As enrollment across Crowder College’s nine locations continues to grow, so do the number of facilities needed to house those students.

As enrollment across Crowder College’s nine locations continues to grow, so do the number of facilities needed to house those students.

To address those needs, the college will begin offering classes in Carthage, their 10th location, this fall.

The 14 classes will be a mixture of general education courses, and will be offered at two separate locations in Carthage: a south location at the technical school, located in the Carthage High School, and a north location at the technical school, located at the old high school, at 609 River St.

Glenn Coltharp, vice president of academic affairs, said the Carthage location will help address the overcrowding at the Webb City campus.  

Coltharp, who began his duties at Crowder in January, said he started his new job by touring all of Crowder College’s nine locations. While doing so, he noticed the demand on the Webb City campus.

“When I visited the Webb City campus I was amazed at how they were doing so much with so little,” Coltharp said. “It’s a good sized facility, but we’re packed.”

While the college is working toward addressing the space issue at the Webb City campus, which includes the upcoming addition of a FEMA shelter, Coltharp said those improvements would not immediately relieve the strain on the Webb City campus.

He said college officials began looking at other options to address the space issue.

“I could tell quickly there was a need to get them some help,” he said.

Coltharp, who had served as assistant superintendent in Carthage 10 years ago, was familiar with the school district, and decided that location would serve as a good solution to address the growing demand in Webb City.

Coltharp said while the new location will pull some of those students from Webb City, particularly those who commute from Carthage, it will also provide an opportunity for Crowder College to recruit new students from Carthage.

He said offering courses at many locations is a direction he believes colleges will need to look to in the future, as students are not able to commute as far for courses, and because there is more demand for an educated workforce.

“We look at it as, if there’s a need, we want to go in and offer classes,” he said.

Crowder offers general education courses at sites in Monett, Lamar, Greenfield, and Mt. Vernon, along with campuses offering full degree programs in Webb City, Nevada, Cassville and Neosho.

Crowder is also working toward a new McDonald County campus, to be built in Jane. The college is still working on fundraising for that campus, and as of last week Crowder President Dr. Alan Marble, said the college was only $200,000 short of their $1.5 million goal.

Currently, the college offers general education courses at temporary McDonald County locations in Jane and Anderson.

The college also recently received the Missouri Health Wins grant of $904,808, which will enable them to expand their nursing program into McDonald County without having to wait on the new campus to be built. The grant allows for 50 new students to be added to the program, with 25 of those students starting this fall.
The college is currently working to convert an old lumberyard on Route W in Pineville into the nursing program’s temporary location.