist to succeed Dr. Norm Ridder, who is retiring this spring after nine years as superintendent. Jungmann, who now heads the Liberty School District near Kansas City, will begin his duties in Springfield on July 1.

The Board of Education is now in the process of negotiating the terms of Jungmann’s employment, including salary.

Community members on Monday met the top finalist for superintendent of Springfield Public Schools. As KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports, the meetings are a part of a broader listening tour that Dr. John Jungmann says he’ll conduct if selected to lead the district.

Dr. Jungmann was in town to address students, parents and community stakeholders, which came a day before the board considers a contract agreement. The new superintendent will succeed Dr. Norm Ridder, who is retiring.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Missouri State University President Clif Smart says the school learned some things from an October case that prompted the lockdowns of some area schools and businesses.

That’s why during a vague threat on February 4, MSU made efforts to consistently update faculty, staff and students of the situation.