Beginning next year, Crowder College students will be able to work toward a bachelor’s degree in business administration without leaving Neosho.

Beginning next year, Crowder College students will be able to work toward a bachelor’s degree in business administration without leaving Neosho.

Crowder College has teamed up with Missouri Southern State University to offer several MSSU business courses on the Crowder campus.

The partnership, formally announced on Thursday, will go into effect in January 2013.

Alan Marble, Crowder College president, said the partnership is all about providing convenience for the college’s students.

“Crowder students won’t have to travel quite so far,” Marble said. “In these days of $3.50 gasoline, it’s tough for students to travel. We’re trying to make it convenient, accessible and yet just as rigorous as it’s going to be anywhere else.”

Marble was joined by Bruce Speck, MSSU president, who said the two institutions already share a positive partnership, as many students continue onto MSSU after Crowder to complete their studies for a bachelor’s degree. 

“I’m very pleased today that we are both fixed on students,” Speck said. “They have complex lives, it’s not just the driving, it’s the family, it’s the jobs, it’s everything else.”

MSSU business instructors will teach the university’s courses at Crowder College’s main campus in Neosho, and will also keep office hours on the Crowder campus.

Those courses will be offered in mornings to accommodate students working in the afternoons or evenings. Classes will also be offered in a full-time schedule, online, or at the MSSU campus in Joplin.

According to information provided by MSSU, all required courses taken toward an associate of arts degree in business administration at Crowder will count toward a bachelor of science in business administration at MSSU.

Crowder students are required to have pre-requisite courses completed for the classes they wish to enroll in, though they do not need to have completed their associate degree prior to enrolling.

Students will be allowed to take classes for both degrees at the same time, as well as receive joint financial aid from both Crowder and MSSU.

Amy Rand, Crowder’s Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, said students will pay MSSU’s class fees for the courses, though extra campus fees, such as parking or student activities, have been waived, as students will not be using the Joplin campus.

MSSU tuition fees are $169.48 per credit hour for in-state tuition without the additional campus fees.
Glenn Coltharp, Crowder’s vice president of academic affairs, said the partnership with MSSU is part of Crowder’s ongoing efforts to make higher education more accessible.

“This is hopefully just the start of many other opportunities for us,” Coltharp said. “If you’re a single parent that needs to get your kids to school, you need to work, you need to get an education, then you can’t drive a long distance to get that education. We’ve been meeting those needs but we haven’t been meeting those needs, from our level, with a bachelor’s degree.”

Coltharp noted that Crowder offers courses at 10 sites, spread across nine counties in Southwest Missouri.