SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- College students in Missouri will get some help obtaining their degrees if they study at more than one school. Gov. Jay Nixon recently signed a new law that he hopes will help increase the number of working-age Missourians with college degrees from the current 35 percent to 60 percent by 2020.
Sean Winter is making Ozarks Technical Community College a first stop his way to a bachelor’s degree.
“I just recently changed to culinary arts,” Winter said Thursday. “I was a film major.”
“You don't have to go to a four-year university right off the bat. You can start here, get your gen eds (general education requirements) out of the way,” Winter said, talking about going to OTC.
The key reason for studying at OTC is it’s “a lot cheaper here than at Missouri State, so that is a definite,” he said.
“There is a large number of students -- several thousand -- who are interested in getting a few hours up to an associate's degree, and then transferring,” said OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon.
It will now be much easier for students to make the move between public universities across the state. The new law created by House Bill 1042 mandates the creation of a core set of 25 classes offered by each school that would be guaranteed to transfer between each school.
“That is a big cost savings and, even more importantly, a time savings in finishing up your degree,” said Higdon.
The new mandate won't have too much of an impact on institutions of higher learning here in the Queen City.
“They call it the Springfield thing: everybody works together. Our students are very lucky to have universities, the school districts and the community college,” said Higdon.
The plan of action is set to be in place by July 2014, so there are about two years left for state officials to come to an agreement with the schools on those core classes.