Online programs help create Tigers around the world

The UM System formally launched Missouri Online, a partnership among all four UM System institutions aimed at meeting workforce needs and making education more accessible. The initiative allows students to attend Mizzou from wherever they call home.

 

March 9, 2021

The education landscape has shifted. With the need to increase access to education for Missourians and students across the globe, the University of Missouri System launched Missouri Online, a partnership between all four UM System institutions.

On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the UM System celebrated the formal launch of Missouri Online with a Zoom webinar that featured speakers directly impacted by the systemwide collaboration. The endeavor was spearheaded by the University of Missouri Board of Curators and MU President Mun Choi. During the launch event, Choi shared the intent behind the partnership.

“In 2018, we made a strong declaration: We intend to be the premier eLearning provider in Missouri,” Choi said. “We’re committed to providing the highest quality programs that meet today’s workforce needs. The launch of Missouri Online is the next important step toward this goal.”

In a video, event attendees heard stories from students from all four UM System institutions. One student was Logan Stockman, an officer in the U.S. Air Force, who earned his master’s in biological engineering from Mizzou — all online.

“I lived in different places while taking the online courses,” Stockman said. “My primary residence was in Georgia, near the Air Force base. But I was deployed to the Middle East and then, another point, deployed to Germany. I also traveled to New Mexico and Vegas for training. The only adjustment I had to make was calculating when my assignments were due in my new time zone.”

With upgraded learning technologies and expanded offerings, Missouri Online aims to help students from Missouri — and around the globe — obtain a degree and further their success in the workforce.

“Missouri Online is a great tool to reach everyone who needs an alternative to on-campus instruction… It's going to make a huge difference in people's lives,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education for the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

The four UM System institutions currently offer more than 260 online degrees and certificate programs and plan to add more in the future. The goal with online delivery is to meet people where they are and break down barriers to traditional on-campus education that might exist. Although classes are taught online, the programs are designed with the same rigor as on-campus courses and are often taught by the same faculty.

Mizzou has been offering online programs since the mid-1990s and for years operated as “Mizzou Online.” The staff who ran that office are now all part of the new systemwide structure of Missouri Online and are still helping MU faculty and students navigate the nuances of teaching and learning online. In fact, Mizzou’s high-quality online programs were recently recognized by U.S. News and World Report, and the university will launch 19 new online programs in fall 2021, including eight graduate certificates, seven undergraduate certificates, two master's, one bachelor’s and one doctorate.

Missouri Online is dedicated to increasing access to outstanding, career-transforming education for not only Missourians, but students around the world. For students like Stockman, online is the only option.

“I knew that I wanted to finish my degree with the University of Missouri because I really enjoyed the faculty and staff,” he said. “Access to online courses meant I could graduate from Mizzou.”

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