Missouri’s state system of higher education serves more than 400,000 students through 13 public four-year universities, 19 public two-year colleges, one public two-year technical college, 25 independent colleges and universities, and 150 proprietary and private career schools. The Missouri Department of Higher Education coordinates the state’s higher education policy by evaluation student and institutional performance, reviewing school missions, approving new degree programs, and more. Promoting the STEM fields (critical science, technology, engineering, and math) is one major goal of the department. It has partnered with the Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition, which helps bring cutting-edge technology and professional development to Missouri classrooms. Missouri has also adopted the Common Core State Standards, which define the knowledge and skills students should master to succeed in college.
Another major higher education mission in the state is to improve graduation rates. Two higher education bills recently passed to help with that end by reducing the need for remedial coursework and making credit transfer more efficient between two- to four-year higher education institutions. The bills also reference reverse transfer of credits for students who seek to complete an associate degree after transferring to a four-year institution.