Higher education

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Anyone casually reading a resolution adopted earlier this month by Missouri's Coordinating Board for Higher Education might conclude that the agency was encouraging the creation of a community college in Cape Girardeau. But the resolution was more of a caution.

For a year and a half representatives of Southeast Missouri State University, Three Rivers Community College, Mineral Area College and members of the business community have been trying to determine if there is a need for a community college here. The group sponsored a $70,000 study that developed a range of ideas. That study will be discussed at the group's next meeting in August. The coordinating board's resolution made three key points:

1. The participants in the study group are to be commended for their deliberations.

2. The resolution emphasizes the need for the group to continue working together rather than coming up with independent plans.

3. Whatever plan -- if any -- the group decides on should not duplicate existing options.

And any proposal involving additional degree programs would require the coordinating board's approval. All of this indicates the study group's cautious approach may ultimately produce the best plan.

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