Cape community college now has official name

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cape Girardeau County's first community college center initially had a location. Now it has a name.

Top officials from Southeast Missouri State University, Three Rivers Community College and Mineral Area College met Tuesday to finalize some details regarding the project, including a name, the Cape Girardeau Partnership for Higher Education. The partnership's logo includes a picture of the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge.

"That's symbolic obviously of the bridge to Illinois but will also be symbolic of what this partnership will do," said Southeast president Dr. Ken Dobbins. He said the center will create a transition from high school to opportunities in higher education.

A group of business and education leaders received approval from the Coordinating Board for Higher Education in December to enact a plan to bring community college services to the county. The group commissioned a study on the demand for services and met for more than two years before reaching an agreement in November between Three Rivers, Southeast, Mineral Area, Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Cape Girardeau School District, which owns the Career and Technology Center.

The group, which set its sights on using the career center early, hired an adviser to help administer the project. The lease agreement to use space at the career center was approved by the Cape Girardeau School Board last month, giving the adviser space to work.

An announcement is expected later this week regarding the advisory committee, which will help guide the project. The partnership's website is in the works and a joint marketing team will meet later this week, Dobbins said. An enrollment date will be set after other details are ironed out, he said.

Dr. Wes Payne, vice president for learning at Three Rivers, said having a brand will show students more services are coming to the area.

"I think it's vital to getting it moving," Payne said. Payne represented Three Rivers president Dr. Devin Stephenson at the Tuesday meeting.

Expecting success

Payne said the new identity is "linchpin piece" of the project.

"Everything indicates this is going to be an incredibly successful endeavor," he said.

Three Rivers is working on gaining approval from the Department of Higher Education for the partnership to grant associate of arts degrees. Plans will be submitted no later than the end of the month, he said. The college is also working approval to use A+, a state program that pays community college tuition for qualifying high school students.

Payne said 44 courses will be offered in the fall, but enrollment will determine the true demand.

"It's just a matter of seeing where the enrollment goes," he said.

For questions regarding the Cape Girardeau Partnership for Higher Education, call 332-0516.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

1080 S. Silver Springs Road, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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