Ribbon Cuttings Planned for Business Service Centers in Sikeston, Malden, Kennett

Centers Expand Regional Campuses’ Mission to Serve Their Communities

Sikeston CampusCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 17, 2011 – Ribbon cutting ceremonies are planned for Nov. 1 as Southeast Missouri State University opens Business Service Centers at its regional campuses in Sikeston, Malden and Kennett, Mo., to serve aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Bootheel.

The ceremonies will be held at noon in Kennett, 3 p.m. in Sikeston and 5 p.m. in Malden.

Staff at each of the centers will provide one-on-one counseling and technical assistance for current small business owners, including those impacted by recent flooding. Small business owners interested in sustaining or growing their businesses will access to a host of services, including financial analysis and access to capital.

The Business Service Centers will also provide opportunities for clients to meet with loan officers as part of ACCION Delta, a new partnership with Southeast’s Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) to provide microlending services in the 252 counties and parishes of the Delta Regional Authority that encompasses eight states.

ACCION Delta is an extension of ACCION Texas, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) microfinance company, and is committed to empowering diverse individuals, assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses gain access to capital and the practical knowledge to operate a business. ACCION Delta’s regional office is located at the CIE on the Southeast Missouri State University campus in Cape Girardeau.

In addition, the Business Service Centers will host Operation Jump-Start entrepreneurship training for aspiring entrepreneurs in the Bootheel. Operation Jump-Start is a nationally recognized practical, hands-on, microenterprise development program designed to help entrepreneurs test the feasibility of their business ideas and plan to launch new ventures. In the past five years, Operation JumpStart has assisted in the development of over 250 new businesses in southeast Missouri.

“At a time when job creation is first and foremost, these additional service centers will create new business and sustain existing businesses and position them for growth in the future,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University.

University officials also announced that with the opening of these Business Service Centers, Southeast will now begin delivering its entrepreneurship minor at the regional campuses in Sikeston, Malden and Kennett. The entrepreneurship minor is a 15-hour program designed for all majors and offers a unique learning experience for students from a variety of disciplines who share an interest in developing an entrepreneurial mindset to embrace creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship as essential skills and behaviors for success in the 21st Century.

“Students will now have the opportunity to complete the 15-credit hour minor in entrepreneurship” here at the regional campuses, Dobbins said.

Dr. Gerald McDougall, associate provost of Extended and Online Learning and dean of the Donald L. Harrison College of Business, says extending this program to the regional campuses is important. After all, he says, Southeast Missouri State University is the largest provider of post-secondary education in the entire Missouri bootheel, including in Scott, New Madrid, Stoddard and Dunklin counties. This fall, Southeast has 239 students enrolled at its Malden campus, 731 at its Sikeston campus and 255 at its Kennett campus. He added that more than 10 percent of the students enrolled on Southeast’s main campus in Cape Girardeau this fall began their education at Southeast’s campuses in Kennett, Malden or Sikeston.

These regional campuses continue to serve a vital role for students in the bootheel, McDougall said, emphasizing that 47 percent of the students who have attended at one of these regional campuses have transferred to the main campus after their last semester there. Furthermore, he adds that 40 percent of the students who have attended one of these regional campuses since their opening have gone on to complete degrees.

McDougall says these numbers point to a strong market for Southeast’s entrepreneurship minor in Sikeston, Kennett and Malden and surrounding areas. Southeast is the only public institution offering complete degree programs in Southeast Missouri. This new offering compliments Southeast’s already diverse array of degree programs available at the regional campuses. They are as follows:

Sikeston

• B.S. in Agribusiness (Plant & Soil Science option) • B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies • Bachelor of General Studies • B.S. in Human Environmental Studies (Child Development option) • B.S. in Criminal Justice • Child Care Training Laboratory • Teaching Assistant/Substitute Teacher Certificate • B.S. in Early Childhood Education (With Malden campus) • B.S. in Elementary Education • B.S. in Middle School Education • B.S. in Psychology • A.S. Dental Hygiene (In cooperation with Missouri Southern State University) • Education Graduate Courses • University Studies courses 100–400 Additional courses • nursing prerequisites

Kennett • B.S. in Agribusiness (Plant & Soil Science option) • B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies • Bachelor of General Studies • B.S. in Elementary Education • B.S. in Exceptional Childhood Education • B.S. in Human Environmental Studies (Child Development option) • B.S. in Middle School Education • B.S. in Criminal Justice • B.S. in Psychology • M.S. in Nursing • Education Graduate courses • Teaching Assistant/Substitute Teacher Certificate • University Studies courses 100-400                   Additional Courses        –Nursing prerequisite courses

Malden • B.S. in Agribusiness (Plant & Soil Science option) • B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies • Bachelor of General Studies • B.S. in Early Childhood Education • B.S. in Elementary Education • B.S. in Middle School Education • B.S. in Criminal Justice • B.S. in Psychology • M.A. in Counselor Education • Teaching Assistant/Substitute Teacher Certificate • Education Graduate Courses • University Studies courses100-400