The University of Missouri’s online master’s in special education with an emphasis in gifted education ranks No. 2 on “The 30 Best Online Master’s in Gifted & Talented Education Programs” list.

Mizzou is excited to offer a top-ranked program for educators that have a passion for creating a dynamic learning experience for gifted students. As writes, “A master’s in gifted education online prepares you for an instrumental role in the development of exceptional students’ abilities.”

Not only teachers benefit from the program — the degree has potential applications for occupational therapists, school counselors, and more. The program meets Missouri Department of Education (DESE) academic requirements for Missouri Gifted Certification.

The online master’s in special education program is 100 percent online, and students need 30 credit hours to complete the program. Students typically take one or two classes each semester and finish in two to three years.

Earn your #OnlineStripes from one of the best gifted education programs in the nation.

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The University of Missouri’s online master’s in journalism offerings rank No. 2 on “The 5 Best Online Master’s in Journalism Programs” list.

Mizzou offers journalism master’s options in four areas — health communication, interactive media, media management and strategic communication — that focus on preparing graduates for career advancement. Students come from newsrooms, broadcast stations, the armed forces, advertising firms and more.

All of the online journalism master’s options require 37 credit hours and one campus visit. This in-person professional seminar gives students an opportunity to meet their peers and further their discussions on the future of journalism. Hear more from a current student >>

Earn your #OnlineStripes from one of the best journalism schools in the nation.

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5 tips for success when taking online classes

Some of you are currently taking online classes. Others of you might be just starting your online degree program. And still others might be considering online education and beginning by doing your research. (If so, good for you!)

No matter what, we’d like to help you feel prepared. Keep reading for our five tips for success when taking online classes.

1. Know what to expect.

There is a myth that online courses are easier, or require less time, than face-to-face classes. This is not true! Taking an online course can be just as difficult. In fact, some students find that online courses are more demanding and take more time because of the additional reading required.

While online courses may give you more flexibility in terms of where and when you do your course work, don’t confuse the convenience of learning online (at home or at your own pace) with ease of learning the content.

Is online learning right for you? Find out by answering these questions.

2. Establish healthy study habits and a suitable workspace.

Once you’ve decided that online classes are right for you, the next step is making sure you’ve brushed up on the most effective study methods. If you’re continuing your education after many years in the workforce, you may need a bit of a refresher. Even if you have been immersed in classes recently, taking a step back and evaluating your study habits is an effective practice.

In addition to setting yourself up for studying success, make sure that you establish a suitable workspace. The ideal space is one that is quiet, with good internet connection and access to power, and without any distractions.

3. Take advantage of resources.

From the library to the career center, online students have access to many resources that exist for on-campus students. Need some help writing a paper? Need some one-on-one advice to help improve your study habits? There are resources for that, and much more. Make sure to check out these resources early, and take advantage of them when necessary.

4. Communicate frequently with professors and peers.

If you are taking a semester-based class, think of it as a “virtual classroom,” meaning that you should interact with your professors and peers just as you would in-person. These interactions are crucial to feeling engaged and avoiding isolation when taking online classes. In fact, many instructors will encourage online discussions, which is an excellent way to learn more about your peers. Continue the conversation by asking questions and giving feedback.

Additionally, fostering a strong relationship with your instructors will only help you succeed. Brittany Smith, who earned her master’s online at Mizzou, said that while the lack of face-to-face is “challenging,” her professors gave her the flexibility and support she needed to help her achieve her goals. Hear more from Brittany.

5. Ask for help.

If you have questions that aren’t related to a specific class, don’t be afraid to reach out to your academic adviser. All online degree-seeking students at Mizzou are assigned an adviser upon acceptance into a degree program.

Questions about your course or an assignment? As mentioned in Tip 4, having a great relationship with your instructors and fellow students will help you feel empowered to ask them for their assistance.

The University of Missouri’s online bachelor’s in general studies program ranks No. 1 on “The 45 Best Online Bachelor’s in General Studies Programs” list.

The Best Schools selects degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings and reputation. The organization also ranks Mizzou in the top of lists such as “The 30 Best Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education Degree Programs” and “The Five Best Online Master’s in Journalism Programs” — and many more.

Mizzou’s online bachelor’s in general studies program is 100 percent online, and typical transfer students need 66 credit hours to complete the program.

Ready to earn your #OnlineStripes? Learn more about the program and apply.

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General studies: Online bachelor’s degree

U.S. News ranks Mizzou's online programs among the best

Bill Poteet: Bachelor of General Studies `17, University of Missouri

Demand for professionals who can make sense of big health data and IT systems is growing along with expanded career opportunities for community health workers and health educators. In fact, employment for these two occupations is projected to grow 16 percent between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.1

Because the need for trained public health professionals is growing, the demand for more public health education programs also surges.

To help address this need, the University of Missouri is launching two public health programs – both 100 percent online. The School of Health Professions now offers a bachelor of health science in public health and the School of Medicine will open in January 2019 a graduate certificate in informatics for public health.

Demand for new graduates: informatics for public health

This 12-credit-hour graduate certificate provides a unique focus on the development, adoption and application of informatics solutions in the public health arena. The program takes an interdisciplinary approach and is a collaboration between the School of Medicine and the School of Health Professions at Mizzou.

Iris Zachary, assistant research professor in the School of Medicine’s health management and informatics department, said the informatics program is unique and valuable, and you won’t find many others like it elsewhere.

“We worked to create the best program to train professionals in the public health field maximizing the use of data and information technology. We apply informatics to current and emerging public health practice and interventions to improve outcomes,” Zachary said. “With this certificate, we hope to help close the gap between community need and the number of trained informatics professionals in the public health field.”

Public health informatics officers, information officers, health care workers and community professionals servicing the public health field – and those aspiring to work in the field – will find immense value in this degree.

Read more about the program.

Bachelor of health science in public health

Similarly, the bachelor’s program is designed to address the need for more public health professionals by preparing graduates to enter the workforce in a number of core areas of public health.

“This program is built for students who have a passion for promoting the health of people and communities,” said Michelle Teti, associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences, who is also the lead faculty member for the program. “Whether the student has yet to enter the workforce, or is in the midst of their career, this degree will prepare them for success.”

Read more about the program.

Apply today

The online BPH and informatics for public health programs are 100 percent online. No campus visits are required.

The BPH program is currently accepting applications for classes that begin in August.

The informatics for public health program will begin offering classes in January 2019 with applications being accepted through Dec. 15.

The School of Health Professions also is launching a master’s program in veterinary public health with classes beginning in August.

“Mizzou continues to expand the number of online degree programs for high-demand fields such as public health,” said Kim Siegenthaler, director of Mizzou Online. “We are providing in-demand majors for students who can’t relocate to campus for their studies, and we’re also producing new professionals that the public needs.”

For more information about online public health degrees and certificates from Mizzou, visit

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Public health: Online bachelor’s degree completion

Informatics for public health: Online graduate certificate

Online public health degrees



Mizzou Online award winners at the Celebration of Teaching on May 16, 2018 Mizzou Online award winners
at the Celebration of Teaching on May 16, 2018

Mizzou recently celebrated the commencement of more than 5,500 graduates, including more than 540 students who earned their degrees online.

To recognize the faculty that makes it possible for these graduates to earn a first-class education, Mizzou hosts the Celebration of Teaching. At this annual professional development opportunity, the MU community comes together to acknowledge educators for their unique approaches to teaching.  

On May 16, at this year’s Celebration of Teaching, MU recognized five faculty members for their efforts in designing high-quality online courses and excelling in facilitating online learning experiences.

This year’s awards for Excellence in Online Class Facilitation went to Nikki Ashcraft, Lynelle Phillips and Donna Otto. The Outstanding Online Course Design Award went to Dr. Laurie Kingsley and Dr. Laura Cole.

Nikki Ashcraft is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the College of Education Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages program (TESOL) and has taught 100 percent online for seven years.

Assistant Professor Samuel Otten nominated Ashcraft for the honor and highlighted her work on the Teaching ESL/EFL to Adult Learners course. During fall 2017, Ashcraft facilitated student interactions across the globe with thoughtfully crafted discussion questions among students from the U.S., China, Korea and Ecuador. “Dr. Ashcraft’s skill in engaging with students and promoting student-to-student interaction is widely evident,” Otten wrote.

The second online class facilitation award went to instructors for the Sinclair School of Nursing, Lynelle Phillips and Donna Otto. Phillips and Otto worked on a redesign of the RN-to-BSN curriculum track, specifically aiming to improve the student experience in required group activities.

Laura Foley, academic technology liaison for the Sinclair School of Nursing, nominated both Phillips and Otto for the award. Foley wrote that the two professors deserve to be recognizedas they were “highly successful in improving group interactions in the NURSE 4970 course.”

Laurie Kingsley, an Associate Teaching Professor in Literacy Education in the College of Education was nominated for her work on Making a Difference for Struggling Reader, a graduate course taken by practicing teachers.

Otten, who also serves as Chair of the Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum Faculty Awards Committee, nominated Kingsley for the outstanding course design award.

In the course, Kingsley introduced a collaborative opportunity between her students, and as Otten writes, “This extremely authentic task has been lauded by many of the students in both of the classes as one of the best experiences they have had in an online class.”

Laura Cole also was honored for her exceptional work on an online course. Cole developed Sustainable Building Design Fundamentals with no previous online teaching experience. For this course, she was tasked with implementing an online laboratory, an approach that very few have attempted.

Not only did Cole attempt an online laboratory in her course, she succeeded. As her nominator, Jerod Quinn, wrote, “Dr. Cole went above and beyond creating this course to impact, benefit, and serve her learners in ways that educators dream about.”

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This weekend, May 11-13, the University of Missouri celebrates a new class of graduates. Among them are more than 540 graduates who are earning their #OnlineStripes – they completed their degrees online. 

Ajay Vinze Ajay Vinze
Trulaske College of Business

Ajay Vinzé, Dean of the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business, reminds the graduates that earning their degree online was no small feat. 

“We at the University of Missouri developed distance learning opportunities to improve access. It certainly was not to make programs any easier,” said Vinzé. “Online programming at Mizzou is just as rigorous as our in-seat offerings. But completing these programs is arguably more difficult, as many of our online students – all of you – are balancing family, career, and community responsibilities.”

Vinzé’s remarks are part of MU’s online commencement celebration of the class of 2018. The online commencement site also includes a guestbook and a stream of best wishes for online graduates from Twitter users.

The site is a tribute to the past accomplishments of the new graduates, but Vinzé reminds them to also look ahead to their future.

“The future is bright,” Vinzé says. “You are now #MizzouMade and I know you’ll join the extensive network of Tigers with pride.”

More than 540 Tigers from more than a dozen MU schools and colleges have earned their degrees or certificates online this semester at all academic levels.

Members of Mizzou’s online class of ’18 live in 39 of the United States and seven countries — as far away as Thailand. They range in age from 21 to 72. 21 graduates received tuition awards that provide a 10 percent tuition reduction (the Mizzou Online Military Tuition Award and the Mizzou Online Community College Award).

One of the spring ’18 graduates is Jennifer Kandlik, who has earned several degrees through the University of Missouri. This semester, Kandlik has completed a doctorate in nursing practice online. Kandlik reminds graduates to not only thank their support networks, but to congratulate themselves during this time of celebration.

“Never forget to congratulate yourself,” said Kandlik. “Yes, give yourself a round of applause. You are the one who dreamed of more and took the steps needed to pursue the goal of higher education and never gave up.” 

Are you earning your #OnlineStripes this weekend? If so, share your photos on social media with #OnlineStripes in your post. You also can send the web link to your friends and family so they may leave congratulatory messages in the online guest book

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When you study online with the University of Missouri, you receive an award-winning education.

The Department of Health Management and Informatics (HMI) at the University of Missouri School of Medicine received the Cerner Award for Excellence in Healthcare Management Systems Education. The department accepted the award during the 2018 Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) awards luncheon. The HMI program has been accredited by CAMHE for 50 years.

“It is a privilege to have a CAHME-accredited master of health administration program situated within a school of medicine,” said Patrick Delafontaine, MD, Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean of the MU School of Medicine. “Not all MHA programs are housed within schools of medicine, so, our structure here in Missouri is unique.”

Read the full story here: Department of Health Management and Informatics Receives Educational Excellence Award

The esteemed program is not only offered on campus at Mizzou — many students receive their online master of health administration or online master of science in health informatics.

“The [online] program is designed to maximize the educational experience for full-time working adults,” said David Moxley, a clinical instructor, associate director of executive programs, and director of education technologies in the Department of Health Management and Informatics.

Mark your calendar

Students in both programs are accepted in the spring term only. We recommend you submit your application by Dec. 1. Learn more about the programs and how to apply: 

Health administration: Online master’s degree

Health informatics: Online master’s degree

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Missouri School of Journalism professor, Shelly Rodgers, was awarded the first 2018 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, an honor that recognizes five outstanding professors at the University of Missouri each year.

Rodgers, an MU faculty member since 2003, teaches courses for all four levels of the Journalism program, including undergraduate, on-campus MA, online MA, and PhD. She also teaches a course for the dual MA/MPH degree in Journalism/Public Health. Each of these different levels or areas has a different focus and goal, says Rodgers, and teaching them requires different teaching styles and techniques.

Shelly Rodgers Shelly Rodgers
Professor of Strategic Communication
Missouri School of Journalism

“It keeps me on my toes,” she said. “I am always thinking of innovative ways to teach online students, to help them succeed and stand out.” Rodgers uses video chats, phone calls, and online discussion boards to help distance students overcome the lack of physical space; in fact, she believes that her online students get as much one-on-one time with her as on-campus students.

Advances in technology have allowed online education to become more accessible to more students, which is exciting for Rodgers, who states that she has been “teaching online since the beginning of online time” and has seen the industry go through many changes.

Despite the changes, one thing remains the same: “Online master’s students are some of the most impressive students ever,” said Rodgers.

University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, Commerce Bank Chairman and CEO Teresa Maledy, and a group of MU staff members surprised Rodgers with the fellowship, which comes with a $10,000 check, this week.

The William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence is celebrating 28 years of recognizing exceptional professors; the fellowship was established in 1991 with a $500,000 gift.

Learn with the best

Are you interested in advancing your journalism career? Mizzou offers master’s degree programs in four journalism emphasis areas—Interactive media, health communication, media management, and strategic communication.

Learn more about our online journalism degrees and how to apply.

The University of Missouri is accepting applications for the nation’s first online veterinary public health master’s degree. The program is for those who want to lead global and regional efforts in food safety and zoonotic disease prevention.

Demand for public health professionals in this specialization is expected to grow according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which projects a 23 percent growth rate through 2022 for health service workers, including those specializing in veterinary public health.

“Human health is inextricably linked to animal health and production,” said Loren Schultz, DVM, PhD, associate teaching professor in the MU Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery and emphasis area director for the new program. “Particularly in those parts of the world where animals provide not just food and clothing but also transportation and fuel.”

The online master of public health degree with an emphasis in veterinary public health (VPH) serves veterinarians with an additional career path, and it also provides public health professionals from all backgrounds with an opportunity to problem solve emerging issues in animal and human health.

Access to experts

MU already is a leader in veterinary public health. The MU School of Health Professions is home to a successful residential VPH program, one of only four such accredited programs nationwide. The degree, accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, is offered in partnership with the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Creating access to education at this level and in a field so critically important to societal wellbeing is at the center of our mission at the University of Missouri,” said Kristofer Hagglund, dean of the School of Health Professions.

Demand for new graduates

According to the World Health Organization, about 75 percent of the new diseases that have affected humans over the past 10 years have been caused by pathogens originating from animals.

“The challenges facing public health are growing,” Hagglund said. “Not only are we facing a shortage of trained public health professionals here in Missouri and across the U.S., but we also are experiencing an increase in the number of new public health threats we must learn to manage.”

Mizzou’s new veterinary public health emphasis area is intended to address this shortage. “Our goal is to give working professionals an opportunity to focus on a new career path with this online program while they continue in their full-time jobs,” Schultz said.

The ideal candidate for the program has a background or strong interest in animal science, veterinary medicine, zoonotic diseases, food safety, emergency preparedness and other emerging issues in animal and human health, Schultz added.

Partnership with Saint Louis Zoo

Students in the online veterinary public health program will have the opportunity to take part in an optional residential colloquium with the Institute of Conservation Medicine (ICM) at the Saint Louis Zoo. ICM Director Sharon Deem, DVM, PhD, serves as an advisory board member for the VPH program and has been working with MU students at the zoo for years. “The students like the interaction with the animals and really being able to know that they are helping a population or a species,” Deem said. “When we look at all the human health issues facing us today, we can see the linkages of the environment and animals to those concerns.”

Apply today

The new VPH program is 100 percent online. No campus visits are required. As with all online graduate programs at MU, students pay in-state tuition regardless of where they live or work.

The online VPH is currently accepting applications for classes that begin in August.

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