CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,
July 15, 2005 –Students at Southeast Missouri State University’s higher education centers in Sikeston, Malden and Kennett, Mo., are gearing up for the fall 2005 semester, and many say they are looking forward to a new academic experience.
For the first time, students at these centers will be solely Southeast students. In the past, some students at the centers played dual roles as both Southeast and Three Rivers Community College (TRCC) students. This meant many juggled two school schedules, dealt with two separate financial aid and scholarship offices, two textbook rental systems and two collegiate environments, resulting in consumption of valuable time the students can now spend on learning, their careers or with their families.
Melanie Bishop of Kennett, Mo., a junior majoring in social work, has chosen Southeast Missouri State University and the Kennett Area Higher Education Center (KAHEC) and is looking forward to this convenience. As a non-traditional student who takes classes year-round, Bishop says dealing with only one school makes her life easier.
“It relieves a lot of stress for me,” she said. “It’s no longer a struggle to talk to the offices I need to deal with. The office staff really cares about the students, which makes dealing with them a positive experience. The teachers also have a lot of enthusiasm about their subjects and care a lot about their students,” she added. “I feel really good about it, and more confident that I will see results.”
Bishop also likes the unity that comes with all KAHEC students attending the same college, as well as the additional classes offered.
“The technology at Southeast allows a larger variety of classes to be offered at more times,” she said. “And I think it’s very positive that Southeast brought the bachelor of general studies degree to the higher education centers, so students don’t have to do all that traveling to earn their degree,” she added.
Southeast launched its Bachelor of General Studies degree completion program this summer at these locations. This fall, in addition to offering lower division courses, Southeast will be offering the same 300- and 400-level general education courses that have been offered in the past at the centers, as well as several graduate programs, said Dr. Randy Shaw, dean of Southeast’s School of Polytechnic Studies and assistant provost of extended learning.
Students say they also are enjoying a new fee structure.
“I appreciate the fact that Southeast lowered their rates for students at the higher education center campuses,” Bishop said.
Under a new fee structure, up to 57 credit hours of 100- and 200-level courses taught at the centers by Southeast have an incidental fee of $110 per credit hour for summer and fall 2005 and spring 2006.
Bishop said she also is looking forward to the added bonus of a spring break.
“Since the two schools were never on the same schedule, their spring breaks weren’t on the same week, so I never really had a break. Now I’ll have one,” she said.