In this issue, I discuss statewide initiatives related to funding higher education.
Committee investigates ways to increase number of Missourians who attend college
The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) is developing a new coordinated plan for Missouri higher education titled “Preparing Missourians to Succeed: A Blueprint for Higher Education.” By 2018, an estimated 60 percent of all jobs in the state will require some form of postsecondary education. Currently, about 49 percent of Missourians have a college degree or certificate. Through its coordinated planning process, MDHE is developing a strategy to make progress toward closing this gap.
MDHE has formed a steering committee to develop the new coordinated plan. I am a member of that committee. This year the steering committee held nine public hearings throughout the state to gather input from Missourians about the state’s higher education system. The steering committee will now begin to draft the new coordinated plan. In December, MDHE will present the new coordinated plan for approval by Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education.
Smart testifies at public hearing
Last week the steering committee held a public hearing in Springfield. I testified at the hearing. My testimony focused on funding for higher education. I highlighted our tradition at Missouri State of being the value option for students by providing a high quality education at a reasonable cost. We have accomplished this despite state funding not keeping pace with increasing operational costs by maximizing operating efficiencies and developing new revenue through increased enrollment.
I have been proud to participate in these hearings on behalf of Missouri State. You can read more about MDHE’s coordinated planning process on its webpage. If you would like to provide input to MDHE as part of this process, I encourage you to complete a public comment form.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!