- Associated Press - Saturday, July 19, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri has set up a program that allows its employees to finish their high school diplomas at the university’s expense.

Employees from the University of Missouri, MU Health Care, MU Extension and UM System workers in Columbia can finish their high school diploma work through MU High School as part of a two-year online pilot program that started this week, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1wBbOq0 ).

MU High School includes more than 180 high school courses and is operated by the university’s College of Education, which is funding 25 percent of the tuition costs for participants in the pilot project. The other 75 percent is paid by the university’s tuition assistance benefit program.

The university will assess completion rates and other data after the two-year pilot ends. If it’s a success, the program could be expanded to Kansas City, St. Louis and Rolla campus employees.

“Offering MU employees the opportunity to earn their high school diplomas from an accredited and well-respected entity like MU High School just makes sense,” Daniel Clay, dean of the education school, said in a release. “It is good for the employees and the university.”

Kiki Gross, a lead custodian with the MU Office of Residential Life, has already started gathering paperwork to figure out what classes she needs. Gross, a Columbia native, who dropped out in her last semester of high school, has regretted not walking across the stage with her classmates.

“I am really excited about this,” Gross said. “And I know this is really opening the door for a lot of these other people.”


Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com

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