Joyce Becker, director of Southeast Missouri State University’s Extended and Continuing Education, will be retiring Sept. 1.
Over her 18-year career as director, Becker worked diligently with department chairs and the directors of Southeast’s Sikeston, Malden and Kennett campuses to insure residents in rural communities have access to complete undergraduate programs.
As director, Becker helped to establish the Office of Continuing Education, was instrumental in doubling classes and enrollment of regional campuses, and was actively involved in the launch of Southeast Online and the Cape College Center.
“I have had the privilege of working with some very talented and dedicated individuals, and I include Joyce in this group who have had a substantial impact on peoples’ lives through education,” said Dr. Gerald McDougall, dean of Southeast’s Donald L. Harrison College of Business and associate provost of the School of Extended Learning. “Our regional campuses, dual and AP credit, and non-credit extension are at the center of our mission as a regional, public university.”
Currently residents in southeast Missouri rural counties can pursue undergraduate degrees in agribusiness, child development, criminal justice, education, psychology and social science without coming to the main campus in Cape Girardeau. Residents in Missouri’s southern counties also have access to University studies courses and other credit-bearing courses across a wider variety of disciplines.
For most of Becker’s appointment as director, the School of Extended Learning also supported access to college credit for high school students through dual enrollment and AP courses. Becker has been an integral part of the administrative support by accommodating a 90 percent increase in dual credit enrollments over the most recent five-year period, from 600 during the 2011 fall semester to 1,150 in 2015.
In addition, the School of Extended Learning has served Southeast’s external community by offering a wide variety of non-credit, continuing education courses and programs.
“Joyce’s managerial and organizational skills have made it possible to connect the talents and expertise of our faculty with populations who have been unable to travel to our main campus,” said McDougall.
An internal search to fill the position of Director of Extended and Continuing Education will be initiated and completed over the month of July.