Kim Siegenthaler Named Director of Mizzou Online

May 5, 2014

Kim Siegenthaler has been named director of Mizzou Online, after serving as interim co-director for the last three years. Siegenthaler has held primary administrative responsibility for program coordination and marketing units in her interim position and played a major role in the merger of MU Direct, the Center for Distance and Independent Study and Extension Marketing to create Mizzou Online in 2011.

"It is an exciting time to work in distance education and at Mizzou," Siegenthaler said. "I feel privileged to lead Mizzou Online as we continue to enhance the support we provide distance programs and students."

In the past three years, Siegenthaler coordinated a collaborative effort to establish new policies and procedures for identifying, tracking and enrolling distance students; assessing tuition and fees; and reporting on distance students and programs to internal and external audiences. She also formed the Mizzou Online Recruit, Engage and Retain Team to focus on distance students.

"Distance education at Mizzou has come a long way in recent years," Siegenthaler said. "Numerous offices around campus have supported efforts to mainstream distance education into the University and many academic units have launched new distance programs. I look forward to continuing the momentum we are experiencing."

Prior to her stint as interim co-director, Siegenthaler spent one year as assistant director of MU Direct.

"We are excited to have Kim lead Mizzou Online," said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies and e-Learning. "She has been a valuable contributor as we have transformed distance education at MU. We are appreciative for the leadership she has already provided and anticipate great things ahead for Mizzou Online."

Offering more than 90 University of Missouri graduate and undergraduate degrees and certificate options, Mizzou Online has seen significant growth in enrollment, along with an increase in degree programs offerings in the past three years. Recently, Mizzou Online was recognized with the Strategic Innovation in Online Education Award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

"The search committee screened more than 30 great candidates from private and public institutions all across the nation," said Leona Rubin, associate vice chancellor for graduate studies and co-chair of the search committee. "Ultimately, we selected five outstanding candidates to interview on campus and meet with campus stakeholders. After very thorough evaluation and feedback from all stakeholders, the committee overwhelmingly felt that Kim was the best fit for Mizzou and the best candidate for the task of leading Mizzou Online into the future."

Before coming to MU, Siegenthaler spent seven years as the director of continuing education and alumni relations at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, where she directed the development, delivery and evaluation of a variety of online and on-site continuing education offerings.

Prior to that, Siegenthaler was a faculty member at Appalachian State University for eight years and at Texas State University for four years. She served as academic program director for three years at both Appalachian State and Texas State, with additional responsibilities related to curriculum development, program development, recruitment and program accreditation.

Siegenthaler holds a bachelor's degree from Baylor University, a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate from the University of New Mexico. She also holds a Master's of Divinity from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.

MU Professor Receives Friend Award for Guiding Online Education Alliance

April 7, 2014

Lawrence H. Ganong, University of Missouri professor and co-chair of MU's Human Development and Family Studies department, was awarded the 2014 Friend of the Great Plains IDEA Award. Ganong, along with Maurice MacDonald, of Kansas State University, received the award for guiding a new online program and inspiring faculty commitment to human science degrees of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). The honor came at the Great Plains IDEA annual meeting April 7, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo.

The two men have worked together and led department chairs involving three inter-institutional human sciences programs of the Great Plains IDEA: Youth Development, Family Financial Planning and — a new offering — Family and Community Services.

"Ganong and MacDonald have managed to lead with a sense of mission and dose of humor that has contributed greatly to the recent success and growth of the entire GPIDEA," said Charlotte Shoup Olsen, Kansas State University faculty teaching for the alliance Youth Development program.

Oklahoma State University faculty Glade Topham, who participates in alliance Family and Community Services programming, said: "Larry and Morey brought experience and wisdom to the process that quickly earned the respect of team members. …Both men are self-effacing, unassuming and gentle and effectively utilized humor throughout the process. These characteristics allowed them to prevent and quickly diffuse tension on challenging issues while bringing the group to unanimous agreement on the important issues."

The University of Missouri participates in four of the eight Great Plains IDEA human sciences programs and four of the 10 agriculture programs. There are 20 member institutions in Great Plains IDEA. Students enroll in one alliance university as a home institution. Students then take online courses from any of the universities in the alliance offering their program of study.

For more information about the award, contact Carol Gould, executive director Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance at, or 785-532-6848.

Missourians Invited to Finish College with Mizzou's Online Degrees

April 23, 2014

Missourians who started college but did not graduate are invited to "finish like a Tiger" by applying to one of the University of Missouri's online bachelor's degrees. Mizzou recently added two undergraduate degree completion options — a bachelor of educational studies and a bachelor of science in hospitality management. Other majors include general studies, health sciences, interdisciplinary studies, radiography, respiratory therapy and RN-BSN.

"By adding online bachelor's degree options, we are making Mizzou more accessible to Missourians who can't relocate to campus to finish their undergraduate education," said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost for eLearning. "If you started school someplace else and would really like to have an MU degree on your résumé, this is your chance to finish like a Tiger."

Courses in the programs are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. Faculty credentials was just one of the criteria cited in a recent U.S. News & World Report study that ranked MU's online bachelor's programs in the top 50 nationally.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that in 2012 there were more than 900,000 Missourians who had started but never completed college.

"Our effort to increase the number of Missourians with bachelor's degrees is premised on 175 years of being the state's land-grant institution," Spain said. "Accessibility to education should not be a deterrent to those wanting to complete their degrees."

Those who dropped out of college with just a few hours, even many years ago, are encouraged to consider Mizzou. "Watching the post-traditional students move through our program while balancing full-time jobs and families is so rewarding," said Kristofer Hagglund, dean of the School of Health Professions, which offers three health sciences degrees online. "We are used to working with students who come back to school after long breaks; we understand their needs."

Many community college graduates already choose Mizzou to earn their four-year degrees at the Columbia, Mo., campus. This initiative invites those who don't want to relocate to earn bachelor's degree online. The efforts builds on the University's recent Internet connectivity agreement that gives Missouri community college alumni continued access to computer labs to complete Mizzou course work.

"MU provides excellent options for community college graduates to pursue their four-year degrees on campus and online," said Kim Houston, transfer admissions coordinator. "For those who are place-bound after earning their two-year degrees, the option to still be able to earn a bachelor's degree is helpful. There is so much potential for career growth and change with a Mizzou degree."

Those interested in transferring their previously earned credits to Mizzou should apply by early summer to start classes in August. Learn more at

Mizzou Launches Online Master of Public Health

April 9, 2014

Demand for professionals who understand the impact of global health concerns is at an all-time high. To help meet the need for graduate education in this area, the University of Missouri is making its master of public health (MPH) program available online.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster-than-average job growth for health care managers through the year 2022.

"Graduate education in public health opens myriad career opportunities," said Lise Saffran, MPH interim program director. "We have alumni who focus on the aging population, infant health and safety, international travel and food security, and antibiotic resistance and disease control. The opportunities for public health graduates are plentiful."

The new online master's degree requires 45 credit hours and can be completed with 100 percent online course work.

"By making the MPH available online, we are opening the doors for those who have been wanting a Mizzou education — the Mizzou MPH specifically — but who can't relocate away from family and job responsibilities," Saffran said.

Classes are taught by the same faculty who teach in the on-campus program.

"Our program focuses on health promotion and policy, and you will study health program planning and evaluation on the community level, as well as how health policies are made and changed," Saffran said. "The program is multidisciplinary, with teaching faculty from departments across the University of Missouri. The breadth and depth of experience and research expertise you will encounter as a student is unmatched."

Space in the online program is limited, but new students can start the program in June, August or January. Applications for summer entry are due May 1, and those seeking to start course work in August should apply by July 1.

Mizzou Honored for Campuswide Approach to Online Learning

March 27, 2014

Mizzou Online representatives were on hand to accept the 2014 Strategic Innovation in Online Education Award from UPCEA CEO Bob Hansen.

The University of Missouri has won the 2014 Strategic Innovation in Online Education Award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), at the groups' annual conference in Miami. The award, in its inaugural year, honors Mizzou for its institution-wide commitment to online education.

"Our goal is to recognize institutions that have made the investment in time and human resources to design effective online learning experiences," said Robert Hansen, UPCEA CEO. "This award confers one of the highest distinctions within our profession, honoring, in particular, how an institution develops and meets strategic and innovative goals for online education."

UPCEA is the leading national organization for professional, continuing and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA serves more than 365 institutions across the country, including the University of Missouri. The awards committee sought examples of higher education organizations that had set and met innovative goals in collaborative ways — whether on one campus, within a system or through a consortium — and been strategic in the planning, development, implementation and sustainability in line with the institutional mission.

Mizzou began reorganizing the offices responsible for distance education in 2010 and formally created the Mizzou Online office in 2011 as part of the Provost's Office. The realignment required campuswide collaboration among administrative offices, academic departments, technology and administrative support teams.

Online program availability has grown steadily for years at Mizzou, and there are more than 90 degree and certificate options available wholly or partly online. The growth in programs has come with policy and process improvements affecting many facets of the campus' academic infrastructure.

"The work we have done to form the Mizzou Online office is a great tribute to those before us who positioned online distance education for future success at MU," says Jim Spain, MU's vice provost of undergraduate studies and e-Learning. "This award represents the work of so many faculty and staff who have served distance education at MU for decades. Our success really is a testament to the great partners we have all across our campus who have been integral to our progress as Missouri's land-grant institution."

"Both the awards committee members and the leadership of UPCEA thank the University of Missouri for sharing its initiative and inventive implementation of this online education merger, a model to which others in higher education can aspire," Hansen said.

Mizzou's online bachelor's degrees recognized by U.S News & World Report

Feb. 17, 2014

Mizzou's online bachelor's offerings were recognized in a recently released U.S. News & World Report survey. Mizzou was ranked in the top 50 online bachelor's programs nationally. The rankings are based on criteria which include student engagement with faculty and classmates; faculty credentials and training; peer reputation; diverse online learning technologies that allow students greater flexibility; and student services that provide a strong support structure.

Mizzou offers bachelor's completion options in eight areas: education studies, general studies, health sciences, hospitality management, interdisciplinary studies, radiography, respiratory therapy and RN-to-BSN. Online courses are taught by the same faculty and instructors who teach in on-campus programs.

"Mizzou has been serving nontraditional learners for more than 100 years, and distance education is woven into our fabric," said Gera Burton, Mizzou Online co-director. "These online degrees provide access to those who want a Mizzou education but who can't relocate for their undergraduate degrees."

Mizzou's online nursing and graduate education programs also were recognized by U.S. News & World Report's annual online program rankings.

New semester; more online students

Jan. 30, 2014

Mizzou preliminary enrollment reports show 97 more distance students started classes in January 2014 than in January 2013. The increasing distance student population represents 23 percent of Mizzou's overall growth for the spring 2014 semester.

Both undergraduate and graduate programs saw a 1.5 percent increase in the number of students compared to the previous spring semester. On-campus students increased by more than one percent; comparatively, distance student numbers jumped up 4.6 percent in the same timeframe. Students are still dropping and adding courses to their schedules because it is so early in the semester, but as of today, there are 151 new distance program students at Mizzou.

"This increase demonstrates the quality of the courses, programs and services that Mizzou faculty and staff support each and every day," says Jim Spain, vice provost of undergraduate studies and e-Learning.

MU's online commencement ceremony honors distance graduates worldwide

Dec. 10, 2013

MU's online commencement ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of more than 300 students across the globe and in 37 states — from Alaska to Florida — who have completed their bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degrees online since May 2013. The website features online invitations for graduates to email, encouraging their friends and family to "attend graduation," sign the guestbook and view video remarks from campus officials, including Dr. Leona Rubin, interim director of graduate studies.

The virtual "Pomp and Circumstance" also includes speeches from Provost Brian Foster, Vice Provost Jim Spain and Mizzou Alumni Association Executive Director Todd McCubbin.

"The virtual commencement site means a lot to Mizzou Online, as we honor MU's latest group of online graduates, their many supporters and all MU alumni," says Kim Siegenthaler, co-director of Mizzou Online. "The videos, photo gallery and congratulatory comments reflect the spirit and dedication of these graduates who've accomplished so much at Mizzou, despite their physical distances from campus."

No matter where you are located — you, too, can now "attend" the ceremony, post a note to the guest book page and read inspiring messages written by others who are proud of the new Class of 2013 Mizzou alumni.

Veterinarians, Vet Techs have new Online Master's Degree Option from Mizzou

The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine is now accepting applications for its new online master of science degree in biomedical sciences, with an emphasis in veterinary medicine and surgery. Classes begin in January.

The 30-hour program is designed for working veterinarians, as well as veterinary technicians and biological sciences baccalaureate degree graduates, to earn their master's degrees, without having to relocate &mdash or even leave work &mdash to attend classes. "Our goal is to help students better understand the intersection of veterinary and biomedical sciences as a whole, so they can combine their technical knowledge and real-world experience to become more effective in their professions," said C.B. Chastain, DVM, professor in veterinary medicine and surgery, MU Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences.

The program focuses on the scientific principles of veterinary medicine and surgery including the physiology, pathology, toxicology, pathobiology, cytology, clinical chemistry and cell biology of animals, and can be a stepping stone to further scientific research, residency completion or doctoral programs.

Graduates of the program are well-suited for career advancement in scientific study, academia or clinical settings.

The online courses are taught by the same faculty who teach in Mizzou's residential classes.

"The faculty is excited to provide an online program that brings together a complete educational package for our graduate student professionals who are studying at a distance," Chastain said. "Our specialty is educating veterinarians and professionals, and this online option gives more students the chance to study with our faculty."

Graduate students enrolled in the online program pay in-state tuition regardless of where they live.

Applicants seeking admission for the upcoming semester &mdash January 2014 &mdash should submit their materials as soon as possible to the University of Missouri Graduate School. For more information about the online program, including admission requirements and a detailed course planner, visit or contact

Also, read how Mizzou's new online masters in biomedical sciences was featured in the Columbia Daily Tribune on Dec. 1, 2013.

MU College of Education Takes BES, M Ed in Student Learning and Well-being Online for 2014

The University of Missouri College of Education is now accepting applications for two online degree programs previously only available to on-campus students. The bachelor of educational studies and the master of education in educational psychology with a focus in student learning and well-being will both offer online classes beginning in January.

"The MU College of Education is committed to providing students access to quality education programs whether they live in Columbia, Mo., or thousands of miles around the world," says Daniel L. Clay, dean of the MU College of Education. "With more than 30 online and hybrid degree programs, the college continues to be an online leader at MU."

"Adding these options to Mizzou's online portfolio is an important step in fulfilling our mission as a public, land-grant institution," said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate students and interim vice provost for e-Learning. "Because Mizzou's online courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus, students have increased access to the very best Mizzou has to offer."

Bachelor of Educational Studies (BES)

The bachelor of educational studies is designed for professionals wanting to work in adult and continuing education or in workforce training programs. The degree program is especially well-suited to military veterans who have not yet earned a bachelor's degree. College of Education advisers and faculty members will work with the MU Veterans Center to support active duty and veteran military service members in the program.

While the college has been offering online graduate degrees for years, this is the college's first online undergraduate degree option. "The online BES prepares students for a variety of careers working with adult learners. This includes instructional and administrative positions at community colleges, as well as professional opportunities in workforce development programs, human resource training and continuing professional education," said Tony Barbis, BES program coordinator and College of Education associate teaching professor. "Students are given quite a bit of latitude in choosing courses that best meet their particular educational goals."

Because the program is designed for career fields that work with adult learners, it does not lead to Missouri state teacher certification. Applications for the BES are due Dec. 1, 2013. Courses in the program are 100 percent online.

Student Learning and Well-Being (M Ed)

Created by faculty in the Educational, School and Counseling Psychology Department, this graduate focus area is for K-12 teachers who want to focus on the whole student while improving learning. Courses will cover bullying, violence prevention, positive psychology, classroom assessments, human learning and the creation of supportive learning environments.

"We have focused on course work that will encourage teachers to approach learning and student well-being as two inseparable parts of the whole student," said Stephen Whitney, program coordinator and Educational Psychology associate professor. "Teachers will benefit from practical solutions created to decrease barriers and increase learning."

The GRE is not required for admission to the program. Graduate students enrolled in the online program pay in-state tuition regardless of where they live. Applicants should submit their materials as soon as possible in order to gain admission to the University for January 2014 course work.

For more information about both online programs, visit

University of Missouri Enters Internet Connectivity Access Partnership with Missouri Community College Association

Oct. 9, 2013

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri and the presidents and chancellors of the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Wed., Oct. 9, establishing a partnership to provide Internet connectivity access to community college graduates who enroll in courses and degree programs through Mizzou Online.

In the agreement, each MCCA community college agrees to furnish, as needed, Internet connectivity through designated campus computer stations as a free and secure access point for Mizzou Online enrollees. Use of these work stations are limited to associate degree graduates of the respective community colleges who enroll in Mizzou Online courses.

"MU is proud of its tradition as a land-grant university of providing bachelor's degrees and beyond to Missourians who thrive in the fast-changing technology-driven environment of the 21st century," MU Provost Brian Foster said. "This partnership takes this tradition forward in an important way and reflects these institutions' opportunity to expand and strengthen options for Missourians."

The purpose of the partnership is to expand the comprehensiveness of distance education courses and degree offerings across Missouri so more citizens may earn associate and bachelor's degrees while continuing to live and work in each MCCA community college's service region.

"The use of existing and emerging technology to make higher education more accessible to residents in all regions of our state is a priority of the Missouri Community College Association," said Ray Cummiskey, president of Jefferson College and chairman of the MCCA Presidents and Chancellors Council. "By partnering with the University of Missouri to encourage degree completion at both the community college and university levels, MCCA is mindful that a high-quality, affordable education should not be a luxury, but available to anyone who desires."

MU will not compete with the respective community colleges when it comes to lower-division general education and prerequisite courses in a student's major. Students who are deficient in those courses will be encouraged to first complete those at the sending community college.

"Part of our heritage at MU is to serve the state of Missouri by making higher education accessible to citizens across the state," said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost for eLearning. "Our distance education programs were designed to meet the needs of individual students who face unique situations that prevent them from coming to our campus to study. Mizzou is proud to collaborate with the MCCA institutions to support their graduates who are interested in furthering their college education."

"MU is pleased to partner with the community colleges of Missouri and assist their graduates in pursuing a bachelor's degree from Mizzou Online," said Terry Barnes, assistant to the provost for community college partnerships. "At Mizzou, we have chosen to expand and strengthen our degree programs which provide high-quality accessible opportunities that truly will improve the lives of the citizens in the communities served by these institutions."

Several active transfer and articulation agreements that facilitate the transfer of community college graduates to Mizzou Online courses and degree programs are already in place. Mizzou Online, which offers more than 90 University of Missouri undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates, served more than 12,600 students last year.

"It is exciting for MU and the institutions of the MCCA to combine resources to better support these students interested in advancing their education," said Mizzou Online Co-Director Gera Burton. "The exciting outcome is the opportunity these students will have to utilize their degrees to advance professionally."

Member institutions of the MCCA are Crowder College (Neosho), East Central College (Union), Jefferson College (Hillsboro), Metropolitan Community College (Kansas City), Mineral Area College (Park Hills), Moberly Area Community College (Moberly), North Central Missouri College (Trenton), Ozarks Technical Community College (Springfield), St. Charles Community College (St. Peters), St. Louis Community College (St. Louis), State Fair Community College (Sedalia) and Three Rivers College (Poplar Bluff).

Contact: Josh Murray

Mizzou Receives National Honors for Online Program and Promotions

The University of Missouri has received two awards from University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), the leading national organization for professional, continuing and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA serves more than 365 institutions across the country.

Doctorate of education degree in educational leadership (EdD) — Celebration of Excellence Award for Mature Program (Regional Award)

The department of education, leadership and policy analysis in the MU College of Education began the Statewide Cooperative EdD program in 1997 as a response to the need for educational leaders and school district personnel throughout Missouri to gain knowledge and expertise in leadership theory, organizational analysis, educational policy and content, and context of learning. The program received the outstanding mature program (for credit) award for its sustained contributions to higher education in the form of impactful change in its associated industry.

Designed for working adults, the program prepares students for future leadership roles and features summer courses on the MU campus and a combination of online and face-to-face courses the rest of the year through partner institutions.

The program award will be accepted at the UPCEA Central Region Conference, on Sept. 26, in Minneapolis.

Mizzou Online "First Team" Television Commercial — 2013 Marketing and Publications Awards (Gold Award)

Mizzou Online's "First Team" television commercial earned a Gold Award in the broadcast advertising division of the association's Marketing, Enrollment, and Student Services Network annual competition.

The awards program seeks to recognize effective recruitment strategy and clever advertising designed to appeal to nontraditional students. The 30-second television spot, directed by notable MU alumnus Jack Smith, of Columbia, Mo., features Mizzou faculty who teach both on-campus and online.

The marketing award will be accepted at the 22nd Annual UPCEA Marketing Seminar in Austin, Texas, in November.

Mizzou Launches Online Master of Public Affairs Degree

The University of Missouri is now accepting applications for its inaugural class in the online Master of Public Affairs program. Classes begin in January 2014.

The online master's degree from the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs is designed for busy professionals with three to five years of experience. Those working in local, state or federal government; nonprofits; social enterprises; environmental agencies; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); education, health care and financial institutions; and the private sector are encouraged to apply.

Accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), Mizzou's long-standing MPA program also is offered as a traditional on-campus program in Columbia, MO, as well as a mid-career option taught in the evenings in Jefferson City, MO. "The need for innovative problem-solving among leaders in the public sector is ever growing," said Bart Wechsler, dean of the Truman School of Public Affairs. "Adding the fully online option is our response to the demand from students across Missouri and other states who are seeking to be part of this expanding field but cannot join us on campus."

Courses in the program are 100 percent online, offered in nine-week terms and feature instructor and classmate interaction that will have students discussing current issues and trends in leadership, human resources, strategy and policy development.

"Students will be diving into topics relevant to organizations of all sizes and coming away with practical solutions," Wechsler said. "We show leaders how to dissect issues and situations as individuals and in teams. Our faculty are intent on equipping public service professionals with the tools they need to lead their organizations through current and future challenges."

The Truman School also is launching online graduate certificates in public management and nonprofit management.

Applications are due Nov. 15 for the January classes. The GRE is not required for admission to the online program. Graduate students enrolled in the online program pay in-state tuition regardless of where they live.

"This is an important, professional degree for Mizzou to offer online," said Jim Spain, interim vice provost for e-Learning. "Providing access to those seeking to advance their careers in the public and nonprofit sector is at the core of our land-grant mission as a public university."

For more information see

New online student orientation site now available

June 21, 2013

Attention new and returning students in online courses and degree programs: We have created a web resource guide for you that walks you through key processes at Mizzou, including using the registration system for the first time, enrolling in courses, finding textbooks, accessing academic advising and signing up for proctored exams.

The Mizzou Online New Student Orientation site covers a wide range of information related to online education at the University of Missouri:

  • Welcome/Getting started
  • Advising and support services
  • Registration and courses
  • Campus resources

"We hope this collection of how-to links and explanations is helpful for new and returning online students," says Terrie Nagel, Mizzou Online assistant director. "We know this is a big campus with many procedures so we wanted to collect important information in one place for our students who are learning with us at a distance."

The orientation resource guide is available from the homepage, student resources and current students' pages, as well as from the site-wide footer section under "Student Resources."

Send your ideas for additional information you would like to see added to the orientation pages at:

Mizzou Adds Online Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management

June 14, 2013

As careers in restaurant, catering and venue management become increasingly popular, the University of Missouri is answering the call for higher education in the food and beverage industry with an online bachelor's degree in hospitality management. Aspiring restaurateurs can begin the degree this fall.

The degree–a bachelor of science in hospitality management with a focus on food and beverage management–is designed for those with culinary training background, including active-duty military and veterans. Students from community colleges and other training programs who have taken food service vocational course work are encouraged to apply.

Courses begin in August and January, are eight weeks long, and will cover commercial food production, hospitality law, food service and beverage operations, as well as private club and catering management.

"These online courses will build off the practical experience students bring from culinary programs and military training," said Leslie Jett, executive chef, assistant teaching professor and faculty coordinator of the program. "We will help transition students from food service operators into thinking and leading like managers, which will give them a competitive advantage.

"In addition to preparing graduates for back-of-house leadership, they will be able and ready to manage positions that hold fiscal controls, staff accountability, guest services and operational responsibility," Jett said.

The program is one of the first undergraduate online offerings from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR). The on-campus hospitality management program has been recognized nationally for its hands-on approach and focus on the business and management side of the food and beverage industry. The same faculty who teach the on-campus program have created this version and will be teaching the online courses.

"CAFNR is excited to offer this in-demand degree through distance education technologies and serve the educational and career preparatory needs of students," said Bryan Garton, associate dean and director of academic programs for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. "Students learning at a distance receive the same high quality education as on-campus students, thus helping fill the employment demand in the hospitality industry."

In addition to food and beverage management course work, students also will meet Mizzou's general education requirements for a bachelor's degree with online courses in the social sciences, English, math, economics and science.

"Our goal is to provide students access with the same academic programs online that we provide on campus so that our students have the true One Mizzou education experience," said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost for e-Learning.

"This degree program in hospitality management is an important addition to Mizzou's online portfolio because it provides access for the thousands of men and women in military food service operations and culinary vocational programs who now have an opportunity to move into a relevant undergraduate program. This allows these students to continue their education while advancing in their careers," Spain said.

Many of the courses are 100 percent online, but the program does require an on-campus experience in Columbia, Mo., for the capstone course. For more information see

Online commencement: Ceremony distinguishes nearly 300 distance graduates

May 10, 2013

Nearly 300 online students from across the country join the 6,100 other graduates who can now proudly count themselves among the alumni of the University of Missouri. Mizzou's online commencement ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of students who have completed their undergraduate, graduate and education specialist degrees at a distance.

"These graduates are hard-working distance students, many of whom have family and career obligations to fulfill in addition to the many hours of study necessary to complete their degrees," says Stacy Snow, Mizzou Online spokesperson. "We created the online ceremony to honor these students who, against many odds, have made their education a priority. And we hope that the graduates will forward the commencement link to their friends and families so that many can celebrate their accomplishments."

The "ceremony" consists of video remarks from campus officials, much like the on-campus commencement exercises taking place this week. The virtual "Pomp and Circumstance" experience features speeches by and several campus leaders including Chancellor Brady Deaton, Vice Provost Jim Spain, Graduate School Dean George Justice and Mizzou Alumni Association Executive Director Todd McCubbin. At the site, well-wishers can leave congratulatory notes for individuals, school and college groups or all online graduates in the guest book; visitors can read inspiring messages written by others; and graduating students can even post photos of themselves in the photo gallery.

Friends, families and supporters of MU: Congratulate your graduate from wherever you're located. You can "attend" the spring 2013 online commencement ceremony anytime, day or night. We encourage you to add to your loved one's commencement experience by posting in the guest book.

For more information about the on-campus graduation ceremonies please visit the Registrar's commencement page.

Mizzou Faculty and Staff Honored for Collaborative Online Program Efforts

April 09, 2013

The University of Missouri received two awards from the Great Plains Interactive and Distance Education Alliance (GP IDEA), a national consortium of degree-granting universities that provides inter-institutional access to online human sciences and agriculture courses through a collaborative distance education program model.

Tracy Kitchel, associate professor and director of graduate studies for MU's Agricultural Education and Leadership department, received the alliance's 2013 Faculty Excellence Award. "The Great Plains IDEA Cabinet created this award in 2010 to recognize faculty members who have made a significant contribution to the success of the academic programs in the alliance," says Carol Gould, GP IDEA executive director.

Kitchel oversees the new online agricultural education master's degree — now accepting applications for the fall 2013 semester. He also chairs the national group for agricultural education, called AG*IDEA, which combines online courses offered by MU and 19 other universities in the consortium (as part of GP IDEA) to provide the new fully online master's degree through Mizzou.

"I am very honored by being named a recipient of this award," says Kitchel. "As a national agricultural education group, we have worked hard to build our program. Participation in Great Plains and AG*IDEA has helped leverage resources in our local department so we can teach other courses while relying on the expertise of faculty from across the country. I really enjoy working with the staff at Great Plains IDEA and am thankful to have a great support system at Mizzou Online."

Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies at MU, shares Kitchel's enthusiasm toward the faculty and support system that Mizzou Online has in place in working with the GP IDEA consortium. "We are very fortunate to have a team that is committed to serving the campus as we help make MU more accessible to students across the state and country, as well as around the world," says Spain.

Supporting Kitchel in setting up the online courses to launch the new degree is Nita Smarr, Mizzou Online campus coordinator for GP IDEA programs. Smarr received the alliance's Rock 'n' Rolling Award for "her attention to detail and work ethic that ensures no rock goes unturned," according to Gould. "We are pleased to recognize the outstanding educators and the support staff who are so important to this organization."

Spain adds, "Mizzou Online's support of our faculty and their students has been critical to the sustained success MU has achieved in expanding our online distance programs."

Mizzou now offers 11 online degree and certificate programs through the GP IDEA consortium, including studies in agricultural education, family and community services, financial and housing counseling, geriatric care management, gerontology and youth development, and personal financial management. For more information about Kitchel's Faculty Excellence Award recognition and the AG*IDEA program, see the College of Agricultural, Food and Natural Resources news article.

MU Invests $2.5 Million to Launch 16 Online Degree and Certificate Programs

Feb. 08, 2013

RFP Announcement

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri will launch 16 online programs in an effort to respond to the demand for increased online learning opportunities and a more highly educated citizenry. MU officials said the $2.5 million investment is intended to increase access to higher education and enhance the number of graduates in specific industries.

Areas of study covered in the new initiative include hospitality management, public administration, nursing, education, energy efficiency, geospatial intelligence, public health, interactive media, health communication, architectural studies and biomedical sciences. The programs will be developed and taught by MU faculty. The funds awarded today will defray startup costs of developing the curriculum, including purchasing any software necessary to offer the courses.

"We are pleased to begin offering online programs in these in-demand subject areas," MU Provost Brian Foster said. "Producing graduates with the skill sets and preparation needed to advance these industries is at the core of our mission at the University of Missouri."

RFP Announcement Conversation

MU also is investing in more than 25 new undergraduate online courses that will make it possible to earn a bachelor's degree from a distance with little or no transfer credit.

"With the added online courses from the College of Arts & Science as well as the new online degrees from the College of Education and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, first-time college students and those with just a few transfer credits can earn their bachelor's degrees from Mizzou and stay in their hometowns," said Jim Spain, vice provost for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost for e-learning.

The new programs will increase the number of online degree offerings to nearly 90; with 8 undergraduate degree programs and 79 graduate certificate and degree programs that are either offered in part or completely online.

Demand for online learning is at an all-time high among students of all ages. Mizzou will continue to invest in online offerings by accepting another round of proposals from its schools and colleges; those awards will be announced in 2014.

"Mizzou has been offering distance education for more than 100 years as part of fulfilling our land-grant University mission," Spain said. "Our offerings have more than doubled and our enrollments have grown 78 percent in the last five years. However, Missourians and distance students everywhere continue to ask for quality, affordable online higher education. These new online programs will not only help students be more globally competitive, but also help meet our state leaders' goal of having a more highly educated Missouri."

Online commencement ceremony honors 300-plus distance graduates

Dec. 14, 2012

MU's online commencement ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of more than 300 students who have completed their undergraduate, graduate and education specialist degrees online. The website features remarks from campus officials and keynote speaker Mizzou alumnus Kevin Gralen, BS BA '84.

Gralen, who came to Mizzou from Parkway Central High School in St. Louis, worked in sales and marketing at IBM and Siemens, and later moved into the Internet start-up business, including fantasy sports sites. His most recent venture, called ShopTab, evolved after Gralen noticed a business opportunity to serve vendors through Facebook.

Gralen lives in Phoenix with his wife, MJ, BS BA '88, and daughter, Addison. He visits MU annually and serves on the Trulaske College of Business Entrepreneurship Alliance Advisory Committee.

Gralen attributes his success to relationship building. "It's unbelievably important to make personal connections in life, whether that means in-person or through an online opportunity like one of these degree programs," Gralen said. "The networks you develop will make your life richer, and these graduates are now part of a big network that I hope they continue to tap into."

In addition to the remarks from Gralen, the virtual "Pomp and Circumstance" experience features speeches by several campus leaders including Provost Brian Foster, Vice Provost Jim Spain, Graduate School Dean George Justice and Mizzou Alumni Association Executive Director Todd McCubbin.

Master of Education candidate Trisha Carney, Lee's Summit, Mo., values the online ceremony because she is not able to be on campus this weekend. "What a neat idea," she said. "I appreciate the effort from MU to recognize our work and to showcase that online." Carney's focus was Literacy Education, and she hopes to use the degree to move into post-secondary teaching.

"Mizzou Online is excited to present the virtual commencement site for the online graduates, their friends and family, and all MU alumni," says Kim Siegenthaler, co-director of Mizzou Online. "The videos, photos and guest book messages are, in effect, a touchstone that reflects the spirit and dedication of these graduates who've accomplished so much."

No matter where you are located - you can "attend" the ceremony right now, post a congratulatory note on the guest book page and read inspiring messages written by others.

Mizzou's Newest Online Graduate Programs Serve Needs of Communities, Families and Elders

Dec. 7, 2012

Two new online programs from the University of Missouri will add to the workforce of qualified professionals who can serve the elderly and families in need, thereby creating jobs and improving services for a growing population.

Classes for the new master of arts degree in human development and family studies with a focus in family and community services and the graduate certificate in geriatric care management begin in January.

The 36-credit-hour family and community services program was designed for those with varied community services backgrounds - including military support agencies - who want to help families and individuals seeking life resources or want to manage public/private programs designed to offer services. Graduates will be capable of directing agencies.

"We want to develop professionals who can better interpret the growing network of health and social service agencies in order to provide individualized action plans for each family and community they are trying to serve," said Larry Ganong, co-chair of Mizzou's Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

"We are providing a practical master's degree that professionals can use to understand the needs of families, deliver services to them, and manage agencies who provide services to families and communities," says Ganong.

Helping America's fastest-growing population
The 12-credit-hour online graduate certificate in geriatric care management was designed with working adults in mind and features courses that are 10 weeks long rather than the traditional 16-week semester. The certificate can be completed within a calendar year. The program prepares students to become nationally certified Geriatric Care Managers; some students will use it to build credentials in other fields, such as social services, case management or health-care social work.

"For many families, taking care of their older relatives is no longer an option, but a necessity," said Cynthia Reeser, director of the program. "Whether the elder person continues to live in the community or reside in more protected environment, it's their younger siblings or grown children who usually have to make the hard decisions about the elder's care and how to provide the right support.

"The Geriatric Care Manager can be called in to help. These managers will identify the overall concerns of care receivers and caregivers; gain a fuller understanding of which services are most appropriate; and then, provide care assessment and planning," Reeser said.

Mizzou's program is distinct from other academic offerings in this area because it "offers a holistic approach to managing elder services," Reeser said. "We cover the needs of the whole person, including their finances, interpersonal relationships and overall well-being and quality of life - not just their health concerns," she said. The courses in both the master's program and the graduate certificate are 100 percent online.

Mizzou's Online Programs Earn Multiple Accolades

Oct. 10, 2012

The University of Missouri recently received three honors from higher education organizations. The awards recognize two MU instructors and a degree program for their accomplishments in online learning.

"These honors recognize that Mizzou faculty are leaders in developing online curricula," said Jim Spain, interim vice provost for e-Learning at the University of Missouri. "The quality of instruction and the focus on student learning outcomes are the result of the faculty like these award recipients who are constantly working to effectively use instructional technology."

Excellence in Teaching: Shawna Strickland, Respiratory Therapy
The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Central Region recognized Shawna Strickland, clinical associate professor of Respiratory Therapy in the University of Missouri School of Health Professions, with the award for Excellence in Teaching at its September conference.

The award recognizes instructors for outstanding teaching and mentoring while delivering creative and innovative curriculum. Strickland teaches multiple clinical courses each semester in the respiratory therapy focused bachelor of health sciences online completion program and also serves as the program's faculty coordinator.

"We are so proud of Dr. Strickland and the leadership and innovation she has brought to the School of Health Professions and its students," said Richard Oliver, dean of the School of Health Professions. "This honor from UPCEA is formal recognition of the outstanding teaching and mentoring Dr. Strickland brings to the program and the school. This critical program is changing the standard of education in respiratory therapy and Dr. Strickland deserves much of the credit for this impressive accomplishment."

Mature Program Award: School of Information Science & Learning Technologies,
Educational Technology Master's Degree

MU's School of Information Science & Learning Technologies also was recognized by the UPCEA Central Region for its Educational Technology Master's Degree. The Outstanding Mature Program Award lauds for-credit online programming that has made sustained contributions to higher education in the form of impactful change in its associated industry.

The Educational Technology master's program has been helping teachers and school personnel incorporate technology into their classrooms since 1999. The program was one of the first fully online degree programs offered by Mizzou. The program's scope has evolved over the years and now teachers can pursue their master's or education specialist degrees in one of three areas: technology in schools, learning systems design and development, or online educator.

"The MU College of Education is pleased to be recognized for its continued focus on improving the use of technology in classrooms," says Daniel L. Clay, dean of the MU College of Education."Dr. John Wedman and his team have done an outstanding job building a strong program that encourages collaboration between educators. These teachers embrace becoming students again as they exchange best practices with their colleagues across the United States and in other parts of the world."

Helen Williams Award for Outstanding Course: Matthew Gordon, English
Matthew Gordon, associate professor of English in the Department of English, was honored by the Association for Distance Education and Independent Learning (ADEIL) with the Helen Williams Award for Outstanding Courses. Gordon's English 4610: History of the English Language is an online, self-paced course and features video, animated slide decks, engaging commentary and detailed instructor feedback.

This ADEIL recognition is named for Helen Williams, a distance education pioneer from the University of Iowa. The award recognizes the accomplishment of the course instructor, author and course developer in creating exemplary courses that focus on student learning outcomes and overall design and content.

"Professor Gordon is well ahead of his time in developing not only an online course but one at the advanced level. This is a boon to the curriculum offered by the College of Arts and Science," said Michael O'Brien, dean of the college.

University of Missouri Again Named Military Friendly School®

Oct. 5, 2012

For the fourth consecutive year, the University of Missouri has been awarded the Military Friendly School® title by Victory Media, a media company for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The 2013 Military Friendly Schools® list names the country's top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools, recognized for doing the most to ensure the success of America's military service members, veterans and spouses as both on- and off-campus students. See Mizzou's profile on the website.

"MU was one of the first schools in the nation to create a full-service, one-stop shop to help our veterans transition from the military to academics," said Carol Fleisher, director of the MU Veterans Center. "We are very pleased to receive this award and to be recognized for our work in assisting our veterans."

In 2008, MU became one of four universities in the nation to have a dedicated Veterans Center for veterans, military personnel and veteran employees. The center has taken the lead in facilitating veterans' transition to and from active duty and from the military to academia.

"MU cares about our veterans and is honored by their presence on our campus," Fleisher added. "They bring tradition, focus, experience and a positive attitude that compliments MU's campus environment. We are intent in making their academic careers successful."

At the onset of the fall 2012 semester, Mizzou had 356 veterans enrolled—a 29 percent increase from the start of 2011. Dependents of veterans also served by the MU Veterans Center also brought the total number of military-affiliated students to nearly 650.

In addition to its on-campus services, MU's more than 80 degree and certificate programs available either entirely or partially online make the university an attractive option for many military personnel to study at a distance. The university plans to increase its online offerings by as many as 15 programs in 2013.

"Mizzou is adding to the already long list of degree and certificate programs resulting in more options for active duty and on-base personnel and veterans," said Gera Burton, Mizzou Online co-director. "The courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus, but the flexible format of online courses allows students to stay in their home communities and meet family and work commitments."

Air Force Reserves veteran Don DeMarco is one of many veterans pursuing an online bachelor's degree from Mizzou.

"The entire MU staff has really helped me through two deployments, getting my professors and advisers to work with me to ensure I get everything I can while deployed," DeMarco said. "I have been treated like a person instead of a number with MU, and I appreciate that more than anything. My advisers and professors are genuinely thoughtful and patient with me being in the military, and truly understand that we have hardships."

For more information about the MU Veterans Center and its services, visit

MU Requests Proposals for New Online Programs

Aug. 23, 2012

The University of Missouri is investing $2.5 million in new distance degree programs. A request for proposals to all MU's schools and colleges seeks to add to the degree and certificate program options already online at the undergraduate through doctoral levels. Read how the initiative will provide more opportunities for distance students in this Mizzou Weekly story.

Learn more about the RFP process.

Academic Year 2011-2012 Enrollment Report Shows 22 Percent Increase

Aug. 24, 2012

Last year, more than 9,100 students enrolled in courses supported by Mizzou Online, which is the administrative gateway for MU schools and colleges to offer their distance degrees, certificates and courses. Of those distance students, 74 percent were within Missouri borders, and more than 200 enrolled from countries around the world. The average age of undergraduate students in a distance degree program was 32 and degree-seeking graduate students averaged 36 years old. Read more statistics and learn how distance education is growing at Mizzou in our annual enrollment report.

Online Degrees Earn MU's College of Education an "A" for Affordability

July 20, 2012

Best Buy rating by has released a new "best buy ranking" for 2012, in which the independent group listed the College of Education's "Master of Education in Career & Technical Education" as #30 overall in best buys for online masters of education options. biannually surveys accredited online schools and colleges to find the most "budget-friendly" degrees and previously has ranked other groups of online education degrees, in which the MU College of Education has earned four additional Best Buy listings, leading to an overall grade of "A-" in affordability for the college.

Each of the five College of Education's "Best Buy" degree program listings is available via the links below.

Finishing What She Started

May 30, 2012

Lindsay Clubine Buchholz spent two years attending classes on campus at MU before modeling opportunities and a television career took her to Los Angeles. With a College of Arts and Science bachelor's completion program through Mizzou Online, she was able to continue studies on her own time and finish her degree. Read the full story from MIZZOU Magazine.

Online commencement ceremony honors 200-plus distance graduates

May 9, 2012

MU's online commencement ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of more than 200 students who have completed their undergraduate, graduate and education specialist degrees online. The "ceremony" consists of video remarks from campus officials and a guest speaker, much like the on-campus commencement exercises taking place this week.

The site features a list of these hard-working distance students, many of whom have families and careers that were managed along with hours of study to complete their degrees. Family, friends and well-wishers can leave congratulatory notes for the graduates and the students can even post photos of themselves.

Mizzou alumnus, Tyrone Christian, BA '77, headlines the ceremony with his well-wishes for new graduates who have embraced online learning and who face a thriving future filled with technological advances. Christian recently finished a nine-year journey as the chief marketing strategist for the MLK Memorial Foundation, the organization behind the memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Christian is now the managing partner of TRC Consulting Group and has more than 35 years of in-house marketing and sales experience for such industry giants as GTE, Times Mirror Co., Westinghouse, Financial News Network and Cablevision Industries.

"Your degree has the same value as those thousands of grads who have graduated in the past and those who will graduate in generations to come," Christian says in speaking to online graduates about their accomplishment. "There is no small print on your degree that says 'online graduate.' It says that you have accomplished and completed the necessary course work to be called a graduate from the University of Missouri." Christian earned a bachelor of arts in communication (radio/TV/film) and has won many regional, national and international marketing, advertising and sales awards. In 2004 he was named as a College of Arts and Science Distinguished Alumnus.

In addition to the remarks from Christian, the virtual "Pomp and Circumstance" experience features speeches by and several campus leaders including Chancellor Brady Deaton, Vice Provost Jim Spain, Graduate School Dean George Justice and Mizzou Alumni Association Executive Director Todd McCubbin.

"We hope that students forward the ceremony link to their friends and family so that many can celebrate the accomplishments of these hard-working individuals," says Stacy Snow, Mizzou Online spokesperson. "We created the ceremony to honor these students who, against many odds, have made their education a priority amidst their family and career obligations. These 200 students join the 5,600 others who can now proudly count themselves among the alumni of the University of Missouri."

For more information about the on-campus graduation ceremonies please visit the Registrar's commencement page.

University of Missouri Launches Nation's First Online Master's Degree in Positive Coaching

The 30-hour online program will be led by Dr. Rick McGuire

May 3, 2012

In June, the University of Missouri will launch a first-of-its-kind online master's degree in positive coaching for school athletic coaches, community role models and life coaches. The online master's of education in positive coaching is an innovative program that fuses best practice concepts from coaching psychology, sports psychology and positive psychology.

Led by Dr. Rick McGuire, who spent nearly three decades as head coach of the Mizzou track and field team, the 30-hour program is built upon the understandings, strategies and techniques proven to be most effective for creating optimal performance and achieving personal and competitive excellence. The program also focuses on honoring and upholding the highest principles and values of education and sport.

"For many children and young adults, one of the most important relationships they will have in school is with a coach," said Dan Clay, dean of the MU College of Education. "This program enables coaches and others to strategically examine best practices in coaching to provide a positive coaching culture. This online degree program could have a far-reaching impact on our youth and the way coaches are trained in this country."

The program will adopt new approaches to real-world challenges through focused attention on critical issues for coaches and sport leaders. Issues covered include the scientific foundations for training for high performance; the ethical, legal, administrative, gender and multicultural issues related to sport and coaching; and utilizing the sport and the coach to influence a more positive and productive total school and institutional environment.

"Positive coaching is about striving for excellence, achieving optimal performance, and teaching and modeling the process of success," McGuire said. "It is also about leading a group of individuals to becoming a highly-effective team; communicating with our followers just as we would wish to be communicated with by our own leaders; respecting and protecting the self-worth of everyone, being demanding without being demeaning; and shaping each individual's will without breaking their spirit."

McGuire, who is nationally recognized in the field of coach education, is the University of Missouri's director of sport psychology for Intercollegiate Athletics and a graduate professor of sport psychology. In addition to serving as Missouri's head track and field coach for 27 years, he was a member of the United States Olympic staff in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics.

In addition to McGuire, the online master's degree program will be supported by several distinguished faculty from MU's College of Education and recognized leaders from the Department of Athletics at Mizzou. The degree is offered completely online, with no campus visits required. It is designed for coaches, educators and other professionals who work with children and adolescents through schools, local community athletic programs or in health roles.

The program joins more than 30 online graduate degrees and certificates from the MU College of Education. The College offers these programs through Mizzou Online, which serves as the administrative gateway for schools and colleges to offer their degrees and courses available to students at a distance.

"The benefit of earning your graduate degree online from Mizzou means you get to experience MU faculty delivering MU-quality courses to your home, office or favorite coffee spot," said Kim Siegenthaler, co-director of Mizzou Online. "You can pursue your degree and your career at the same time."

Contact: Josh Murray