- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - Efforts are underway to reopen the old Tarkio College in northwest Missouri as a two-year institution.

The institution ended its run as a four-year college in 1992, the St. Joseph News-Press (http://bit.ly/1Y88nWR ) reported. But alumni and volunteers from the surrounding community have banded together to breathe new life into the campus.

Their proposal has been submitted to the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Pending certification from the state, the plan is for classes to begin in January 2017.

Bob Hughes, the college’s president, said enrollment is expected to be 35 to 50 students for the first semester, 75 to 100 for the second semester, then potentially 250 to 300 a few years down the road.

“We’re not kidding ourselves,” Hughes said. “We’re not going to jump up and have 500 students day one. We’re rational in our expectations and what we’re budgeting for.”

It would initially offer associates programs in general studies, agricultural management and public service.

“Our goal is not to compete with Northwest or Missouri Western, but rather to supplement what they do and maybe be able to salvage that student who couldn’t get into those schools,” Hughes said. “We can give them an opportunity to get their grades up, an opportunity to prove they can do the work, then they can transfer to one of the other schools at a later date.”

Although the college has yet to obtain its certification from the state, volunteers have pitched in to clean up grounds and help in any way possible.

“The outpouring we’ve received from the community, that’s an amazing thing to see,” Hughes said.

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Information from: St. Joseph News-Press/St. Joe, Missouri, http://www.newspressnow.com

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