MU High School to offer free high school education to employees

Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 6:08 p.m. CDT; updated 6:18 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2014

COLUMBIA — MU employees will soon be able to pursue a high school diploma for free. Starting in August, 200 online courses through MU High School will be offered at no cost to eligible staff members, according to an MU News Bureau news release.

The two-year pilot program will be available to MU staff members, although it may be implemented at the other three University of Missouri System campuses if it proves successful, according to the news release.

"We want to evaluate how effective it is for people in the program, and we want to make sure that it meets their needs," said Daniel L. Clay, dean of the MU College of Education. Clay said that many staff members have made inquiries, but he could not say exactly how many employees would enroll in the program.

In the past, UM employees enrolled in MU High School had 75 percent of their tuition costs waived as a part of the HR-303 Educational Assistance program. Staff members who enroll in the pilot program will have the remainder of their costs covered by the MU College of Education, according to the release.

Costs for a semester-long MU High School online course currently range from $165 to $300.

Staff members enrolled in the pilot program will also be able to purchase textbooks at lower prices through an arrangement between Mizzou K-12 Online and locally headquartered textbook retailer MBS Direct, according to the release.

"We're hopeful that we'll see people leaving less for other jobs because they'll be able to advance professionally at MU," Clay said.

MU High School began offering classes in fall 1999. It is open to "independent learners of all ages," according to the program's website.

This year, MU High School, which had 150 students eligible for graduation, according to previous Missourian reporting.

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