college of continuing professional studies

Ribbon Cutting for New Ava Campus Location Will be Held April 8

Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies Ava campus has moved into a new location in the second floor of the Missouri Ozarks Community Health/Wellness Center at 603 Northwest 10th Ave.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 8. Drury President Dr. David Manuel will be in attendance, alongside officials from the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce and staff from the branch campus.

The campus offices in Ava are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday during the semester and offers academic advising, financial aid assistance and career counseling, in addition to a computer lab.

The CCPS Ava campus serves students living throughout Douglas, Ozark and Wright counties. Drury began offering classes in Ava in 1997, using Ava High School classrooms in the evening. A variety of general education, major requirement, and elective courses are offered each semester.


Drury Offers Wellness Certificate Program to Howell County Residents

Drury University is now offering a wellness certificate to residents of Howell County, thanks to a grant from the Delta Regional Authority and the Rural Community Advancement Program. The program is offered through Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies at its West Plains location.

The Certificate of Wellness is a 16-week program with areas of focus that include healthy cooking and nutrition, tobacco cessation, various types of exercise, and a stress management component based on a proven program from the Cleveland Clinic called “Stress Free Now!”

The goal of the certificate program is to increase awareness about and understanding of overall health and wellness. The program is designed to help business people and human resources professionals gain the knowledge they would need to establish a formal wellness program in their organization. However, the certificate program is open to individuals for their own personal benefit as well. Additionally, the registration fee will be waived for any nonprofit organization in Howell County that is associated with health and wellness issues.

Classes begin April 1 and run through July 15, and will be held in the Community Room at 403 Washington Ave. in West Plains. Drury is offering the certificate program for just $25 thanks to the grant. Participants will receive a Drury t-shirt and a 7-day pass to Anytime Fitness, 1651 Gibson St. in West Plains. They will be provided with all food and equipment necessary for the cooking classes and, of course, will get to enjoy their finished culinary treats.

For more information on the wellness certificate program, call Drury’s West Plains office at (417) 257-5700 or stop by the office located at 403 Washington Ave. in West Plains.


College of Continuing Professional Studies Extends January Office Hours

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 9, 2013 — Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies will open its offices for extended Saturday hours at most satellite locations in January.

Although spring semester classes do not begin until Jan. 21, the extra office hours will give prospective and current students an extended opportunity to meet with Drury staff following inclement weather during the last week. Appointments are strongly encouraged, especially for current students. Media questions should be directed to the site directors of each location.


Thayer/West Plains – 8 a.m. to noon, Jan. 11

Phone: 417-264-2731   |    Site Director: Tammy Hathcock


Fort Leonard Wood/St. Robert – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jan. 11 & 18

Phone: 573-451-2400   |    Site Director: Kricket Webster


Rolla/Owensville  – 10 am. to 2 p.m., Jan. 11 & 18

Phone: 573-368-4959   |   Site Director: Mary Iarussi


Lebanon – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jan. 11 & 18

Phone: 417-532-9828   |   Site Director: Mary Iarussi


Springfield (Bay Hall offices) – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jan. 11 & 18

Phone: 417-873-7502   |   Site Director: Sara Thornton


Ava – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jan. 11 & 18

Phone: 417-873-7502   |   Site Director: Sarah Thornton


Monett/Bentonville – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jan. 11 & 18

Phone: 417-235-2007   |   Site Director: Ann Saunders


Cabool/Houston/Licking – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jan. 11 & 18; and 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 20 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

Phone: 417-962-5314   |   Site Director: Nichole Honeycutt


Aaron Jones is named Dean of Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 21, 2013 — Aaron Jones has been named the Dean of Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS). Jones has been the interim dean since the spring of 2012.

“Aaron’s recent interim leadership in this position has been very valuable to Drury University and to the variety of regions we serve,” said Drury President David Manuel. “Aaron’s continued leadership will be instrumental in the future growth of CCPS.”

Aaron Jones, Dean of Drury's CCPS

Jones, a 1995 Drury graduate, received his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1998. He also received a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in dispute resolution in 2009 from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Jones began practicing law in Springfield with Hulston, Jones & Marsh, in 1998.  He has also served as a municipal prosecutor and municipal judge. From 2006 to 2008, he served on the Board of Governors for the Missouri Bar as the Young Lawyers liaison.  Jones is a member of King’s Way United Methodist Church and the Rotary Club of Springfield (Downtown). He was elected to the Drury Board of Trustees in 2009, but he took a leave from the board when he was appointed to serve as interim dean.

Drury’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies serves more than 3,000 students throughout southwest Missouri. Besides Springfield, Drury offers classes in: Monett, Cabool, Licking, Ava, Thayer, St. Robert, Rolla, Fort Leonard Wood, Lebanon and Owensville. Additionally, Drury has a robust online program with 18 degrees that can be completed entirely online with online offices in West Plains, Mo. and Bentonville, Ark.


Long journey puts Drury student in “a better place”

Anjanette LaBellarte did not take the normal path into college. After graduating from high school in the 1980s, she went to work and began to raise a family. She worked as a waitress, and, after a divorce, she worked in a variety of careers, but college was never in her plans.

“I always thought, I don’t really need to go to school. I’m too busy. I’ve got the kids. I’m a single mom. I’m just trying to keep my head above water,” LaBellarte said.

Anjanette LaBellarte

She was shut out of jobs that required more than a high school diploma and she bounced between careers, finally landing in sales at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center. But, with a desire to make a better life for her family, in her late thirties, she quit her job, started a housekeeping business to give her a flexible schedule, and she enrolled in college.

“The number one reason was my daughters. I didn’t want them to be like me and how I had waited to get an education,” LaBellarte said. “So, I said I needed to take life by the reins and go to school.”

LaBellarte worked hard at school and in her business, often getting help from her daughters. After five years, LaBellarte earned a bachelor’s in communication with honors from Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies in May 2012, becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college. Then, she tapped into her network and worked with Drury’s Office of Career Planning and Development, and the University Plaza hired her back as a sales manager.

“What I saw in her the most was growth personally,” said Chris Huffington, LaBellarte’s manager. “She had a lot of self-confidence, she had great knowledge of what’s out in the community. She just needed that self-assurance.”

Now, it’s the next generation’s turn. LaBellarte has a stepdaughter at Drury and another about to enter college, and she has a message for anyone thinking about going to college, “If they want a better life for themselves and feel better about who they are, they should get an education. It doesn’t matter how old they are, if you want it, you can do it.”

To view a video about Anjanette’s journey, click here.


Drury University to offer courses in Owensville, Mo.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 29, 2013 — Drury University will begin offering classes this fall at the Owensville High School for dual enrolled high school students and adults. The first classes offered will be English 150: Composition and Political Science 101: Government and Politics in the United States.  Drury representatives will be at the Owensville High School on Tuesday, May 7 from 3-7 p.m. to provide information and register students.

“The school district is happy to be partnering with Drury University to bring college courses to Owensville” said Dr. Russ Brock, superintendent of the Gasconade R-II School District. “This will be a tremendous benefit to our current high school students as well as other adults in and around Owensville. We hope this will develop into a strong Drury presence in the community with opportunities that will meet the needs of our citizens.”

For more information, please contact Drury University of Rolla at 573-368-4959.


Drury’s Online Paralegal Program ranked as one of the best in the nation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 11, 2013 — The Open Education Database (OEDB) listed Drury University’s Paralegal Program third in its listing of the top online paralegal programs in the nation. View a complete listing of the top online paralegal programs in the country at

“Drury is pleased that its robust online educational offerings are being recognized by an independent third party,” said Steve Hynds, Drury’s director of online education. “Paralegal is one of the 18 Drury degrees that can be completed entirely online, and Drury works to ensure that our online offerings match the rigor and value expected of a Drury education.”

The Open Education Database (OEDb) recognizes the top U.S. colleges that offer online learning for undergraduate degree programs in a variety of fields, including paralegal.

The Open Education Database says that it, “Is dedicated to helping students navigate their open and online education options. OEDb features an open courseware directory, degree program directories, school profiles, distance learning advice, and rankings of the top online schools in the country.”

For more information on OEDB, contact Amy Tran at

Media Contact: Steve Hynds, Drury’s Director of Online Education, Office: (417) 873-7406, E-mail:


Drury and Cox College formalize partnership and announce new Cabool cohort

Cabool, Mo., Nov. 29, 2012 — Drury University and Cox College signed an articulation agreement today, Nov. 29, at Drury’s campus in Cabool that formalizes the dual degree program the two higher education institutions have been operating in Cabool since August 2012. The two schools also announced that they would offer a second cohort of the dual degree offering beginning in August 2013.

(L-R) Dr. Anne Brett, president of Cox College, shakes hands with Dr. Charles Taylor, vice president of academic affairs at Drury, following the signing of the articulation agreement.

26 students are currently enrolled in the program in which students earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with an emphasis in leadership from Drury, and either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate of Science in Medical Assisting (ASMA) from Cox College. The two degrees can both be completed in just four years. Courses are offered in three modalities: seated at Drury’s Cabool site, blended (seated and online), and exclusively online.

“Drury alumnus Lester E. Cox once said, ‘Find a need and fill it.’ That’s exactly what these two institutions are here to do today,” said Aaron Jones, interim dean of Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies. “We’ve heard the need for healthcare education and healthcare professionals in Texas County. We’ve heard that need for many years and we’re able to begin to fill that need with our partnership with Cox College.”

“As more and more people have access to health care the role for medical assistants is going to grow exponentially. We’re hoping to fill that void in the Cabool region,” said Dr. Anne Brett, president of Cox College. “The Missouri Foundation for Health says that in order to meet the needs for nursing that every college in the state is going to have to double its enrollment by 2020. This program will allow students to stay home, learn in their community and then staff the positions in the Cabool region. The opportunities for these graduates are going to be unlimited.”

Students interested in learning more about the dual degree program should visit the website or contact the Cohort Manager April Stublefield at (417) 414-8521 or via email at


Drury and Cox College to sign articulation agreement on Thursday, Nov. 29

WHAT: Drury University and Cox College will sign an articulation agreement formalizing an existing dual degree program and announce a new cohort in 2013 for the program.

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 29 at 4 p.m.

WHERE: Drury’s Cabool campus is located at 801 Walnut Ave. in Cabool.

WHO: Dr. Anne Brett, president of Cox College. Dr. Charles Taylor, vice president of academic affairs at Drury. Aaron Jones, interim dean of Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies.

WHY: Drury and Cox College launched the first dual degree cohort in August 2012 with 26 students. Those students are pursing two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Drury and either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an Associate of Science in Medical Assisting from Cox College. Given the success of the first cohort, which began in August with students on track to graduate in May of 2016, Drury and Cox College will launch another cohort in August of 2013.

Media Contact: Mark Miller, M.A., Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, Email:


Drury student hopes to counsel soldiers after her military career

Springfield, Mo., July 30, 2012 — As a senior NCO (non-commissioned officer), Geri Hopkins is accustomed to serving as the shoulder that soldiers lean on when times get tough. Currently stationed at Fort Polk, La., Hopkins counsels soldiers and their families. Now in her 20th year of service, she will be retiring from the Army in February. However, she is looking forward to her second career— thanks to the degree she just completed through Drury University.

Hopkins is very grateful to Raeleen Ziegler, coordinator at Drury’s Fort Leonard Wood campus, where Hopkins was stationed from 2008-2010. “Raeleen convinced me that I needed to complete my degree, and she showed me how. She lit a fire underneath me,” said Hopkins.

While Hopkins was working in the hospital on the base she had set hours, so it was easy for her to schedule and attend classes. Hopkins stated, “When I moved back into the field—I was deployed to Afghanistan on December 26 of 2010—I was concerned about how I would be able to continue my studies.” Ziegler showed her a degree plan as well as the order in which she needed to take her classes, and Hopkins was able to continue working toward her degree by taking classes online.

Hopkins graduated this past May with a double major in sociology and psychology. “I am so happy to have graduated and am finished with this leg of my journey. I feel that so many doors have been opened for me now that I have my degree. I am so thankful to Raeleen and the faculty at Drury University for helping me every step of the way which allowed me to complete this portion of my dreams,” said Hopkins.

Next, Hopkins plans to obtain her master’s in counseling psychology, work in the field and then go back and earn her Ph.D.

“I would like to work at the Resiliency Center at Fort Hood, Texas,” said Hopkins. “Even though I am retiring from the military, I still want to be able to work with soldiers. There truly is a need; especially for those who are coming back from deployment.”


Story by Jann Holland, executive director of marketing and communications at Drury University.