The benefits and opportunities available through college programs at the Southwest Area Career Center (SWACC) were detailed by representatives from Drury University at this week's meeting of the Monett Kiwanis Club.
Program chairman Gordon Brown, who introduced the speakers, said people look at several factors in considering a move to a community. Education is one of those factors, and one that affects all Monett residents, Brown said.
Ann Saunders, Drury's representative for its course offerings at SWACC, said it was "amazing" to see how well students who have started with Drury have done later in life, growing on the seeds planted in their experience with the university.
Drury offered 403 credits when the joint program opened in the Career Center's new campus last year. Saunders said the number of credits available now totals 700.
The availability of college credits locally offers new possibilities for those who take a couple years of college, end up in the work force and never finish a degree, Saunders said. Distance to the college is a major factor.
"Now they can finish their degree right here in Monett, including a master's degree," Saunders said.
The fall semester curriculum has been approved, so that preparations are in motion for next fall's session. Saunders said by taking advantage of such opportunities, "Education is truly the way to improve the quality of one's life."
Also speaking from Drury was Dr. Curt Gilstrap, who focused on the new master's of arts and communication degree, emphasizing organizational leadership and change. The study emphasis is geared to help professionals going back to school.
Gilstrap said while most managers stress about making money, the master's of arts and communication emphasizes the human side of management.
"A manager needs to understand people but also know the business," Gilstrap said.
Most classes for the new degree will be scheduled for one evening a week at the Career Center. It will be taught by an instructor with a doctoral degree, Gilstrap said. Thirty credits will be need to complete the degree. If someone began taking classes in June, study could be completed by May 2111.
Cost is $365 per credit hour. SWACC is now offering a 10 percent discount for Monett residents, Gilstrap said. Tuition would be $985.50 for three hours. Total cost of the degree would be $9,855, Gilstrap said. Additional information is available by calling 417-873-7530.
The Monett Kiwanis Club meets weekly on Tuesdays at Happy House restaurant for lunch and a program.