In support of the 2020 Vision for Excellence, Mizzou Online invites University of Missouri schools and colleges to apply for funds to be used for developing online programs. $2 million will be available this fiscal year.

Download the request for proposals document.

Download the program budget template.

Colleges and schools may submit proposals any time during fiscal year 2017. Proposals submitted after all allocated funds for FY 2017 have been awarded may be considered in FY 2018.

Academic investment

The purpose of this initiative is to create online versions of existing campus programs. Only programs that already have received appropriate approvals (e.g. CBHE, Graduate Studies, Dean) will be eligible for funding. Expanding degree options to students at a distance is at the core of Mizzou's land-grant mission to extend the University of Missouri's educational resources to the citizens of the state. This investment will make Mizzou more accessible to those who can't relocate to Columbia, Mo.

Reminders to departments

Pre-proposal consultation: Schedule your pre-proposal consultation with Mizzou Online. Contact Dr. Kim Siegenthaler.

Progress reports: Academic units receiving funds for the development of online programs are requested to submit quarterly progress reports to Dr. Kim Siegenthaler. Please use this form for your report.


What can I use the funds for?

The funds may be used for release time for instructors, additional compensation for faculty and/or stipends for graduate students involved in developing courses in the program. Funds also may be used for training and development events directly supporting the development of an online course.

How many pages should our proposal be?

There is no minimum or maximum number of pages for the proposals.

Can I get funding for individual courses?

Funding is not available for individual courses. The purpose of this RFP is to fund the development of online programs — comprised of collections of courses rather than individual ones.

Will all funded proposals receive $250,000?

No. Proposal budgets should reflect best estimates of what it will cost to develop and launch the program. Budget lines will be reviewed carefully to determine projected needs.

How will the amount awarded be determined? Would a graduate certificate program be eligible for the same amount as a degree program?

The award amount will be determined by Review Committee. The committee will determine if items for which funding is requested are in alignment with RFP criteria. Costs vary by type of program and are influenced by the number of courses to be developed. Typically degree programs are more expensive to develop than graduate certificates. Graduate certificate programs are eligible for up to $250,000, but will not necessarily be awarded that amount.

Does the funded amount have to be expended within a year? Can unexpended funds be carried over?

Funds do not have to be spent within one year. Course development as well as marketing initiatives are often planned out over a three year period.

What happens if all proposed courses are not developed within the allotted time frame?

Quarterly progress reports are required for those receiving funding. In the report, recipients are asked to provide updates on progress and describe any changes to the original schedule. While some revisions to the original schedule are anticipated, funding may be withdrawn from recipients who do not show consistent progress.

The RFP specifies a program launch date within three full semesters of funding. Must all courses within the program be developed by that time?

No, all courses do not need to be developed by the stated launch date. The first class(es) in the program should be offered within three full semesters with others to follow in each subsequent semester. The expectation is that courses will be completed according to the timetable submitted in the RFP.

Who determines academic content of the courses?

The instructor assigned to develop the course and the academic unit determine course content.

What instructional design assistance is available?

ET@MO instructional designers are available to work with each faculty member responsible for developing a course.

How will a consultation with Mizzou Online help me prepare my proposal?

Mizzou Online will help academic units identify needed resources, establish an appropriate timeline, determine financial projections, develop a proposal budget, as well as the extent and type of advertising and promotion needed to successfully launch and sustain recruitment for online programs.

What kind of assistance will be available to me during the development process?

Mizzou Online will help you develop and position your online academic program for optimum success. A program coordinator will help you conceptualize, plan, implement and maintain your distance program.

What marketing support is available to me from Mizzou Online?

Mizzou Online's marketing and recruitment team provides inquiry management, advertising plans focused on lead generation and creative services, including the development of strategies related to: social media, paid search, digital advertising, print publications, direct mail, email, video and exhibiting. Departments served by Mizzou Online also benefit from ongoing general communications and advertising campaigns that promote all of MU's distance offerings through various media channels and outlets.

What ongoing support will my program receive from Mizzou Online?

Mizzou Online will provide all of its regular services to launched distance programs including program coordination and maintenance, marketing, fiscal/HR support and student services support.

What should be included in my market analysis?

Research on which colleges and universities offer this program. How this program would be different. Evidence of new distance student market demand. Proof of gainful employment.

Once a proposal is submitted, how long will it take to know if it has been awarded funding?

Approximately 30 days.

Who is on the Distance Education Review Committee?

Provost, Assoc VC Grad Studies & Assoc VP Acad Affairs, VP of UG & Interim VP of E-Learning, Director of ET@MO, Director of Mizzou Online