Missouri Southern State University adding new program for adults seeking a degree

JOPLIN, Mo. – Missouri Southern State University is launching a new program to help adults earn their college degree.

For adults that didn’t complete their college degree, going back to school isn’t always something they can easily do. Program Director William Mountz says “We know adult learners probably have other responsibilities, whether they’re a parent or whether they’re working full-time, so the experience needs to be a little bit different for them.”

So, Missouri Southern State University is launching a new program, called the Adult Degree Completion program, which is aimed at helping those adults get back to school. Mountz says “We are trying to create a program focused just on them, so the curriculum will be accelerated, eight weeks online, we’re trying to reduce any hurdles that they may have, either with admissions or the financial aid office so they get pretty much a tailored service for them.”

The program kicks off in the fall 2022 semester and the inaugural class is expected to be around 25 students. However, between now and then, there are still things the university has to adjust to accommodate the new program. Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Lisa Toms says “We do have policy about residents and how many hours you have to have here, but we are working with our faculty and our administration to try to determine what that policy will be for these folks.”

Tuition costs will be the same as for other students, but there are options for those who can’t pay out of pocket. Mountz says “Yea, so financial aid is a little tricky as an adult learner, some students may still be eligible for a Pell grant if they hadn’t used it all, if they had been in college before, but Missouri, the actual state, has several grants and programs including Finish Line to come back to school and finish a degree and so there would be options like that for them.”

Mountz says the initial degree that will be offered is a Bachelor’s in General Studies with an emphasis in Business. He says they plan to offer additional degree options as the program continues.