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.

Best Buy rating by GetEducated.com

GetEducated.com 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. GetEducated.com 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 GetEducated.com "Best Buy" degree program listings is available via the links below.

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.

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.

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."