Fall 2015 commencement is this weekend (Dec 18–19). Among the hundreds of successful graduates who will receive their diplomas are 394 distance students who have earned their degrees through online courses.

"Members of the online class of 2015 come from all over the United States and as far away as Australia, the Czech Republic and Korea," said Kim Siegenthaler, Mizzou Online director.

The graduates range in age from 22 to 73. Most of them have completed post-graduate degrees; 320 are receiving doctorates, educational specialist or master's degrees.

"These students have demonstrated tremendous persistence and effort. Many of them completed their courses while simultaneously working full time and taking care of their families. And that's no mean feat," Siegenthaler said. "All of Mizzou — students, staff and faculty — have reason to be proud of their scholarship and stamina."

As a tribute to these students, Mizzou Online has created a commencement website where graduates can share photos and friends and family can write congratulatory notes in the online guest book.

Much like the on-campus commencement exercises taking place this weekend, the online commencement includes video remarks from Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Jim Spain and student speaker Carlos Blanco (EdSp).

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

Congratulate a graduate today by posting in the guest book!

For the seventh-consecutive year, the University of Missouri has received the Military Friendly School® title from Victory Media. The designation is awarded to the top institutions in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students and dedicate resources to ensure veterans’ success both in the classroom and after graduation.

“Mizzou has given me the peace of mind to go back to school while working full time,” said Heath McGill, a student from Sikeston, Missouri, who is pursuing his undergraduate degree online. “Being a military veteran and married with two kids at home, it has been a smooth transition to the online classroom without the stress of a traditional college environment.”

The bond between MU and the military dates back to 1890 when the university named its athletic programs in honor of the Tigers, a local militia that defended Columbia from rebel assaults during the Civil War. Mizzou continues to honor that bond today with benefits such as the MU Veterans Center, which has helped military personnel and their families transition between service and academia since its founding in 2008. At the start of the fall 2015 semester, Mizzou had more than 358 veterans enrolled. In addition, the MU Veterans Center serves dependents of veterans, taking the total number of students served by the Veterans Center to 837. The campus is also home to the Mizzou Student Veterans Association.

“We are extremely proud to receive this honor again because it acknowledges the University of Missouri’s continuing commitment to providing a friendly and supportive campus environment that allows veterans, active military and family members to realize their higher education goals,” said Robert Ross, director of the MU Veterans Center. “The staff and student workers at our full-service, one-stop resource center are dedicated to supporting veterans from their transition to college through graduation.”

Availability of online courses and degrees also makes MU a popular choice for the military. More than 90 degree and certificate programs are available entirely or partially online.

“Through distance learning, military women and men earn nationally respected academic credentials and enjoy the flexibility they need to balance their education with other commitments,” said Kim Siegenthaler, director of Mizzou Online. “Academic quality is baked in. All our online courses, certificate and degree programs are taught by the same faculty—many of them award-winning leaders in their fields—who teach on campus.”

In addition to flexibility and academic quality, MU offers considerable value. In 2015, the university began offering a 10 percent tuition award to veterans and their families toward online degree programs.

“The Mizzou Online Military Tuition Award is just one more way MU honors veterans, active duty service members, National Guard, reservists and their families for their service to our country,” Siegenthaler said.

The Military Friendly Schools® designation provides service members and their families with transparent, data-driven ratings about post-military education and career opportunities.

“Post-secondary institutions earning the 2016 Military Friendly Schools® award have exceptionally strong programs for transitioning service members and spouses,” said Daniel Nichols, chief product officer of Victory Media and a Navy Reserve veteran. “Our Military Friendly Schools® are truly aligning their military programs and services with employers to help students translate military experience, skills and training into successful careers after graduation.”

The Military Friendly Schools® media and website, found at https://militaryfriendly.com/2016schools/, feature the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The schools on this year’s list have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility, and other services for those who served.

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When you choose to study online with the University of Missouri, you get more than just a degree. You also learn from scholars and industry experts who serve our citizens by making contributions to state and national policy.

Take Barton Wechsler, dean of MU’s Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs, who was recently elected to the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).

The U.S. Congress created NAPA to help public sector leaders meet the important and varied management challenges of today and anticipate those of the future.

Wechsler joins more than 700 other trusted and experienced NAPA fellows in improving the quality, performance and accountability of government.

In addition to serving as dean of the Truman School, Wechsler teaches graduate courses in public management, including strategic planning and performance measurement, organization dynamics and leadership, and social innovation.

Wechsler’s research on public management has been published in Public Administration Review, Administration and Society, Journal of the American Planning Association, Public Productivity and Management Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, other academic and practitioner journals, and numerous edited books. He serves on the editorial board of Public Productivity and Management Review.

Want to advance your career in public affairs with an online degree from the Truman School? Speak to a Mizzou Online recruitment adviser today. Call us at 1-800-609-3727 or send an email to MizzouOnline@missouri.edu.

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Looking to advance your career in nursing through online learning? The University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) is one of the best nursing schools in the country, thanks to its outstanding scholars.

One such scholar is Associate Professor Amy Vogelsmeier, who coordinates the program for the SSON master of science in nursing with an emphasis in leadership in nursing and health-care systems.

Vogelsmeier was recently inducted as a fellow into the prestigious American Academy of Nursing (AAN), taking her place among the nursing profession’s most accomplished leaders. She joins an elite group of 17 other SSON current and emeriti faculty members who also are AAN fellows.

“We have many hardworking researchers at the SSON who are doing cutting-edge work to advance the nursing profession and to drive reform of America’s health system,” said Judith F. Miller, dean of the nursing school. “I’m proud of Amy and salute her as she reaches this career milestone.”

Read more about Vogelsmeier’s achievements and research here: Nursing Scholar Inducted Into American Academy of Nursing.

Leaders like Vogelsmeier help make MU the gold-standard in distance learning for the nursing profession. U.S. News & World Report ranked the SSON online program for graduate education as a Top 50 program in 2015. CollegeAtlas.org calls SSON the best nursing school program in the nation in terms of affordability, academic quality, accessibility and board exam pass rates. GetEducated.com ranks MU’s online nursing master's programs as "Best Buys."

Want to get ahead in nursing and learn from acclaimed researchers like Vogelsmeier? Speak to a Mizzou Online recruitment adviser today. Call us at 1-800-609-3727 or send an email to MizzouOnline@missouri.edu.

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If you're looking to advance professionally by continuing your education, but you can't afford to pause your career, you've probably considered distance learning.

So you probably also know that not all online courses and degrees are created equal. As we noted last week, quality of instruction is an important factor when evaluating online course and degree programs.

MU is a highly regarded and accredited university, with some of the nation's leading scholars. Those same professors teach MU distance learners as well as on-campus students, which explains why so many working professionals enroll in online courses and programs at Mizzou.

Among our many award-winning instructors who teach online are two new recipients of Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) awards.

Barbara Reys received the Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest honor the MAA presents to faculty members. The award recognizes Reys' sustained efforts in teaching, research and service, and places special emphasis on her relationships with students.

Reys is Curators Professor at the College of Education's Department of Learning, Teaching and Curriculum. There she co-directs the elementary mathematics specialist graduate certificate online program.

Marjorie R. Sable received an MAA Faculty-Alumni Award, which recognizes her work as a teacher and researcher as well as her relationship with students.

Sable is the director of the School of Social Work, where she is instrumental in the graduate certificate in military social work, among others. Social work professionals can access the school's online master's degree while still working full-time.

Want to advance your career in social work or education? Interested in studying under leading scholars like Sable and Reys? Speak to a Mizzou Online recruitment adviser today. Call us at 1-800-609-3727 or send an email to MizzouOnline@missouri.edu.

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If you're like most people interested in an online degree or course, you probably wonder how the education you receive through distance learning compares to the on-campus experience.

When you study online with the University of Missouri, you are enrolling at a highly regarded and accredited university. Your diploma and transcripts proudly identify you as a full-fledged MU student. And you study under the same leading scholars as students on campus.

For proof, look no further than the four MU faculty members recently named as 2015-16 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program fellows. Two of those professors also are leaders in MU's distance learning programs.

Professor and Chair Anna Ball teaches many of the courses in the agricultural education online master's. She also is interim director of graduate studies for MU's Agricultural Education and Leadership program. (What's more, Ball earned her doctorate right here at Mizzou. Can I get an M-I-Z?)

Joi Moore, PhD, is the associate division director at the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, where she manages graduate teaching assistants and the curriculum for the digital media online program. Watch Moore explain the school's mission in this video.

We are extremely proud of these two as well as the other MU fellows: Debbie Dougherty, associate dean of research at the College of Arts and Science, and Chuck Henson, associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Law.

Outstanding faculty like these are what set the University of Missouri apart from other schools offering online programs. If you want one of the best distance learning experiences in the SEC, talk to Mizzou Online. Our advisers are ready to help you learn the skills you need to advance your education and career.

See how you can earn your MU degree online.

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Brick Johnstone found individuals' health is worse when they believe they are ill because they have done something wrong. Photo by Rob Hill.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Individuals who blame karma for their poor health have more pain and worse physical and mental health, according to a new study from University of Missouri researchers. Targeted interventions to counteract negative spiritual beliefs could help some individuals decrease pain and improve their overall health, the researchers said.

"In general, the more religious or spiritual you are, the healthier you are, which makes sense," said Brick Johnstone, a neuropsychologist and professor of health psychology in the MU School of Health Professions.

"But for some individuals, even if they have even the smallest degree of negative spirituality — basically, when individuals believe they're ill because they've done something wrong and God is punishing them — their health is worse."

Read the full story by Jesslyn Chew here: Negative Spiritual Beliefs Associated with More Pain and Worse Physical, Mental Health

The School of Health Science offers an online program for students with prior college credit who want to complete a bachelor's degree in health-related field. The online BHS is ideal for students who would like to enter non-clinical occupations in the health care field, or students interested in graduate or professional programs after graduation.

Learn how you can get your Mizzou BHS online

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How you communicate with your professors can affect how they view you — and how fast you get a response.

Distance learning has many advantages, but there can be pitfalls — and pratfalls — when it comes to communication.

On any given day, your professor might get 50 emails. If it's the day before an assignment is due, that number is more like 100. Your adviser probably gets closer to 120.

In addition to teaching, professors at the University of Missouri also conduct research, mentor students, serve on committees and lead professional organizations.

Kelsey Allen at Mizzou News shares some tips from Mizzou professors and an adviser whose combined experience adds up to more than 150 years of working with students.

Read the full story here: Emailing Your Professor: You're Doing It Wrong

Each year Mizzou Online helps thousands of students advance their education and their careers.

We offer more than 90 degree and certificate options designed to deliver the same quality educational experience as the University of Missouri's on-campus programs.

You can experience a Mizzou education from anywhere — around your schedule. Browse our online degree programs and courses to find the best way to advance your desire to continue learning.

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Program director Robin Harris DNP, RN, will accept the UPCEA award on behalf of SSON.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — You already know that getting your college degree online is an affordable and convenient way to advance your career. But did you know that distance learning can also deliver award-winning innovation and academic excellence?

One example is the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing's (SSON) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. The DNP program recently received the Central Region Excellence Award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).

"Our distance-mediated programs continue to evolve in supporting the latest trends and best learning methodologies in online learning," said DNP program director Robin Harris. "[SSON] continues to support innovative online instructional endeavors, which set our program apart from the many online nursing programs available."

Read the full story here: DNP Program Earns Prestigious Award

SSON offers six areas of study for the online DNP:

  • Adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist
  • Family nurse practitioner
  • Family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner
  • Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Pediatric clinical nurse specialist
  • Nursing leadership and innovations in health care

Because the SSON DNP program is online, employees of hospitals and other health care organizations do not have to quit their jobs to relocate to continue their education. Not having to hire and train as many new nurses results in large cost savings for health care.

Non-resident graduate students enrolled through Mizzou Online qualify for in-state tuition rates, no matter where they study. Student activity fees are also waived for students enrolled in the online program.

SSON is highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report and is recognized as a leader in providing high quality and affordable lifelong learning opportunities for registered nurses, regardless of their specialty, practice setting, academic preparation or geographical location.

Learn more about the MU Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Mizzou Online degrees let you learn from researchers who are pioneering best practices in their fields. One such scholar is University of Missouri School of Social Work associate professor Aaron Thompson.

Thompson leads a team of MU researchers that has received nearly $3.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education for an intervention in promoting social and emotional skills for students.

The intervention, Self-Monitoring Training and Regulation Strategy (STARS), is a self-management and mindfulness skills program for fifth-grade students who regularly display disruptive and challenging behaviors in the classroom.

Thompson has also taught Evaluative Research in Clinical Social Work Practice, one course in the online master of social work degree offered through Mizzou Online.

"Kids who present behavior problems often have academic problems, and kids who have academic problems often present behavior problems," Thompson said. "We need to attend to both the academic and social-emotional development of students if we are to help them succeed in school and life beyond."

Thompson's collaborators are faculty in the MU College of Education, which also offers online graduate programs.

Read the full story here: Researchers Receive $3.5 Million to Improve Students' Classroom Behaviors, Study Connection to Academic Performance.

Delivered completely online, the 39-credit hour MSW prepares you for leadership opportunities with courses that build on your undergraduate education.

The online MSW is designed for part-time study with two courses, typically 6 credit hours of course work, per semester.

Mizzou's online graduate students pay in-state tuition rates, no matter where they study. Start earning your Mizzou MSW online today.

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