Crowder, Drury team up for new degree offerings
Coltharp: ‘Have you looked at Crowder lately?’
Crowder students in Cassville now have the opportunity to continue their education and pursue a bachelor’s degree through Drury.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Tuesday, June 4, by the Crowder College president and the Drury University president.
With this partnership, Drury will provide upper-level seated and blended courses at the Cassville campus in two bachelor’s degree programs, Organizational Communication and Development, and Behavior and Community Health.
Courses will begin in August, and Crowder College will provide 100 and 200 level courses toward these degrees. Drury will also provide academic advising and promotion of its four-year degree completion option to Crowder students in Cassville.
Glen Coltharp, Crowder College president, said Crowder has six campus sites in a nine-county area.
“What makes us different from other higher education institutions is instead of looking at is as a student has to come to us, we try to take the programs to our students where they are needed,” he said. “I think the way we have structured things is to help students that need to work, have a family to raise or are just busy so that they can still take classes and not have to work into the time of their day drive time.”
Coltharp said Crowder feels that it has a great handle on the associate degree level, but wants to do more on the bachelor’s level.
“We felt like one way to handle that was to invite universities to our campus sites to offer programs there,” he said. “At all of our campus sites, we have different universities that help us offer more to our students.
“What we try to do is look at the lay of the land and come up with universities in that neighborhood so that it is of easy access to them as well.”
Coltharp said the next part after looking at geographical needs is to look at the philosophical needs.
“We believe in high standards for our students, but we also believe in giving them the support they need,” he said. “We want our students to know they are in a supportive environment.”
Coltharp said when Crowder looks at new programs, it tries to pick programs that have the same beliefs as Crowder.
“That isn’t meaning just the university, because every program in a university has a different philosophy,” he said. “We wanted to find what was the best fit for us and our students.”
Coltharp said there are two programs currently at Cassville Crowder through Missouri State University, and in the fall, there will be two more through Drury University.
“I am up front with the universities from the beginning and tell them we will continue to grow and add other opportunities,” he said. “It is not a sole partnership, so basically, we are going to date others.”
Coltharp said if Crowder decided to tie with just one university, it would limit the philosophy, and also the degree options.
“I think this way makes for a better experience for our students,” he said. “We are able to work with them and help pick degrees that not only have the numbers needed, but also are quality programs.”
Coltharp said as a college, when picking which universities and programs, that is what Crowder kept in mind.
“This year has been amazing for the Cassville Crowder campus, with the added courses, have expansion project and have the 20th anniversary of the campus, so we are really excited,” he said. “Things just seemed to happen at the right time for us.”
Coltharp said the Cassville campus is 20 years in, and it is still making huge leaps for its students.
“I think a big part of that is there have been so many changes in technology in the last 20 years,” he said. “Look at the different business that didn’t make changes or adaptations and are now obsolete.
“We have to continue to grow and improve to offer the best for our students and our community.”
Coltharp said the projects don’t stop, Crowder is always looking in the different campus’ for what is needed next.
“We really came to the conclusion of what classes to offer Crowder students through Drury by looking at the success in classes on their campus and what the need was in our community,” he said. “It is an exciting time for Crowder Cassville, we are proud of the tradition there and the 20 years of success we have had, but there is always room for improvement.”
Coltharp said Crowder appreciates the support from the Cassville community.
“I would encourage people to see what is offered,” he said. “Have you looked at Crowder lately?”