Northwest Missouri State University will close its Northwest-St. Joseph location later this year, citing the movement of programming to other locations and students’ desires for access to the experience and services provided on the University’s Maryville campus.
Additionally, the University is focused on creating efficiencies amid a shifting financial landscape that is straining resources at higher education institutions. Northwest expects to save between $450,000 and $500,000 in FY18 by closing Northwest-St. Joseph. The closure will result in the elimination of one staff position.
In recent years, Northwest has moved many of its face-to-face academic offerings in St. Joseph to online formats with the exception of one graduate program in information systems that started this year.
During the same span, Northwest has bolstered its academic programming in the Kansas City area, adding opportunities to complete undergraduate degree programs or advance through graduate programs. Northwest-Kansas City offers completion programs in business, communication, computer science, criminology, education, health science, and psychology. It also offers dual credit coursework through a partnership with Northland CAPS, professional education graduate degrees and client-based educational opportunities.
Last fall, Northwest opened a new Northwest-Kansas City location at the Northland Innovation Campus through a partnership with the city of Gladstone and North Kansas City Schools. Additionally, Northwest announced a partnership with Metropolitan Community College (MCC) in February to launch FastTracks, a concurrent enrollment program to increase the number of students completing associate and bachelor’s degrees in an accelerated format.
“Students enrolled in our information systems master’s program have regularly provided feedback to faculty and leadership in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems about their desire to study in Maryville,” Northwest Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet said. “We also believe Northwest can continue to serve St. Joseph through the quality programming we offer at our Maryville campus as well as Northwest-Kansas City.”
Mottet said there will be no disruption in program delivery by closing Northwest-St. Joseph. Northwest’s master’s program in information systems will begin instruction on the Maryville campus by fall 2017 for new students, and current students will transition by December 2017.
The School of Education uses classrooms at Northwest-St. Joseph for some scheduled courses and will move those activities to Northwest-Kansas City or the Maryville campus.
Northwest-St. Joseph moved to its current location, the Historic Green Acres building at 3500 North Village Drive, near the city’s Belt Highway and Interstate 29, in 2012. It had maintained a presence on Felix Street in downtown St. Joseph from 2007 to 2012. Prior to that, the University had offered post-baccalaureate courses in St. Joseph for more than 40 years, but always in classrooms provided by other schools.