Crowder College continues to expand, with plans to offer classes in nine separate locations this upcoming semester.

Crowder College continues to expand, with plans to offer classes in nine separate locations this upcoming semester.

The college, which covers a nine-county service area, expanded to offer courses in Monett, Lamar and Greenfield last semester. This spring, the college will begin offering courses in Mt. Vernon.

Dr. Alan Marble, Crowder College president, said each time the college offers courses in a new location, it is at the request of students or prospective students in that area.

“We’ve found over time that geography matters,” Marble said.

Marble said by offering classes in many locations it provides the college with the opportunity to serve students who may have been too distant to attend the classes otherwise.

Though only four of the locations, Neosho, Webb City, Nevada and Cassville, offer a full degree program, the other five locations (Monett, Greenfield, Lamar, Mt.Vernon and Jane) provide students with the opportunity to get started with general education requirements.

“We just try to serve students’ needs and we’ve had many requests to expand to those areas,” Marble said.

Though the number of locations where Crowder offers classes continues to grow, Marble said he could not project what that growth means for any future expansions.

“I don’t know what the future holds, but right now, they are asking us to come,” Marble said. “Some of these things we just have to see how they pan out.”

In Crowder’s nine-county service area, Newton and McDonald counties are the tax bases.

Marble said the expansions are at no cost to taxpayers.

“They pay for themselves,” he said.

In addition to the new Mt. Vernon site, students will also see additional courses offered this semester at already existing locations.

Crowder officials held a ribbon cutting Thursday morning for one of the college’s two Monett locations, located at 303 Cleveland Ave. The adult education center will offer additional classes this spring.

The college also plans to hold a ribbon cutting for the Lamar site today at noon. This location offered a limited number of courses last fall, and will also see growth this spring.

Beyond this semester, the college plans to expand in McDonald County, with the construction of a new campus in Jane. College officials had hoped to begin construction on the new site this spring. However, that start date is tentative, as James Tatum, Crowder board member, said at a special board of trustees meeting Dec. 2 that construction on the new campus is dependent on fundraising, which at that point was still falling short.

The college already offers a limited amount of courses at a separate location in Jane.

The college’s service area includes Newton, McDonald, Jasper, Dade, Barton, Barry, Lawrence, Vernon and Cedar counties.

Classes at all nine of the Crowder locations will begin Jan. 17.